The National Youth Agency working with BWB Impact and Sheffield City Council has received a financial boost to develop a creative new solution to funding neighbourhood youth work.
NYA has been awarded in excess of £90,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Commissioning Better Outcomes development fund to help launch a Social Impact Bond (SIB) designed to provide neighbourhood outreach youth work for 11-14 year olds.
The project will pilot the SIB in Sheffield, aiming to support young people to fulfil their potential and avoid behaviour that puts them at risk. Interest in this form of innovative funding has come from a number of other local authorities, including Manchester City Council.
Jon Boagey of the National Youth Agency said, “At a time of huge pressure on local authority budgets and young people’s services, youth work is needed more than ever. We’re determined to find new ways to fund youth work at a neighbourhood level. Our social impact bond aims to bring much needed long-term investment into youth work. We want to create stable funding for delivery organisations, help public service to reduce costs and provide a return for social investors.”
A Social Impact Bond is a contract with the public sector in which a commitment is made to fund improved social outcomes, such as improved youth employment or reduced offending. If the planned social outcome is realised, the commissioner repays the investors plus a return for the financial risks they took.
Jim Clifford OBE of BWB said, “This is a really exciting project that has potential to offer a genuinely innovative youth work service, on terms that make it attractive for local commissioners. It comes at a time when we see provision for vulnerable young people coming under threat across the country, and I believe that this has potential far beyond Sheffield. We are delighted to support NYA in developing this service.”