Press release

£25 million injection to help ‘life-changing’ children’s services

Education Secretary announces vulnerable children and young people will benefit from grants to voluntary organisations.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Nicky Morgan

The Department for Education’s voluntary and community sector (VCS) grants will be used to reform or deliver life-changing services over the next year.

After a competitive application process, the department has chosen 94 projects that will make the biggest impact on children, young people and their families.

For the first time the department has separately identified mental health as a theme in the VCS grants. This recognises the significant role improvements in this area to support better outcomes for children and young people.

Organisations specialising in child mental health care will receive a total of £4.9 million. The money will also be spread between organisations specialising in:

  • adoption (£1.7 million)
  • children in care (£1.4 million)
  • early education and childcare (£5.3 million)
  • family advice and support (£1.8 million)
  • safeguarding (£3.3 million)
  • special educational needs and disabilities (£5.9 million)

The grants will supplement existing government funding that supports these sectors.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

I’m delighted to give this injection of support to the voluntary sector, which offers life-changing services to children and their families.

This was a highly competitive process and every bid given money today has shown that they will put the funds to great use.

This is a significant investment in a tough financial climate which will make a real difference across the country.

Successful bids


Barnardo’s will receive more than £735,000 to safeguard children and young people from child sexual exploitation (CSE). They will increase awareness of CSE among businesses and services working in the night-time economy and develop strategies to identify and protect children at risk at night.

The Diana Award

The Diana Award will receive £450,000 to create 2,500 anti-bullying ambassadors and train 600 teachers and youth professionals in issues around bullying. They will also provide anti-bullying toolkits with a particular focus on cyber bullying.


Mind will receive around £400,000 to create a pilot promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in schools. It will raise pupils’ awareness of mental health issues and improve their access to information and support. It will enable effective early intervention, deliver targeted workshops and provide one-to-one guided self-help and support.

Notes to editors

  1. The department received a total of 463 bids for VCS funding. The applications were assessed by Department for Education officials and the successful bids were ratified by ministers. All organisations with unsuccessful bids were notified earlier in the year.

  2. Ministers set the policy direction for the process. To meet the strategic objectives of the department, applications have been assessed with this in mind alongside a set of overarching criteria as publicised in the prospectus. A full list of the organisations can be found below.

Organisation / Consortium lead Funding for project 2015 to 2016 Project summary
4Children £358,840 Work builds on the success of current childcare hubs project to improve the quality, availability and flexibility of childcare within their local area.
Achievement For All (3As) Ltd £250,120 Support with the implementation of the special educational needs reforms in the further education sector.
Adoption Matters £100,000 Regional model of adoption support in the North West.
Adoption UK £176,887 Facilitating peer support and networking between users to challenge and support adoption agencies to improve local practice.
Adoption UK £135,000 Trained peers delivering child-to-parent-violence support.
Adoptionplus Ltd £200,000 Testing attachment with adoptive parenting groups.
Advocacy Matters Ltd £114,624 Introducing a step-by-step advocacy programme into schools in Birmingham and Walsall, linked to the SEND reforms, so disengaged parents and young people are involved in decision-making. This best practice work will be shared nationally.
Africans Unite Against Child Abuse £178,727 Building on existing child protection community volunteering project this project focuses on new ways of helping to reduce the incidence of abuse of black African children.
After Adoption £343,302 Project covering short breaks, quality standards, family network, workforce capacity-building.
Ambitious about Autism £239,502 A national training programme for college and post-16 tutors to support young autistic people coming from school into college.
Anna Freud Centre (The) £439,657 Expanding and refining a comprehensive directory of all mental health services to provide an authoritative source of mental health information for schools. Building effective links between education and support services, supporting the development of a skilled workforce and helping young people to manage their own mental health.
Barnardo’s £736,154 Safeguarding children and young people from CSE by increasing awareness of CSE among businesses and services working in the night-time economy, and by developing strategies, in co-production with these businesses and others, to identify and protect children at risk at night. Intervene early by providing advice, support, training and guidance.
Behind Closed Doors £138,469 Support for children affected by domestic abuse within school clusters.
British Association for Early Childhood Education (The) £144,963 Build on good practice in existing nursery schools, including teaching schools, to develop the early years workforce. Support providers to use the early years pupil premium via nursery school led regional workshops, peer-to-peer support networks and guidance.
British Dyslexia Association £549,533 Early intervention and intervention model for dyslexia/specific learning difficulties (SpLD).
British Refugee Council £137,200 Mental health support for children separated from parents arriving in the UK.
Centre for Research in Early Childhood in Birmingham Charitable Trust £97,728 A project to understand how best to enhance achievement of young, white working-class boys to close the gap on their attainment on entry to compulsory school.
Centrepoint £144,950 Train practitioners working with homeless young people to improve their understanding of mental health issues and their ability to identify mental illness.
Children’s Trust (The) £400,000 Early identification and support of brain injured children and young people to meet their long-term mental health and education needs.
Church of England Children’s Society (The) £450,000 Early intervention and intensive individualised support to meet young people’s needs. Providing one to one support for children in care and care leavers to provide life-coaching, mentoring support, improve resilience, confidence and self-esteem and building their support network.
Communication Trust (The) (I CAN Charity) £290,192 Work to deliver accredited level 3 online qualification in speech, language and communication for childminders.
Contact a Family £250,555 Information and advice to those involved in designing, commissioning, providing and taking up short breaks for disabled children.
Contact a Family £162,223 Support parent carer forums to engage with health practitioners.
Contact a Family £214,517 Further development of SENDirect - an online resource of info of support for families of children and young people with SEND.
Coram Children’s Legal Centre Limited £334,260 A family and child law national helpline with a proposal to develop further digital resources.
Diana Award (The) £450,000 The project will create 2,500 anti-bullying ambassadors, train 600 teachers and youth professionals and provide them all with anti-bullying resources with a particular focus on cyber bullying. This will be developed in partnership with Facebook. They will continue to provide support to 15,000 existing anti-bullying ambassadors in schools and will extend their service for bullying victims, schools and parents.
Dove Service Ltd (The) £168,044 Bereavement and loss project which delivers a broad range of school based interventions for children and young people (4- to 18-years-old) in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Cheshire and on the Wirral.
Driver Youth Trust on behalf of The Dyslexia-SpLD Trust £204,000 Provision of impartial advice and latest research on dyslexia, SpLD and literacy difficulties to parents and educators using their existing tools.
Elklan CIC £142,464 Workforce training across 6 local authorities with clusters of early year practitioners to build practitioner skills and confidence in developing speech, language and communication in children 0 to 5 years.
Family Action £358,671 Building on current project provide universal and targeted support for provision of high quality ‘school based’ childcare for children aged 0 to 5 years old with SEND.
Family and Childcare Trust £500,000 Building on current parent champions and outreach work to increase the number of flexible early education and childcare places for disadvantaged families.
Family Links (Educational Programmes) £154,107 Support safeguarding of children through a project designed for and with the Muslim community, offering a culturally-sensitive intervention by developing protective factors in families and communities.
Family Lives £475,000 A family advice and support national helpline and web based advice service.
Family Matters Institute £213,840 An information and advice service delivered online with a particular focus on fathers.
Family Rights Group Ltd £324,180 A national advice service aimed at parents whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system.
Fostering Network (The) £249,988 Engage with children in care and care leavers and strengthen their voice locally and nationally by recruiting young ambassadors across the country.
Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development £176,300 Safeguard children from female genital mutilation by supporting schools and teachers to respond to and engage with the issue.
Friends of Lighthouse School £75,000 Supporting young autistic people into employment via an internships programme.
Get Connected Helpline £134,928 Support children and young people with, or at risk of, mental health problems by providing information, advice, and guidance, signposting to specialist support, one to one counselling and advocacy.
Gingerbread, the charity for single parent families £229,836 An information and advice service for single parents delivered online and through telephony.
Grandparents Plus £150,000 National service supporting grandparents and other kinship carers.
Home-Start UK £380,079 Scale up the existing Big Hopes, Big Future (BHBF) project which actively engages parents in their children’s early learning to create a positive home learning environment. To build a national network of 80 BHBF sites around its existing network of home-start schemes.
In Control Partnerships £105,720 Building on previous funding for data collection on personal budgets and education health and care plans.
In Control Partnerships £122,750 Work with those with the most complex needs to develop educational health care plans that allow the child or young person to stay with family rather than living away from home.
Independent Parental Special Education Advice £89,650 Improve outcomes for more disadvantaged children/young people with SEND by engaging families from areas of deprivation with the SEND reforms.
Institute of Wellbeing Ltd £431,505 Scale up of existing project on inclusive practice improvement training to build early years practitioner skills and confidence. Community led outreach approach which directly engages with black minority ethnic (BME) communities/disadvantaged groups to address barriers to take-up the entitlement for 2-year-olds including supporting providers with early years pupil premium delivery.
International Social Service of the United Kingdom (CFAB) £157,932 Continuation of CFAB national advice line providing expert inter-country child protection advice, support and guidance to children’s social care workers on all aspects of safeguarding where there is an international dimension.
KIDS £266,727 Continue to collect data on personal budgets, support schools in introducing educational personal budgets and develop case studies and guidance on the theme.
Kidscape Campaign for Children’s Safety £210,507 This will involve embedding current work in 9 London boroughs and an extension of the bullying intervention training (BIT) to 4 additional London boroughs. BIT class-room based training will be delivered to around 100 teachers and 1440 primary pupils in years 4 and 5. Teachers will be given masterclasses in preparing pupils for transition from year 6 to 7 and e-safety awareness. Year 6 pupils will also be offered training in the important role that bystanders can play in bullying.
London Leadership Strategy £207,690 Help national and specialist leaders in education identify schools who need help with their SEN provision, equip them to deliver improvement plans and help embed a focus on SEN into normal school improvement practice.
MAV Youth Empowerment Programme CIC £143,014 To widen current offer of peer mentoring support across the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester, for young girls at risk of gang-associated exploitation or involved with men engaging in exploitive behaviours.
METRO Centre Ltd £245,456 An integrated specialist service to support practitioners and to improve their ability to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people and their families across Greater London, Kent and Medway.
Mind (The National Association for Mental Health) £394,067 Pilot a proactive school-based approach by promoting positive mental health and wellbeing. It will raise pupil’s awareness of mental health issues and improve their access to information and support. It will enable effective early intervention, deliver targeted workshops and provide one to one guided self help and support.
National Association of Special Educational Needs (The) (NASEN) £457,221 Support teachers to provide high quality teaching as the first response to identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people with SEN support. Extend the scope of the SEND gateway.
National Autistic Society £160,965 Prevention of exclusion of children and young people with autism by providing information and advice on best practice to families and professionals via professionals network and via their exclusions helpline.
National Children’s Bureau £400,000 Building on Making it REAL (raising early achievement in Literacy) project to support SEND, underpin inclusive practice and encourage partnership working to wider workforce, including SENCOs, portage staff, family learning practitioners and providers/potential providers of the 2-year-old offer.
National Children’s Bureau £299,940 Support for children and young people with SEN in youth custody, including workforce development materials, regional workshops and targeted support to local authorities.
National Children’s Bureau £468,066 This programme supports children and young people, parents and teachers of children with a special educational need or disability who are disproportionately more likely to be bullied than children without SEND. It will embed anti-bullying practice in 540 schools in 9 new champion areas (regions) providing training for teachers and the wider children’s workforce and for disabled young people and those with SEN, as well as their parents.
National Children’s Bureau £150,000 Work with young people and professionals in children’s social care to improve outcomes for children in care and care leavers. Encourage the sharing of best practice through activities such as regional workshops and by producing shared resources which will be easily accessible.
National Day Nurseries Association £400,000 Building on current project local systems for self-improvement in early year’s workforce via literacy and SEND champions across 9 English regions.
National Deaf Children’s Society (The) (NDCS) £105,346 Developing resources around helping young people who are deaf to access work.
National Development Team for Inclusion (The) £200,000 Work with 4 areas to identify best practice in supporting young people with SEND to successfully make the transition to employment.
National Literacy Trust £355,463 Development of an improvement tool for private voluntary and independent providers and schools settings that focuses on language, literacy and communication skills for under-3s.
National Portage Association £150,000 Building on existing grant-funded work to support and develop portage services (home-visiting for pre-school children with additional support needs and their families).
National Sensory Impairment Partnership £450,000 Support for children with sensory impairments based around collection of outcomes and impact data, tools and guidance to support writing of education health and care plans.
NWG Network £142,140 Consulting children and young people to inform the design of a toolkit of resources signposting to a free 24-hour helpline. To encourage children and young people to disclose information and seek support via missing people’s 24-hour helpline.
Oxford Parent Infant Project (OXPIP) £127,472 This project will train a number of early years professionals to increase their understanding of an infant’s social and emotional development and attachment and how these form the basis for positive mental health and resilience in later life.
PACE Centre Ltd (The) £118,250 The project includes a combination of direct support for children and young people with sensory motor disorders - offering training/guidance for mainstream schools and making good links between mainstream and special settings.
PAC-UK £219,700 Regional model for schools and social workers on the education of adopted children.
Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (PACE) £213,728 Develop and embed work to disseminate the model that they have developed and provide support and advice to parents and carers about child sexual abuse.
Pen Green Centre £461,470 Build on ‘Being 2’ to support a model of peer-to-peer training within private, voluntary and independent early years sector, with 9 associate centres in 5 regions to offer accredited training for staff working with disadvantaged 2-year-olds and to improve the implementation of SEND reforms.
Place2Be £297,817 Work in 150+ schools in some of most deprived areas to identify children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. Deliver support to address their needs.
Place2Be £300,000 Develop mental health champions in schools who lead on children’s mental health and support staff within schools, providing a key link with specialist support services. Use training to develop the capability of around 1,000 Place2Be counsellors and provide support that focuses on the mental health needs of young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Pre-school Learning Alliance £500,000 Building on current project to improve the quality of early years provision through mentored workforce development networks, online training, webinars and support materials.
Prince’s Trust (The) £410,000 Promote mental health awareness, and help young people understand and address their own challenges through information sharing group sessions and one to one support, using dedicated emotional wellbeing workers.
Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years £350,000 Develop and pilot ‘starting school together’ toolkit in areas of disadvantage.
Reachfor £300,000 Creating work experience placements for young people with SEND in 7 areas, supported by job coaches, online advice and volunteer mentors.
Relate £256,500 An online service providing information, guidance and live web chat support to parents particularly to address specific issues faced by parents of teenagers.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (The) £564,917 To further develop the online resource MindEd, to provide information, advice and guidance about children’s mental health and wellbeing to parents and carers in England.
Royal College Speech and Language Therapists £150,000 Development of a tool to measure outcomes for children and young people with speech, language and communication skills and improvement of collaboration between education, health and care services in measuring outcomes.
Sheffield Futures £328,763 Work in partnership with south and west Yorkshire on a youth custody programme to support young offenders with SEND leading to good practice guide.
Silent Secret £157,900 Provide young people (11 to 19) with a safe, trusted and accessible online platform to share their thoughts, feelings and secrets via the Silent Secret app, with the primary aim of increasing emotional wellbeing and resilience.
Sir Roger Cholmeley’s School at Highgate £50,000 An intervention programme across north London local authorities led by the school which will provide activities such as workshops on leadership and enterprise skills, CV skills and tailored academic support for looked-after children and care leavers.
Suffolk Carers Ltd £111,486 The programme will develop an awareness, education and support programme across the whole of Suffolk. This support will provide an early intervention programme for young carers (9 to 18 years of age).
Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (The) £192,211 Relationship support to adoptive parents.
Thomas Coram Foundation for Children (The) £190,000 Life story toolkit and Education toolkit (plus creative therapies and parenting).
Thomas Coram Foundation for Children (The) £95,600 Practice guidance and training on adoption matching.
Together for Short Lives £185,041 Extension of an existing project to help ensure that those with life limiting conditions can benefit from the SEND reforms. The project includes a helpline for families, awareness raising with local authorities and partners and helping schools support children with these conditions.
Voluntary Action Within Kent £180,000 Raise awareness of mental health issues among pupils, including the danger signs to look out for, and challenging the stigmas around mental health. Establishing networks of peer ambassadors within schools and creating safe environments in which young people feel able to talk about their feelings and seek help when they need it.
Who Cares? Trust (The) £232,038 An individualised package of practical and emotional support and personal development for 260 care-experienced young people aged 16- to 25-years-old to empower and skill them up to help them realise their ambitions.
YMCA England £257,220 This project will increase the awareness and early identification of mental health issues of 11- to 21-year-olds, using peer leaders and community-based counselling services.
Yorkshire MESMAC Ltd £114,843 Develop a programme to be used nationally in primary schools to reduce the risk of CSE by enabling year 6 children, teachers, etc, to identify and act to prevent CSE.
Young Minds Trust £315,795 This will support the very successful Parents Helpline, which provides free, confidential online and telephone support. It provides information and practical advice to parents/carers worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of children and young people.
Youth Access £500,000 Increase access to counselling and other psychological therapies, particularly at points of transition and for vulnerable groups such as care leavers, young carers and those who have experienced abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation. It will work to find ways to improve integration across the range of services involved.

All projects are subject to continuing variation as appropriate.

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Published 25 March 2015