Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Millions awarded to youth services for summer holiday activities [August 2023]

The press release issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on 28 August 2023.

More than 400 youth services across England have been awarded a portion of the Million Hours Fund to help tackle antisocial behaviour and improve access to opportunities such as cooking lessons, day trips and sporting activities during the summer holidays.

  • Over £3.7 million from the Million Hours Fund has been allocated to over 400 youth services across the country
  • From Stockport to Scarborough, funding is giving young people more opportunities to access sporting activities, arts projects and skills development over the summer holidays
  • Funding demonstrates progress on the Prime Minister’s Anti Social Behaviour Action Plan to build stronger communities and prevent young offending

Over £3.7 million has been distributed by the Government and National Lottery Community Fund over the past few weeks to support young people in antisocial behaviour hotspots and areas of high need as the school gates closed for the summer.

The funding has meant that 427 youth services have been able to stay open for additional hours, and has delivered on the Culture Secretary’s commitment to give young people “someone to talk to, something to do and somewhere to go” outside of school.

Support this summer is delivering on the Prime Minister’s Anti Social Behaviour Action Plan, launched earlier in the year, to help put young people on the right track and become active members of their community.

From AutismAble CIC in South Tyneside, which has received £10,000 to put on activities aimed at encouraging positive choices, to Central Swindon North Parish Council, which is using £6,500 to deliver sport, dance and forestry sessions, funding is bolstering a young person’s life chances across the country.

The investment has also funded youth workers’ support for young people in the areas they already spend time in, such as parks and leisure facilities, with youth workers targeting those at risk of becoming involved in antisocial behaviour.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said:

Every young person should have access to fun, positive activities, role models they can learn from and opportunities to develop vital life skills.

This funding has allowed over 400 youth centres across the country to provide increased access to sports, arts and skills opportunities. It is helping make sure young people have someone to talk to, something to do and somewhere to go throughout the summer holidays.

The Million Hours Fund is having a significant and wide-ranging impact. It provides activities and opportunities to young people to learn new skills including DJ and music workshops, sport, trips away from home and peer mentoring projects.

In Didcot South, the Didcot TRAIN Youth Project is using funding of over £6,600 to run a six week summer sports programme for 11 to 18-year-olds, consisting of gym and sports sessions. The activities aim to reduce the chances of young people becoming involved in antisocial behaviour and substance abuse during the summer holidays, with the most vulnerable targeted in particular.

In Liverpool, a grant of over £8,400 is allowing Kirkdale Boxing Club to deliver multiple activity sessions including fitness training and food education to vulnerable young people. The project aims to encourage those taking part to build friendships and develop skills, helping reduce the potential for vandalism and violence within the local area.

ST4ND Youth and Community Organisation in Stockport is using its funding of nearly £10,000 to provide 20 detached youth engagement sessions with young people aged 11-25, targeting young people in the spaces they already spend time in. Sessions include activities such as football and pool, and will give young people access to a hot meal.

Phil Chamberlain, England Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

The Million Hours Fund was set up to provide much needed additional youth services and activities, and it’s fantastic to see the positive impact this funding is already having on the lives of young people in England.

Improving the lives of children and young people is a key strategic area for us, and we’d like to thank National Lottery players for helping to make this possible.

Alex McSweeny, Youth Work Delivery Manager at Didcot TRAIN, said:

Thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund and DCMS, this funding has allowed us to support vulnerable 11-18-year-olds in the Didcot South area through a programme of weekly sports sessions. Many of our participants have low self-esteem and low aspirations, and our activities help young people to realise their potential and engage in positive activities throughout the school summer holidays.

The Million Hours Fund, announced in March as part of the Prime Minister’s Anti Social Behaviour Action Plan, will support an additional one million hours of positive activities from youth services. The main portion of the fund worth up to £19 million will open for applications in the coming weeks.

This funding comes alongside the Government’s National Youth Guarantee, which will ensure every young person aged between 11 and 18 in England has access to regular clubs and activities, adventures away from home, and volunteering opportunities by 2025.

Backed by an investment of more than £500 million, this includes the Youth Investment Fund, which will see young people benefit from the building and renovation of up to 300 youth centres in areas where need is high and existing youth provision is low over the next two years. More than £160 million has already been allocated since 2021, with construction or refurbishments underway.

Additional quotes

Nadine Travers, Co-Founder and Strategic Lead at ST4ND, said:

Thanks to this funding we’ve been able to provide a team of youth workers over the summer holidays to reach some of the most marginalised young people in Stockport. Most of our participants are missing from school or are at risk of entering the youth justice system, and this funding has helped to reduce safeguarding risks and improve future educational prospects.

Paul Davis, Chairperson at Kirkdale Boxing Club, said:

With this Million Hours funding, we have managed to make a compelling difference to our community in such a short space of time. Our young users have diversionary activities to empower them to make sustainable positive life choices. We at Kirkdale Boxing Club are sincerely grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund and DCMS.