Mind Our Future

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We are no longer accepting new expressions of interest for Mind Our Future

Mind Our Future is a £10 million grant programme to put young people in the lead so that they can imagine and create a more resilient and mentally healthy future for young people in Wales.

Its focus and aims have been co-designed with the Young People in the Lead Team, a team of young people from across Wales.

Watch our Young People in the Lead video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TytqsQRVWJE.

Programme aims

The aims of the programme are to empower young people to:

  • create and implement a vision for a more resilient and mentally healthy future for young people in their community
  • design and develop new solution-focussed approaches to young people’s mental health and resilience, with a focus on:
    • addressing mental health inequalities that were highlighted and made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic
    • designing new ways to prevent mental health problems from developing or getting worse, and ensure young people get the right support at the right time, wherever they turn for help
    • strengthening young people’s long-term access to resilience assets in their lives and communities
    • bringing lasting changes that increase the ability of systems and/or communities to build young people’s resilience and tackle the root causes of mental health problems and adversity.

Who’ll benefit from the funding?

You have the flexibility to decide on your own approach to what types of groups of young people you’ll work with through this grant.

This might involve you working with:

  • a specific age range of young people
  • young people who are in a specific location
  • young people who share a specific characteristic – for example, sexual orientation, ethnic background or experience of the care system.
Suitable for
Third sector and public sector organisations working in partnerships
Funding size
No maximum grant amount
Total available
£10 million
Application deadline

29th November for partnerships that have been invited to apply. We are no longer accepting new expressions of interest.


How to apply

We are no longer accepting new expressions of interest for Mind Our Future

If you’ve been invited to apply

We’ll send you an online application form and full programme guidance that explains what you need to include in a full application. One organisation in the partnership will submit the full application on behalf of their partnership.

The closing date for applications is Monday, 29 November 2021.

We’ll make our final decisions in March 2022.

Our Young People in the Lead Team will be involved in deciding which proposals to fund.

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

Read our  terms and conditions.

If it's difficult or impossible for you to complete an application form

You can contact us if you have any communication support needs or any difficulties with completing the form. We’re happy to talk about alternative ways for you to tell us about your proposal.

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.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for the programme, you must be a partnership of at least two organisations.

One or more of these organisations must be a third sector organisation. This can mean one of the following:

  • voluntary or community organisation
  • registered charity
  • co-operative
  • constituted group or club
  • social enterprise or Community Interest Company
  • not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

One or more of these organisations must be a public sector organisation. Examples of public sector organisations include, but are not limited to:

  • local health boards
  • police forces
  • schools
  • town, parish or community councils
  • local authorities and departments of local authorities which can include:
    • education
    • youth services
    • youth justice services
    • social services.

If you’re not sure if one or more of your partner organisations are eligible, you can contact us to discuss this.

Your partnership must have the skills to empower young people and be able to influence changes to existing systems and services.

If you’re invited to apply, we’ll ask one organisation to complete the application on behalf of your partnership. You can decide which organisation in your partnership is best placed to do this. The applying organisation must:

  • not pay another organisation to complete the application on their behalf
  • have a management committee with at least three unrelated members aged 18 years or over (if the applying organisation is a third sector organisation).

By related, we mean:

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

The following cannot be included in your partnership:  

  • individuals  
  • sole traders  
  • companies that are aimed at generating profits primarily for private distribution  
  • organisations based outside the UK .



We use ‘resilience’ to refer to the ability to bounce back from difficult times. It’s something we all need to cope with and manage life’s ups and downs. It’s especially important for young people to manage the stresses and challenges that come with significant life changes, from changing schools or entering the world of work, to the physical and emotional changes associated with adolescence.

Mentally healthy future

What a mentally healthy future looks like will be different for different communities of young people.

Some examples of what this could mean are:

  • a future in which all young people in your community can thrive, whether they have a mental health problem or not
  • a future in which communities, organisations, services and systems are working as well as possible to support young people’s mental health
  • a future in which young people have access to everything they need to experience good mental health, cope with life and achieve their potential.

Mental health inequalities

We mean avoidable differences in mental health across the population and between different groups within society.

Some groups of young people are known to experience higher rates of mental health problems. Examples of this include (but are not limited to) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) young people, LGBT+ young people, and young people from low-income households.

We’ve also seen how some groups of young people have struggled more with their mental health because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Often, these groups of young people are known to have experienced higher rates of mental health problems before the pandemic. For example, there’s very strong evidence to suggest young people from low-income households have struggled more with their mental health because of the pandemic, compared with young people from higher-income households.

Resilience assets

The research on resilience has identified some key skills and resources that are known to help build people’s resilience. This means that people with access to these skills and resources are more likely to be able to bounce back from difficult times. We refer to these key skills and resources as resilience assets.


A place-based partnership will work with young people in a particular area or region of Wales. This could be as small as a neighbourhood or housing estate, or as large as a group of neighbouring local authorities.

Community of interest

By community of interest, we mean groups of people who have shared experiences or characteristics such as sexual orientation, ethnic background or experience of the care system.

Young people

In general, we mean people aged 11-25. However, you can choose to work with people who are younger than 11 or older than 25 in your project, if you have a good reason for doing so. We’ll ask you to tell us more about your approach to this as part of your application.

If you’re not sure if you can apply

Contact us. The team will be happy to help. You can also check what other funding programmes you might be able to apply to.

The projects we fund

What we’re hoping to fund

We expect to award a small number of grants (no more than ten) to partnerships that will bring together young people, third sector and public sector organisations and communities.

Most partnerships will be place-based, but we can also accept applications from Wales-wide partnerships that focus on specific communities of interest.

We expect third sector and public sector organisations to form strong partnerships that will reach and involve diverse groups of young people and empower them to define what the future should look like when it comes to young people’s mental health and resilience.

We think this will take some time and resources, so we’ll include a development phase within the grant. Each partnership will apply for one overall grant which will include a development phase and a delivery phase.

When they apply, we do not expect partnerships to have a clear idea of what changes and solutions they will put in place in the delivery phase - this will be co-designed with young people during the development phase.

Development phase

During the development phase, we expect your partnership to use the funding to:

  • engage with diverse groups of young people and put them in the lead of developing a vision of a more resilient, mentally healthy future
  • work with young people to develop ideas and activities that will lead to lasting change to the mental health and resilience of young people in your community
  • prepare for making changes that young people want to see to existing systems and services
  • develop the partnership by ensuring the right people and organisations are involved.

At the end of the development phase, we’ll expect the partnerships to tell us how they’ll use the rest of the grant to deliver the solutions and changes young people want to see.

We expect to fund strategic projects lasting at least three years that create innovative solutions. We can potentially fund projects lasting up to ten years.

Successful proposals

We’re expecting to receive a higher level of applications than we can fund. Successful proposals will clearly show the ability to successfully engage with a wide range of young people, showing energy and drive to take their ideas forward and influence change to systems and services.

Successful proposals will also clearly show:

  • the role, strengths and experience of each organisation
  • how the partnership will be managed
  • how they’ll involve stakeholders and complement other provision that is available

The Young People in the Lead Team will be involved in making decisions about which proposals are funded. Decisions will be made in March 2022.

Here are some things that they’ve told us they’re looking for from your proposal:

  • evidence that young people have been genuinely involved from the start and have been part of key decisions, including putting your proposal together
  • new ideas/ways of working
  • a wide range of methods and techniques to empower young people, rather than a ‘one-size fits all’ approach.
  • evidence that you’re actively looking for new partners and connections instead of working with the same organisations you always do
  • evidence that no groups of young people will be left out of your plans to reach, involve and empower young people
  • a genuine commitment to listen to young people and continuously adapt your plans as a result
  • your understanding of how to bring different groups of young people together, give them a sense of belonging and make them feel part of a community with each other.

Delivering your project in Welsh

If you receive funding from The National Lottery Community Fund for a project in Wales, you'll need to deliver it in Welsh as well as English. Read our guidance on managing your project bilingually.

What you can spend the money on

We’ll pay for some or all of the project costs during the development phase and delivery phase.

There’s no maximum grant amount. There is £10 million available in total for this programme, and we expect to fund a small number of grants.

We can fund things like:

  • staff costs
  • contributions towards overheads
  • transport
  • utilities/running costs
  • volunteer expenses
  • equipment
  • evaluation.

If you’re invited to apply, we’ll talk to you to agree what the funding will cover.

We cannot fund:

  • your day-to-day running costs, current or regular activities, general appeals, endowments or activities to raise funds for your organisation
  • activities that are statutory obligations or will replace statutory funding, including activities on the curriculum in schools
  • anything you start, spend the money on or agree to spend money on before we confirm our funding
  • religious or political activities, including lobbying
  • loans, endowments or interest
  • paying someone else to write your application
  • profit-making or fundraising activities
  • alcohol
  • feasibility studies
  • items that benefit individuals
  • travel outside the UK.

It’s unlikely for us to fund capital costs within the grants. Contact us if you think your proposal will include funding that will be used for capital costs like equipment - we cannot fund the costs of buying or refurbishing buildings.

UK's international obligations on subsidy control

As a result of Brexit and the end of the transition period, the United Kingdom (UK) has left the European Union (EU).

From 1 January 2021, the funding that the Fund distributes is now subject to the UK’s international subsidy control commitments. A subsidy can only be awarded where strict rules are followed.

When developing your application, it's important that you consider UK’s international subsidy commitments and how to make your project compliant. If you have concerns, you should seek legal advice.

You can find more information about the UK’s international subsidy UK’s international subsidy control commitment from 1 January 2021.