Empowering Young People

We are here to help and want to talk to you about your ideas to support communities through these difficult times.

Our priority is to keep money flowing to support communities that are having to adapt to the increasing challenges of COVID-19 in Northern Ireland.

Contact us if you have an idea on 028 9055 1455 or at enquiries.ni@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk.

While we do this, we still want to fund projects who help young people:

  • get the skills they need for their future.
  • have better relationships with their support networks and communities.
  • have good health and well-being.

By COVID-19 challenges we mean:

  • organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19
  • organisations supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of measures to prevent the result of COVID-19
  • organisations with high potential to support communities with the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19.

If you have already submitted an application and are awaiting a decision from us, but you know that your highlighted activities will be impacted by COVID-19 please contact us.

Northern Ireland
Suitable for
Voluntary or community organisations
Funding size
£10001 to £500000
Application deadline



You can now tell us about your ideas online

Our new online form makes it easier for you to tell us about your funding proposals.

Start your proposal Continue your proposal

It's worth noting this isn't an application form, this is a way for you to tell us your idea. We can send you an application form after we've talked to you.

If you don’t want to use our new online form
Don't worry, you can still contact us by email, phone, or face-to-face, any time. The online form is just an extra way to get in touch.

If you have any communication needs
You can contact us if you have any communication support needs that make completing a form difficult or impossible for you. We’re happy to talk about alternative ways for you to tell us about your funding proposal.

Here’s what happens after you tell us about your funding proposal:

  • We'll email you to let you know we got your proposal.
  • Then we'll get in touch to talk about your proposal within 15 working days.
  • We’ll give you some feedback and let you know if we think you should fill out an application or not. If we ask you to apply, we'll send you an application form.
  • If we do ask you to fill in an application, you’ll normally get a final decision within four months.

Here’s what happens if we ask you to fill in an application:

  1. You'll fill in the application. You’ll fill it in and send it back to us.
  2. We'll let you know we got it. We’ll send you an email, or letter, to let you know we got your application. And to tell you the name of your funding officer.
  3. You'll get a funding officer. Your funding officer will get in touch to ask some questions about your project. They’ll also arrange a face to face assessment visit with you.
  4. You'll meet your funding officer. You'll l have the face to face assessment visit with your funding officer. They’ll want to know how your project fits with this funding programme, as well as the difference you’re looking to make, and how you’ll run the project.
  5. Your funding officer will write a report. After the visit, your funding officer will write up an assessment report. They might get in touch with you again to ask some questions before they write their report. The report will assess:
    • how you plan to run the project and how much it will cost
    • how well your project fits with what this funding programme is asking for
    • if your organisation has the skills, experience and resources it needs to run the project.
  6. We'll decide to fund you or not. Your funding officer will take your application to a decision meeting. As a group, we decide which projects get funding. This group will be made up of staff, or NI committee members and young people. There are always lots of good applications, and we only have a certain amount of funding to give away. So making final funding decisions can be tough. It’s a competitive process.
  7. Your funding officer will let you know. If we decide to give you funding, your funding officer will let you know. They'll talk about next steps too. If we decide not to fund your project, your funding officer will get in touch with feedback (in case you want to apply again in future).

Here’s what happens after we give you the funding

Once you’ve been awarded over £10,000 of funding from us, here’s what to expect. This page will also let you know about the things you need to do too.

Reduce your environmental footprint

The National Lottery Community Fund cares about our environment and are always striving to manage our environmental impact. We encourage and support projects and communities to do the same. Learn more about how you can make your project or event more environmentally sustainable and perhaps save money at the same time.

The projects we fund

The projects we fund

As part of our COVID-19 response we will particularly seek to support:

Organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19

Organisations supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of measures to prevent the result of COVID-19

Organisations with high potential to support communities with the direct and indirect impact of Covid-19

We will support organisations who fit these priorities with funding for activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis.

We fund projects that work with young people (between the ages of 8 and 25) to face and overcome challenges. The projects we fund for Empowering Young People can last from one to five years.

We’re looking for applications that involve your young people in the development, design, running and evaluation of the project. If you’re not sure how to do this read our blog ‘Can your community group empower young people?

A good application should help young people:

1. Get the skills they need for their future

This could be practical skills for jobs they’d like to do. Or life skills, like helping young people deal with difficult situations.

2. Have better relationships with their support network and communities

Support networks are just people. These people can be family and friends. Or different groups that help people like doctors, the police, charities, youth groups and teachers.

When we say community, we mean:

  • people living in the same area
  • people who have similar interests or life experiences, but might not live in the same area.

3. Have good health and wellbeing

When we talk about health, we usually mean physical health. And when we talk about wellbeing, we’re normally talking about how a person feels emotionally. So we look at how your project might help young people both physically and mentally.

Some extra tips for your application:

  • Tell us how you’ve involved young people, and the community, to come up with your project. Show us that you’ve really listened to what they said and understand why the project is needed.
  • Don’t only listen to young people. Listen to their support networks and communities too, and show us how their aspirations are reflected in your plans.
  • It can be good to involve parents and guardians at an early stage. If they understand how you can help, they’re more likely to encourage young people to get involved.
  • It’s important that young people are involved in running your project. Tell us how you’ll make sure their voices are heard and their advice acted on.
  • We want to back projects that suit all kinds of young people. Include a range of interests and experience, as well as different levels of confidence and ability.
  • Show us how your project is different from others that are already out there. Or how you plan to collaborate with others who are similar.
  • Be clear and direct in your application. Use facts and evidence, and focus on the problems you want your project to address.
  • If you have any questions – give us a call on 028 9055 1455.

We do checks on the information you give us

As an organisation that gives out public funds, we carry out some checks on the information you give to us. Learn more about our checks.

What you can spend the money on

What can you spend the money on?

This list doesn't include everything. So, if you're not sure, contact us.

We can fund:

  • staff salaries
  • training
  • volunteer expenses
  • equipment
  • premises costs
  • evaluation
  • overheads.

We can't fund:

  • any activities or items you spend money on before we give you a final decision about your application
  • activities outside of the UK
  • fundraising activities
  • second-hand vehicles.

For COVID-19 related ideas, we encourage you to think about any costs needed to help you and your community through the current crisis. As well as the costs to deliver your activity, this might include:

  • contribution to overheads, investment in your systems, people and infrastructure, dedicated capacity development.