Stronger Futures Programme 2023-25

Thursday 8th June 2023 by Michael Theodorou

Today, June 8th 2023, marks the launch of the Stronger Futures Programme

The programme, funded by the Violence Reduction Unit is delivered by Rocket Science with the Action for Race Equality (ARE).

Read on to find out more and how to apply.

Who is the Programme for?

Launched today (8 June 2023), The Stronger Futures Programme will enable community-led groups to support vulnerable 8-18 year old Londoners by providing them with opportunities and support in the hours following school, as well as at weekends.

£3.1m is available to fund up to 15-25 projects across London over the next two years.

Grants of between £80,000 and £200,000 will be awarded, with an anticipated average size of circa £140,000 to be fully spent by September 2025.  Organisations can apply for up to a third of their income per year (£120,000 income would equate up to £80,000 over two years).

To ensure that the Stronger Futures Programme has maximum impact, we will be adopting a “funder plus” model. This means that, alongside grant funding, we will provide capacity-building workshops and 3 days customised support to enhance delivery, organisational resilience and sustainability.

The grant will be disbursed in one round of funding:


  • Applications will close at 4pm on Wednesday 28 June 2023
  • Applications will only be accepted from organisations who can start delivery in August 2023
  • Decisions expected 1 August 2023.

The programme will prioritise equity-led organisations and projects should feature at least one of the following

  • provision for young women 
  • partnership approaches providing a blend of interventions for young people  
  • directly addressing the disproportionality in violence and/or crime by and against young people, such as:
    • Black and mixed ethnicity young men involved in or at risk of entering the criminal justice system 
    • Black background young people at risk from school exclusion /or feel disengaged and unsafe at school/ community  
    • Young people living in inadequate housing and areas characterised by poverty  
    • Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority people with poor mental health and experiencing poor outcomes from treatment  
  • using referral pathways including:
    • parents or carers, siblings, peers, teachers, Youth Offending Teams, social services and police  
    • Integrated community relationships including schools, pupil referral units, alternative provisions and colleges
  • Weekend provision between 6pm and 11pm. 


Applicants must be able to demonstrate how their project will work towards the following VRU impact goals:

  • violence is stabilised and reduced
  • children and young people feel safer
  • community focused, partnership approach to long-term, sustainable violence reduction solutions.

Who can apply?

This funding is designed specifically for groups and organisations in London which can demonstrate a track record of working with vulnerable young people who are either at risk or have been involved in violence. 

We will fund, support and evaluate community-led organisations which work to improve the educational outcomes, employability prospects, mental health and wellbeing of young people at risk or involved in violence. 

How to apply

  1. Ensure you have read the summary prospectus.  If you would like to read further information the full prospectus can be found here.
  2.  Complete the eligibility check and some straightforward questions about your organisation and project by clicking here.
  3. If you have any questions please contact Rocket Science at or on 0207 117 2534

A message from Lib Peck, Director of the Violence Reduction Unit

London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is committed to an approach to tackling violence that is rooted in prevention and early intervention. Our key focus in stopping violence from happening is investing and providing better access to positive opportunities for young people, families and communities.   

We take a Child First approach and an important part of that is centred on the importance of education because we know keeping children and young people in school makes them safer, gives them opportunities to thrive and improves their life chances. But opportunity extends beyond the classroom and so does some of the challenges facing young people. 

That’s why in 2021 we launched Stronger Futures, the VRU’s flagship after-school programme. More than 5,000 young people benefited from support, guidance and access to opportunities after school, at weekend and during the school holidays. We worked alongside our key partners on this programme in Rocket Science, Action for Race Equality and Renaisi to support 18 grassroots organisations deliver activities and support across 15 London Boroughs.  

We’ve learnt from its successes and we’ve listened to you about what more needs to be done to support grassroots organisations to deliver and to work in partnership for the benefit of young people and our diverse communities.  

I’m really proud that, with the Mayor of London’s support, we’re investing further in this programme because Stronger Futures has shown that London’s community-led organisations represent the very best of our city by helping to support our most vulnerable communities during the cost-of-living crisis.  

Stronger Futures is having an impact on the lives of our children and young people and with your continued support, it’s going to help thousands more over the next three years. We’ll be funding groups and organisations in London who can demonstrate a track record of working with vulnerable 8-18 year olds who are either at risk or have been involved in violence.  If that sounds like you, I’d encourage you to look through our prospectus and work with us because we believe violence is preventable, not inevitable.