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Voluntary Organisations

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding programmes are operated by his Department to support voluntary organisations working with young people; and what the level of support has been over the last three years. [116495]

[holding answer 3 June 2003]: The Department funds 90 National Voluntary Youth Organisations (NVYOs) through the National Voluntary Youth Organisations Grant scheme. The grant scheme is a three year cycle of funding with a current budget of £18 million for April 2002-March 2005 a 50 per cent. increase in the previous three year cycle which was £12 million. The scheme is based on two ministerial objectives, tackling social exclusion through addressing priority groups and raising standards and quality of youth work.The Department has also allocated £1 million from the Transforming Youth Work Development Fund to the NVYOs within the grant scheme for 2003–04. This allocation is specifically aimed to support the following activities:

Effective engagement with Connexions Service National Unit and local Connexions Partnerships
Development of young people as Active Citizens, and
Promotion of Community Cohesion.

The previous and first year (2002–03) of the Transforming Youth Work Development Fund the NVYOs were allocated £2 million.

The NVYO grant scheme is the only source of direct Government support for the voluntary youth sector; however the Department does fund the Millennium Volunteers (MV) programme. The programme has been designed to encourage 16–24 year olds to make a sustained commitment to volunteering that benefits others and their communities. Currently there are around 140 projects across England and the majority of these are existing voluntary and community organisations, offering a wide range of volunteering opportunities to young people. This year's budget is forecasted for £17.653 million while previous years' budgets have been £18.745 million for 2001–02 and £13.593 million for 2000–01.

In addition to the Department's direct funding to the voluntary sector it does provide funds through the following:

Education Standard Spending (ESS) Fund. For 2002–03 ESS allocated the LEA other block a potential resource of £397 million. £316 million of this total was allocated to the statutory youth services. It is estimated that around 16 per cent. (£50 million) of this allocation was spent on the voluntary sector.

The Community Champions Fund (CCF) which has been set up by the Department to help support and develop the work of local people who are involved in, or who want to be involved in changing their communities for the better. In 2003, £289,000 of the £3 million is being used specifically to support the development of the fund with just over £2.7 million being devolved to the nine Government Offices, who administer the fund on DfES behalf. The fund will receive £2 million per year from April 2004 March 2006. The Fund is currently in its third year and has helped to turn visions into reality for well over 3,500 individuals and community champions in 2003/04.

And the Neighbourhood Support Fund (NSF) which supports local Voluntary and Community Organisations to provide innovative projects for the hardest to reach 13–19 year olds. NSF is delivered via three managing agents:

The Community Development Foundation—a Home Office non-departmental public body and received the bulk of the funds to oversee around 500 projects.
National Youth Agency (NYA)—Supports approximately 100 projects
The Learning Alliance—delivers some 36 projects across England

£60 million has been allocated to the fund over three years until September 2003. The Minister recently announced that NSF will receive funding of £l0 million a year from 2003–04 to 2005–06.

NSF has supported just over 44,000 participants since it started up with 61 per cent. of leavers achieving positive outcomes.