Million Hours

This fund is now closed to applications

The Million Hours Fund closed to applications on 24 November 2023.

This funding is for organisations to give extra support to young people in areas where they may be at risk of anti-social behaviour. We’re funding extra hours of youth work for additional activities that give these young people more places to go and positive things to do.

This programme is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund.

We are funding work with young people aged:

  • 11 to 18
  • up to 25 if they have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

We’re only funding projects that take place in, or benefit young people living in, one of these eligible areas in England (OpenDocument Spreadsheet, 9.5 MB).

If you have any questions about the Million Hours Fund

Contact us

Funding size
£30,000 to £100,000
Application deadline

Closed on 24 November 2023

If you applied

If you applied

Because of the very high demand for this funding:

  • it may take longer than 12 weeks to get a decision from us
  • we cannot give you feedback if you are unsuccessful (apart from what we include in the email where we tell you our decision).

You should not increase how much your organisation is spending until we’ve offered you funding

As we may not be able to fund everyone who applies.

You must tell us if you have match funding withdrawn, or if you receive funding for the same project costs as you’re applying for

We may contact you for more information about anything we asked about in the application

We asked how many young people will take part in your work

We asked the age groups of the young people that will take part in your work

We can fund work with young people aged 11 to 18, or up to 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

We asked the total hours of youth work you will deliver

With this funding, if you get it.

We asked for your proposed budget using our template

We need to see a budget that tells us how much money you are asking for and gives us a breakdown of what costs this will cover using our budget table template (Excel spreadsheet, 25 KB).

We asked you to upload your organisation’s most recent accounts

We also asked for the date your accounts wrap up each year and how much income you have.

If you did not have annual accounts because you’re a new organisation (less than 15 months old), we asked you for a projection of your income and spending over the next 12 months.

We asked for the contact details, home addresses and dates of birth of two different people from your organisation. We needed a different email address for each person.

One person should be someone we can talk to if we have questions about your project. The other should be a senior member of your organisation, who'll be legally responsible for the funding. Both need to live in the UK.

These two people cannot be related. Related can mean:

  • related by marriage
  • in a civil partnership with each other
  • in a long-term relationship with each other
  • related through a long-term partner
  • living together at the same address
  • related by blood.

We asked for the legal name of your organisation, its address, and what type of organisation it is

We asked you to check these details before applying. We also asked you to check any registration numbers you may have – like a charity number or company number. It will slow down your application if these details are incorrect.

We asked you about what you’d like funding for and why

This includes:

  • what extra youth work you are planning to deliver and how this will benefit young people aged 11 to 18 years or up to 25 for young people with SEND
  • how you effectively engage with young people at risk of antisocial behaviour
  • the number of extra hours of youth work you’ll provide and how many young people you think will attend
  • how your project will achieve positive outcomes for young people
  • how your project will fit in with other activities in the local area
  • how you involve young people in shaping your project – we call this ‘youth voice’
  • how your service is open to young people without any barriers to attendance and run by trusted adults, such as qualified youth workers, youth support workers or experienced volunteers
  • why your organisation is the right one to deliver this work.

We asked for your current safeguarding policy

You need to have a safeguarding policy for working with children, young people or vulnerable adults. This must be proportionate and relevant to your organisation’s activities and have been agreed by your trustees or other governing body. This policy must be reviewed regularly and staff and trustees must be trained on its contents.

We’ll ask to see this policy as part of the application process. The NSPCC have lots of advice about setting and following good safeguarding policies. You can also find safeguarding resources on the NCVO website.

If your application is successful, you’ll have to agree that you have a policy in place which explains how young people will be kept safe. For the lifetime of the project, you’ll need to follow our expectations on safeguarding children and adults at risk. If there is a safeguarding incident, we have the right to inform DCMS of the incident - but we will not share any personal data with them.

We also asked you to read and agree to our terms and conditions

You can read the terms and conditions.

To find out how we use the personal data you give us you can read our Data Protection Statement.

Because we are a public body, we need to make sure that our funding to you complies with Subsidy Control rules. There is nothing you need to do, and we’ll only contact you if we need more information.

If you get funding

If you are funded you must spend it by 31 March 2026.

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 happens to your data

Check our privacy notice to find out what personal data we will collect and how and why we’ll use this data as part of the Million Hours Fund.

Who could apply

Who could apply

You could apply if you were an eligible organisation within England working in, or working with young people from, one of the eligible local areas.

You could apply if your organisation was a:

  • voluntary and community organisation
  • registered, exempt or excepted charity
  • charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
  • not-for-profit company limited by guarantee – either a registered charity or with a not-for-profit 'asset lock' clause in the articles of association
  • community interest company (CIC)
  • school
  • statutory body (including local authorities, town, parish or community council)
  • group of organisations, as long as they were all eligible organisations and led by one eligible organisation acting as the lead

If you were a registered charity that is not incorporated

You could still apply. In the application form you should have selected charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) as your organisation type, and told us this in the longer text-based questions.

The senior contact for your application must be a trustee of your organisation.

Organisations need at least 2 board or committee members who are not related

Related can mean:

  • related by marriage
  • in a civil partnership with each other
  • in a long-term relationship with each other
  • related through a long-term partner
  • living together at the same address
  • related by blood.

All companies we fund must have at least two directors who are not related in any of these ways. This also applies to companies that are registered as charities.

We’re funding organisations already working in the local area

We want to support communities to help children and young people thrive. To do this we’ll fund organisations with strong local connections and existing networks which mean they have a clear understanding of what young people need and want.

This includes projects taking place in a dedicated youth centre or space. And activities that happen in places that young people already spend time in, such as cafes, parks, or other community facilities. This is sometimes called ‘detached youth work’.

Who could not apply

We did not accept applications from:

  • individuals
  • sole traders
  • organisations based outside England
  • organisations only delivering youth work outside one of the eligible areas and with no young people from eligible areas attending
  • one organisation applying on behalf of another
  • organisations that look to make profits and share these profits out privately. This includes organisations without the right asset locks. Or organisations that can pay profits to directors or shareholders.
The activities we're funding

The activities we’re funding

We are funding extra hours of youth work that will help young people to have:

  • improved emotional wellbeing
  • improved life and practical skills
  • access to trusted relationships with adults and feel safer.

By 'youth work' we mean an activity that improves young people's well-being through education or leisure, supported by a voluntary relationship with a trusted adult. This can include detached youth work.

These extra hours could be used for learning, arts, playing sports, or developing life skills.

We are only funding projects that:

  • benefit young people aged 11 to 18, or up to 25 for young people with SEND
  • take place in or benefit young people living in eligible areas
  • effectively engage with young people at risk of anti-social behaviour
  • deliver extra youth work hours (not existing provision)
  • take place outside of school hours and are available on a regular basis
  • deliver youth work that is open access
  • demonstrate youth voice within the activities
  • are run by trusted adults, such as qualified youth workers, youth support workers or experienced volunteers.

We’re only funding projects in eligible areas

The work we’re funding must take place in, or benefit young people living in one or more of these eligible local areas (OpenDocument Spreadsheet, 9.5 MB). In this link, the first tab shows the eligible local wards, and the second tab shows postcodes within those eligible local wards.

The eligible areas are based on youth population and Police information on numbers of incidents of antisocial behaviour.

We want to make sure that this funding reaches a wide range of communities in the eligible areas across England. So we consider this in our decision making as well as the strength of individual applications

If the young people are coming from an eligible area to an ineligible area

We can fund projects where young people come from an eligible area to a project in an ineligible area.

The activities must benefit young people

The activities we fund will benefit young people aged 11 to 18 and up to 25 for young people with SEND.

Youth services we’re funding must effectively engage with young people at risk of anti-social behaviour

We’re funding projects that help create better outcomes for young people who may be at a higher risk of anti-social behaviour. We asked organisations that applied to tell us about the issues with anti-social behaviour in their area and how their activities will support young people most at risk.

This funding is not for dealing with anti-social incidents

This funding is to provide positive activities and support for young people at risk of anti-social behaviour. We've prioritised projects that show a strong focus on engaging with young people at risk of this.

We’re funding youth services that are ‘open access’ and run by trusted adults

These might be qualified youth workers or youth support workers, or experienced volunteers.

By ‘open access’ we mean young people can attend without previously organising attendance, and leave when they choose.

And there are no other barriers to participation such as the need to:

  • pay high entry fees
  • commit to longer-term attendance,
  • have an existing level of ability in a skill
  • follow a certain religion or set of beliefs.

We’re funding organisations that involve young people in their project

We’re funding projects that ensure that young people have a voice in the service. By this we mean:

  • young people having a say in what and how activities are run
  • how they’ll seek feedback from young people and use it to make things better
  • opportunities for young people to support their peers
  • young people’s participation at every level.

We’re funding organisations to deliver extra hours of youth work, not what they’re already doing

Such as running extra hours, extra services or additional days.

The numbers we asked for and how to work them out

We asked for the:

  • extra hours you’re going to run
  • number of young people you think will attend.

Working out extra hours

When working out the extra hours of youth work, we asked you to give us the total number of extra hours. For example, if your service will be running for 63 weeks and you want to add an extra 3 hours per week, this would be:

63 x 3 = 189

189 extra hours.

We also asked you how regularly you’ll be running these extra hours, such as weekly or fortnightly

These hours are just the hours when young people are attending or are engaged and should not have included any staff time for preparation.

Working out numbers of young people

These are the number of young people you think will attend per hour of extra youth work (this could be regular attendees or one-off attendees).

Young people most at risk of anti-social behaviour

We want to ensure as many young people benefit from this funding as possible. So, we’ll prioritise funding that benefits as many young people at risk of antisocial behaviour as possible.

If you're providing positive activities that reach young people most at risk of anti-social behaviour, your numbers may be lower than standard open access youth work. We'll factor this into our assessment.

If you’re funded we’ll ask you to report back to us regularly and take part in an evaluation

You could include costs for monitoring and reporting in your budget.

If we offer you funding we’ll ask you to report back to us by 31 March 2024, and then every 6 months or more frequently if needed, until your funding ends. We’ll give you more details on what is required if you’re funded.

We’ll ask you to give updates on the number of:

  • hours of youth work you’ve delivered
  • young people who attended the youth work (including how many are new to your service).

With DCMS, we’ll also appoint an independent contractor to evaluate this funding. If you get funding we’ll expect your organisation to take part in the evaluation. It will include things like:

  • surveys
  • interviews
  • focus groups.

These may be with staff and volunteers from your organisation and young people if they are willing to take part.

What the money could be spent on

We could fund:

  • staff salaries for delivery of projects
  • volunteer costs for delivery of projects
  • training costs
  • service delivery. For example, any direct costs associated with delivering the youth work provision such as materials, equipment, food.
  • a share of an organisation's overheads. For example, any fixed costs to support the day to day running of organisations, such as overall management, administration and support staff costs, venue hire, rent and utilities.

We expect most of the costs to be staffing costs, including reporting back to the Fund and the Evaluators, with some minimal costs for equipment or food and some overhead costs.

We can fund some political activity and campaigning

But only if:

  • the activity is not party political. This means that it must be about policy, practice, or legislation rather than opposing or supporting a political party.
  • the activity is meant to help the cause of the organisation and benefit the public or society.

We are not funding projects where political activities are the main purpose. But we could fund projects that are mainly about campaigning.

Overhead costs - how to work them out

Organisation overheads are costs shared among the organisation’s different projects and activities. We will fund the share of organisations' overheads for the critical services we’re funding. We call this full cost recovery. We ask organisations we fund to allocate the share on a fair and proportionate basis. Read about how to work out overheads in our guide to full cost recovery.

We could not fund:

  • projects not delivering in, or benefitting young people who live in, an eligible local area
  • retrospective costs
  • land, larger building works or maintenance, or any refurbishment work
  • purchase of large assets including vehicles and any depreciation or amortisation related to purchases
  • activities that make profits for private gain
  • campaigning, political or lobbying activities (we’re only funding the delivery of direct services)
  • religious activities (we can fund religious organisations if their project benefits the wider community and does not include religious content)
  • loan repayments or interest payments
  • fundraising for other additional activities
  • VAT reclaimable from HMRC
  • services that the funded organisation has a statutory duty to provide
  • contributions in kind
  • partnership set up costs
  • entertaining
  • statutory fines or penalties.