Frequently Asked Questions for the Youth Empowerment Fund

What is the Youth Empowerment Fund?

The Youth Empowerment Fund is an innovative fund that helps young people aged 9-25 years from low-income families achieve their ambitions by removing where ever possible, small financial barriers which may be impeding young people’s success.

How many times can I apply?

You are only eligible for one award within your age category, although further applications can be applied for as a young person moves into the next age band. These age bands are: 9 – 12 years, 13 – 15 years and 16 – 25 years.

Can I apply for the fund if I am a looked after child who does not live in Newham?

Yes. You will be asked to provide the relevant documentation at the time of application.

Can I apply for the fund if I am a young carer?

Yes. You will be asked to provide the relevant documentation at the time of application.

Can I apply for the fund if I have no recourse to public funds (NRPF)?

Yes. We will need evidence of this at the time of application.

Can I reapply for funding if my application is not successful in the initial round?

Yes, applicants who are not successful in the initial round may be eligible to reapply as many times as they wish. However, it is essential to carefully review the feedback provided by the fund's review Board and make necessary improvements to increase the chances of success in subsequent applications.

Can I contact the Youth Empowerment Fund for guidance during the application process?

Yes, applicants are encouraged to seek guidance or clarifications during the application process. The fund may provide support via email. It is essential to thoroughly understand the application requirements and seek assistance if needed.

How long will I have to wait for a response to my application?

The response time for your application depends on the requested funding amount. For applications up to £100, reviews are conducted monthly. For requests ranging from £101 to £1000, reviews are scheduled in March, May, September, and November. Meanwhile, applications falling within the £1001 to £2500 range are reviewed in January and July. However, in all cases you should receive a response from us regarding the outcome of your application within 6-8 weeks after the month your application will be assessed in.

What can I apply for?

You can apply for a diverse range of opportunities through the fund, including computer software, travel assistance, club memberships to enhance your skills, essential equipment purchases, participation in educational events, musical instruments, and trips or visits that foster learning, personal growth, and positive connections. This list is not exhaustive, and the fund remains open to supporting other worthy initiatives that align with its objectives. Feel free to explore and apply for funding for activities that empower and inspire you to achieve your ambitions.

What can't I apply for through the Youth Empowerment Fund?

The Youth Empowerment Fund has specific limitations on the types of funding requests it does not support. The following items or expenses are not eligible for funding:

  1. School Uniforms: The fund does not provide financial assistance for purchasing school uniforms.
  2. Food: Funding requests for food expenses are not eligible for support through the Youth Empowerment Fund.
  3. Wi-Fi: The fund does not provide funding for Wi-Fi or internet-related expenses.
  4. Home Furniture: Requests for funding to purchase home furniture or household items are not supported.
  5. Driving Lessons: The Youth Empowerment Fund does not finance driving lessons or related costs.
  6. Petrol: Expenses related to purchasing petrol or fuel for vehicles are not eligible for funding.
  7. Utility Bills: Funding applications for utility bills, such as electricity, water, or gas, will not be considered.
  8. Other Non-Eligible Expenses: Please note that the above list is not exhaustive. The fund may have additional restrictions on certain expenses or items not mentioned here.

Do I need to pay the money back to the Youth Empowerment Fund?

No, you do not need to repay the funds received from the Youth Empowerment Fund. The program operates as a grant-funded initiative, meaning the support provided is in the form of a grant, not a loan. Recipients are not required to repay the funds.

Do I have a guaranteed chance of receiving funding if I apply for the Youth Empowerment Fund?

No, the Youth Empowerment Fund operates as a grant program, and funding is not guaranteed. All applications undergo a thorough review process to ensure responsible distribution of funds. The final decision lies with the deciding Board, who exercise their discretion to allocate funds based on various criteria.

How can I increase my chances of receiving funding from the Youth Empowerment Fund?

To improve your chances of receiving funding, ensure that close attention is given to the application guidelines, submit all required documents, and the young person must provide a compelling case of an ambition or passion that clearly demonstrates a clear plan for positively impacting on their future.

Can I use a payslip or p60 as proof of income?

No, payslips and P60 forms are not accepted as proof of income for our application process. To qualify for the fund, the following forms of household income (including Benefits) under £25,000 are accepted:

  • Universal Credit
  • Households in receipt of the 90% Council Tax Reduction (CTR)
  • Housing benefit

How will I be notified about the outcome of my grant application?

Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their grant application via the contact information provided in their application. The Youth Empowerment Fund Team may use email, or phone to inform applicants about the decision. This will be 6-8 weeks after the review month.

What factors are considered by the deciding board when reviewing grant applications?

The deciding Board takes into account various factors during the review process, including the young person’s ambition statement and the potential impact on the young person’s personal growth.

What is the ambition statement that is mentioned on the application form?

The ambition statement is a short statement written by the young person that explains why they need the funding and how it will help them achieve their goals.

In simpler terms, it tells us:

  • Your dream (ambition or goal): What do you want to achieve?
  • Why you need the funding: How will the funding support your dream?

Here's a tip: Write the ambition statement in a separate document beforehand, then upload it at the designated spot in the application form.

How long must the ambition statement be?

We recommend at least 200 words to give yourself space to share your goals. But feel free to write as much as you feel comfortable with! The more you share, the better we can understand your aspirations.

How do I write an ambition statement?

A strong ambition statement tells us about your goals and dreams, and how you plan to achieve them. Here are some steps to guide you through the process:

  • What is your ambition?
  • How long have you had your ambition?
  • Have you already taken steps towards your ambition?
  • How would a grant from the Youth Empowerment Fund support your ambition?

The most important thing is to make sure you are putting a lot of passion and provide evidence of your dedication to your ambition.

By providing a well-written ambition statement, you can demonstrate your passion, motivation, and clear plan for the future!

Will my ambition statement impact the outcome of my application?

Your ambition statement plays a vital role in shaping our understanding of your aspirations and potential. While it is not the sole factor in the application evaluation, it helps us tailor our support to align with your goals and assess how our program can best benefit you.

Can I update my stated ambition after submitting the application?

Once you have submitted your application, updates to the stated ambition may not be possible. We recommend carefully considering and articulating your ambition before submitting the application form.

Will I need a supporting statement?

For funding requests up to £1000, supporting statements are not required. However, if your funding request falls within the range of £1001 to £2500, a supporting statement will be necessary. The statement provides additional evidence and validation for larger funding amounts, ensuring transparency and credibility in the evaluation process.

Why do I need a supporting statement for my application?

A supporting statement provides additional evidence to support your ambition and the goals you wish to achieve. It allows the Youth Empowerment Fund to gain insights from a relevant professional who can vouch for your aspirations and provide further evidence of your potential.

Who should provide the supporting statement?

The supporting statement should be provided by a relevant professional who has knowledge of your ambition and can assess your abilities, skills, or potential in the area you wish to pursue. e.g. Teacher, Youth Worker, University, Work Placement etc. Example: If you are requesting funds for maths tuition, therefore, we would expect a supporting statement from your Maths Teacher.

How will the supporting statement be used in the evaluation of my application?

The supporting statement will be used to assess the authenticity and viability of your ambition. It adds credibility to your application and helps the fund's administration understand the level of support you have from a qualified professional.

What information is needed to apply for funding for tuition fees?

  • Proof of costs (statement, quote, or invoice) on company letterhead with contact information and VAT number (if applicable).
  • Breakdown of pricing details for each session, including the total amount.

For Example:

If you need funding for Maths tuition at £10 per month for 12 months, your invoice or statement should show:

  • Maths Tuition: £10 monthly
  • Total Cost: £120 (calculated as £10/month x 12 months)

Note: This is just an example. Be sure the invoice or statement you provide clearly shows the cost of each session and the total amount you need funding for.Top of Form

Can more than one young person from a household apply for the fund?

Yes, multiple young individuals from the same household are eligible to apply for the fund.

If my application is successful, how will I receive the funding?

Once your application is approved, you will receive a grant notification email, and all payments will be made through a prepaid card system.

What is a prepaid card?

A prepaid card is like a debit card that you load money onto before you can use it. Unlike a regular debit card, a prepaid card is not linked to a bank account. This means that you can only spend the money that you have loaded onto the card. They are accepted at many stores and online retailers just like a debit card.

How can I use the pre-paid card?

You can use the prepaid card to conveniently make purchases both in physical stores and online retailers. The pre-paid card enables you to shop for items and services conveniently, providing flexibility in how you utilise the funds for your approved expenses.

Can someone collect the pre-paid card on my behalf if I am unable to do so?

Yes. If you are unable to collect your pre-paid card, you may nominate someone to do this on your behalf 24 hours before the collection period. The applicant must provide the details of the nominated person and the nominated person must provide identification at the time of collection.

Why do I need to provide a receipt for the items I purchase with my prepaid card?

The Youth Empowerment Fund requires recipients to provide receipts for the items purchased with their prepaid card to ensure transparency and accountability in fund utilisation. This practice is essential as it helps verify that the funds are being appropriately used for the intended purpose stated in the application.

Why doesn’t my pre-paid card work?

There are a couple of reasons why your prepaid card may not be working. Here are the most common reasons:

  • Insufficient funds: Unlike credit cards, prepaid cards only allow you to spend the money that's loaded on them. Check your balance on the card issuers contact number to make sure you have enough for the purchase.
  • Mismatched information: Make sure the contact number that you are using to verify your purchase matches the same contact number you have provided in your initial application. Any discrepancies can lead to a decline. Also ensure the billing address you provide while making a purchase is registered to Newham Dockside. Any discrepancies can lead to a decline.

If you've checked these common reasons and your card still isn't working, please contact for further assistance.

If my prepaid car is lost or stolen, what should I do?

We understand that losing your prepaid card can be stressful. Here's what to do:

Report it immediately: The Youth Empowerment Fund is not responsible for the unauthorised use of lost or stolen cards. However, to protect your remaining balance, contact us as soon as possible at

By reporting a lost or stolen card quickly, we can deactivate it and prevent further use.

Once your card is deactivated, we can discuss options for obtaining a replacement card.

Remember: The sooner you report a lost or stolen card; the sooner we can help protect your funds.

What happens if I fail to provide receipts for my purchases?

Failure to provide receipts for your purchases may result in future applications being declined until the required documentation is provided. Receipts serve as evidence of appropriate fund utilisation, and their submission is a vital aspect of maintaining eligibility for future funding opportunities.

Why might my application be declined?

The most common reason for rejecting applications is due to applicants not meeting the full eligibility criteria, or a lack of information or detail to support the ambition of the young person and therefore we are unable to assess the benefit that the Fund has upon the young person.

Why might my application be delayed?

Your application might experience delays primarily due to inadequate information or insufficient detail provided to support the young person's ambition. It is crucial to ensure that all necessary information and supporting documents are included to effectively assess the potential impact of the Fund on the individual. By providing comprehensive and relevant information, you can help expedite the application process and increase the chances of a successful outcome.