Young Island Lives - Isle of Wight

The aim of this grant programme is to fund employability and skills initiatives for young people aged 11-25 years old, living on the Isle of Wight. Two-year grants are available for up to £10,000 per year (up to £20,000 over 24 months). All multi-year grants will be paid in annual instalments with second year funding subject to the completion of adequate year one reporting.


HIWCF: This fund is administered by HIWCF. HIWCF’s core aim is to tackle poverty and inequality. This grant programme is designed to support this goal through meeting our impact theme ‘Employability and Skills’.


Please see the application form guidance.


Please see the grant agreement guidance

Need help?

Please contact the grants team if you have any queries.

Programme Overview

Status: Opening soon
Opening Date: 16/04/2024
Closing Date: 22/05/2024
Minimum Grant: £1,000
Maximum Grant: Up to £10,000 per year for two years (up to £20,000 over 24 months) 
Location: Isle of Wight


This fund is about supporting young people to develop and grow skills.  Both life skills and employability skills can help remove or reduce the barriers faced by young people as they enter their adult lives, helping them to grow into active citizens who take on volunteering opportunities, employment, training, or further learning.


Who can apply? These grants are for nonprofit community organisations with a track record of engaging young people; you do not need to be a youth organisation but will need to show an ability to reach young people.


Who are we targeting? This funding is for work with young people aged 11-25 years old. Please tell us in your bid who you are planning to work with, for example: young adults impacted by insecure ‘gig economy roles’, or young people who face barriers to engagement at secondary school, or NEETs.  


What work can be delivered? Examples of projects could include youth clubs with sustained and structured activity programmes; coding clubs; themed workshops (for example IT, public speaking, CV writing); work experience initiatives; eligible social enterprises that offer skills for participants; and outdoor education programmes.


We are looking for grant bids that meet BOTH of the following programme criteria.


1) Your application must be for work targeting young people aged 11-25 years old. Please ensure that you tell us about the barriers that they face. This could include young people living in poverty, young people who have struggled with mainstream education, care-experienced young people, young people with mental health problems, young people from minoritised groups, young people who are NEET, or who may be at risk of engaging in criminal activity. (NB this is not an exhaustive list of examples).


2) Your application must be for a sustained programme of learning. This means we will not fund one-off trips or experiences but are looking to fund programmes of work that help young people to develop and grow. Funding can be for up to two years, enabling longer term interventions. The young people that we want this funding to reach may face setbacks and not always make linear progress, so projects should be responsive to their needs. 


Additional Criteria: 


Please phone HIWCF if your annual income exceeds our standard £1 million threshold; this fund DOES offer flexibility to make a number of grants to larger charities if they are meeting a need that other groups are not able to fulfil.

– Your grant application can be for a new or existing programme of delivery.

– Your grant can be used towards a larger project if it meets the fund objectives.

Groups may apply for both Young Island Lives AND the Isle of Wight Community Fund. However, we request that you do not request funding from both funds for the same work.

– Successful applications are likely to have demonstrated how young people helped to shape the work (e.g., through consultation, youth leadership, or volunteering). Applicants are also encouraged to consider the context of the Isle of wight in their bid e.g. the unique natural assets of the Island.

– Work with school aged children within school hours will only be funded if the target audience is NEET, excluded, at risk of exclusion or home schooled.

Budget Costs: We want you to run these activities over a sustained period during this 24-month grant, so will cover staff and volunteer costs, activity costs such as room hire and running costs, and a proportionate contribution to the core costs of your organisation to deliver this work. We will consider small items of equipment as part of a wider budget.



– We will not fund national charities where local branches cannot demonstrate local independence in terms of governance, bank accounts etc.

– We will not fund community organisations that lack a current project base on the Isle of Wight.

– We will not fund capital costs, refurbishment of buildings, or large items of equipment over £1,000.

– We will not fund any provision that is a statutory requirement or is profit making.  

– We will not fund one-off events.

– This is a community learning programme, so we are not seeking to fund: scholarships or programmes around elite performance.

– We will not fund projects that solely focus on residential trips (residentials as part of a wider learning programme would be considered).


What does a strong application look like?


Please have a read of this case study as an example of work that meets the programme criteria. Examples are fictitious and for illustrative purposes only.


Working for You, based in Ryde. This employment charity has a youth programme focused on young adults who are not in education, employment, or training (NEET). It matches young participants with a mentor who they meet with on a weekly basis to support them in planning the next steps in work or study. It also offers a range of workshops that young people can access around workplace skills. In 2023 it brokered links with a local social enterprise café to start offering placements for young people – placements rotate to include skills about updating the café website, menu planning, budgeting, and customer service. It will use a ‘Young Island Lives’ grant of £8,000 a year for two years (£16,000) to cover the costs of 25 young people aged 17-19 years old having a mentor for a year, accessing workshops and being offered supported placements for 12 weeks at the social enterprise cafe.


How does this bid meet the programme criteria?

The work is targeting young people within the 11–25-year-old age band who are NEET.

The work is supporting a sustained programme of skills that will help young people to succeed in the workplace.