In October 2020, the Hymans Robertson Foundation announced funding for the launch of its Bursary. Previously, Foundation grant funding was directed towards supporting employability and financial education programmes delivered by our charity partners. However, through working with our partners, we recognised the need to provide direct financial support to young people. Together, the Foundation and its partners co-designed criteria which would support financially vulnerable young people between 16 to 25 years old.
Now in its third year, Bursary funding is managed by 10 UK charity partners that distribute funds to young people facing financial barriers. The intention of the Bursary is to support young people to move into or maintain a positive destination and provide financial help towards costs including energy/care/food/clothing/IT and data kit and travel. Maximum grants of up to £300 are available, although the average grant is typically much lower, which indicates that relatively small amounts of funding can make a big difference to young people. Our partner MyBnk acts as a referral partner, further supporting young people to improve their own financial education through online and in-person programmes.
In the first six months of 2022, the Bursary supported nearly 180 young people across the UK. Some of these young people used funding to buy workwear and clothing for interviews. Young people were also supported to achieve necessary qualifications (food hygiene, first aid, construction) which could strengthen their applications with employers.
“X was a participant (in a Barnardo’s employability programme) and had a keen interest in construction. He was awarded £200 from the Bursary to attend CSCS training and to then sit a test. He worked hard and passed on the first attempt. As a result of this and his Barnardo’s programme, he was offered a position as an Apprentice with an employer”.
Working with young people, our charity partners support and review Bursary funding applications. For example, the increasing costs of energy and food have been well reported and our charity partners advocated for further Bursary funding. Responding to this need, in October 2022, the Foundation Board approved a further £30k of funding (bringing the Bursary grant to over £90k this financial year). We have directed the additional funding to mitigate ‘hardship’, particularly helping young people with care and energy costs.
Foundation CEO Marcella Boyle said, “The Foundation recognises the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, with more vulnerable young people being disproportionately impacted. The Hardship Bursary provides charity partners access to further Bursary funding to support eligible young people.”