A new fund targeted at 11 to 25-year-olds living on the Isle of Wight aims to support young people to grow the skills they need as they move out of education and into employment.  

The ‘Young Island Lives’ fund from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation is open to not-for-profit groups that can help young people on the Isle of Wight grow the technical and life skills they need to reach their potential both in employment and the wider community.

The Isle of Wight is one of the worst areas in the South East for both unemployment (5% – ONS) and economic inactivity (c27.9% IOW vs 18.8 South East – ONS). Many young people on the island leave school without the core skills they need for their futures nor the confidence or resilience to obtain them beyond the classroom.

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Jacqui Scott, CEO at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation:

“HIWCF funding can be a lifeline for small charities that make such a huge impact in the communities they serve. ‘Young Island Lives’ uniquely provides community groups with an opportunity to design packages of support that can create lasting impact across 2 years, enabling potentially deeper interactions with their young people.

“Young people already face multiple barriers to employment, but they are also contending with the rise of the ‘gig economy’, which pushes temporary contracts and shift work, and can really limit the progression pathway for young people. This fund aims to boost practical skills directly relating to entering more secure employment, such as CV writing and interview practice workshops, as well as valuable social skills such as confidence, resilience and team work that many young people struggle with, especially those who were particularly impacted by the COVID 19 lockdowns”.

As well as the ‘Young Island Lives’ fund, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation has a second fund open to Island groups, particularly those aimed at easing poverty and increasing wellbeing for Island residents who are living hard and challenging lives. Apply for the ‘Isle of Wight Community Fund’ and the ‘Young Island Lives’ fund online at
Both funds are open until midnight on Wednesday 22nd May.

2- year grants will support initiatives to deliver longer term impact in the community.  Successful groups could receive up to £10,000 per year across 2 years (up to £20,000 over 24 months) to deliver skills-based workshops, sessions and activities that focus on confidence, resilience and self-esteem.

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The Young Island Lives fund is aimed at groups who support:

  • Secondary school year groups
  • Young people who are not in education, employment or training
  • Young people in insecure work or ‘gig economy’ role
  • All young people up to the age of 25

This funding aims to build confidence in young people to take steps into further education, training, employment or volunteering opportunities. Young people should be supported to develop stronger work and life skills such as confidence, team work, communication, giving and receiving feedback, and problem solving.

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