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Charity announces ‘£22million lifeline’ to help support children and young people in Harrow

Grant-giving funder John Lyon’s Charity has ring-fenced £22 million from its endowment, to be spent over the next six years, to support the children and young people’s (CYP) sector in its Beneficial Area.

With the generous support of its Trustees, this funding will be in addition to the Charity’s regular grant giving of c£12 million every year.  John Lyon’s Charity has worked tirelessly throughout lockdown to support multiple organisations from crumbling due to the pandemic.

Charity announces ‘£22million lifeline’ to help support children and young people in Harrow Harrow Online
Credit: John Lyon’s Charity

As a result, it has created a strategic plan to protect the CYP sector in the long term, with the core focus on Home – School – Community; the three main points of reference in any child’s life.

Since 1991, John Lyon’s Charity has awarded over £156million in grants to a range of organisations that seek to promote the life-chances of children and young people through education.

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact upon children and young people and this has been further exacerbated by the funding cuts to the voluntary sector over the past decade.

CEO Dr Lynne Guyton says: “While we have been part of the collaborative emergency response coordinated by London Funders since last March, granting over £1m in immediate grants, we have taken time to reflect and believe we now need to act strategically and definitively for the sector for the long-term.

Charity announces ‘£22million lifeline’ to help support children and young people in Harrow Harrow Online
Credit: John Lyon’s Charity

“Our aim is to fund not just for the recovery but for the sustainability of the CYP sector.   Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have pledged to walk alongside our JLC Community and provide help and assistance in any way we can.

“We strongly believe that we need to take positive action now to safeguard our previous investment in the sector for future generations.  Now is the proverbial rainy day”.

Cathryn Pender, the Charity’s Grants Director adds, “The Charity has spent the last 30 years contributing to the maintenance and effectiveness of a varied and vibrant CYP sector in London.

“The impact of Covid-19 threatens to sweep away even the strongest of organisations; once they are gone, they will not come back“

The Charity’s Home – School – Community strategy is designed to boost support to the sector by funding the services that the Charity knows are crucial for a child’s life.

Most young people spend their time either at school, at home or in the community (such as at a youth club).  It is already part of the Charity’s ethos to work collaboratively across these three environments and support organisations, which work in these areas.

The additional £22million of funding is in place to tackle the impact of Covid-19 to ensure that organisations survive a post Covid world.

Each vertex of the funding triangle (Home-School-Community) is strategically designed to ensure a holistic approach to supporting children and young people.

Over the next 12 months John Lyon’s Charity will start the recovery process by beginning to invest the additional £22million into its Beneficial Area.

Using its 30 years of experience and expertise, the Charity will specifically look to support organisations by initiating collaborations, replicating successful initiatives and rehabilitating organisations, using this funding as a lifeline for many who are at risk of permanent closure.

One of the first areas the Charity will address is the dramatic fall in the offer of creative opportunities in schools by launching a new Cultural Capital Fund.

Even before Covid-19 and the closure of schools, there was already a worrying trend away from Arts subjects in schools to focus on the more ‘academic’ core subjects; there is a real risk that an appreciation and enjoyment of the Arts will become the preserve of those who can afford it.

Charity announces ‘£22million lifeline’ to help support children and young people in Harrow Harrow Online
Credit: John Lyon’s Charity

This innovative new Fund is designed to bring Arts organisations and schools together to ensure there is a varied and accessible offer available to all children, regardless of their background.

We will invite applications from both schools and Arts institutions in London for projects that utilise the skills of the most experienced and high-quality practitioners, many of whom have been unable to work during the pandemic.

As a result of this approach within Home – School – Community, doors will be opened for young people from all backgrounds to access and enjoy the Arts and the value it brings, as well as ensuring that the Arts sector is able to retain the highly skilled practitioners, upon whose talent and skills the educational outreach offer of these cultural institutions is based.

Voluntary organisations that deliver vital services for children, young people and their families are already stretched and are now having to think very differently about the problems caused by Covid-19 and lockdown scenarios.

As a relational, responsive and responsible funder, John Lyon’s Charity has the knowledge, the reputation and the tenacity to make a difference for children and young people for the long term in its Beneficial Area, and beyond.

The Charity predicts that this additional funding on top of the c£12million granted each year will help protect the many vulnerable children and young people it supports within its community.

John Lyon’s Charity urges other Funders across the UK to follow this strategic approach to ensure the survival of the CYP sector.

To find out more about John Lyon’s Charity and its many funding opportunities, please visit www.jlc.london.