Big Lottery Fund
Scheme to support young adult carers in further education gets six-figure National Lottery boost
A pioneering scheme which improves the quality of support for young adult carers in further education is set to expand to colleges across the UK, thanks to a six-figure grant from The National Lottery Community Fund.
Learning and Work Institute has been awarded nearly £350,000 over the next three years and will work alongside the Carers Federation to deliver the Driving Change project, which will provide high-quality support to young carers in over 60 colleges in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The announcement comes as part of Colleges Week (14 – 18 October), which sees further education institutions across the country showcase the brilliant work they do, as well as raise awareness of the challenges that colleges and their students face.
The grant was awarded following a successful pilot programme managed by Learning and Work Institute, in which young carers at six colleges benefitted from tailored, one-on-one support.
The Driving Change project will enable this support to be offered in dozens of colleges up and down the country. It will be based on a new Quality Standard in Carers Support framework, developed by Learning and Work Institute and the Carers Federation to help colleges review, improve and evaluate their provision for their students with caring responsibilities.
Nicola Aylward, head of learning for young people at Learning and Work Institute said:
“A caring role can have a significant impact on a young person’s experiences and life chances. On average, young adult carers achieve the equivalent of nine lower GCSE grades compared to their peers and they are much more likely to drop out of education.
“Providing colleges with the awareness and tools to support young adult carers studying with them is key to improving the experiences and life chances for those young people.
“We’re so pleased to receive this grant from The National Lottery Community Fund - it will help us make a difference to the lives of young adult carers in further education right across the UK.”
Joe Ferns, UK Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, added:
“Learning and Work Institute plays a vital role in helping young carers both manage their caring responsibilities and realise their educational ambitions, and this in turn will help them to thrive. That’s why we are delighted National Lottery funding is supporting the Driving Change project to expand across the UK following their successful trial.”
There are around 300,000 young adult carers in England. Despite providing invaluable care and support, these young people face significant disadvantage in learning and work. Evidence suggests that they achieve lower grades at GCSE, they are three times as likely to be NEET compared to their peers, and they are four times as likely to drop out of college and university. 
Each college that participated in the pilot programme reported an array of positive outcomes, including: increased retention and attainment of students with caring responsibilities; increased staff confidence in identifying and supporting young adult carers; improved data collection and monitoring of young adult carers at their college and improved job satisfaction for college staff. Many colleges were also able to build useful relationships and networks with local carers services, councils, and other colleges taking part in the project.
Young adult carers are young people aged 16-24 who provide unpaid care to someone, usually a family member, on a regular basis. It’s estimated that these young people provide £5.5bn of unpaid care per year. 
The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded over half a billion pounds (£511.1 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK and supported over 12,000projects to turn their great ideas into reality.
To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk
- A survey of young adult carers studying at college indicates a 29% drop out rate, which is almost 5 times the current UK average of 6.2% (Hidden from View: The experience of young carers in England; Sempik and Becker (2014).
- In total, these young people provide over £5.5bn of unpaid care per year and over one in ten young adult carers provide 50 or more hours of unpaid care per week (Census, 2011).
A survey of young adult carers studying at college indicates a 29% drop out rate, which is almost 5 times the current UK average of 6.2% (Hidden from View: The experience of young carers in England; Sempik and Becker (2014)).
In total, these young people provide over £5.5bn of unpaid care per year and over one in ten young adult carers provide 50 or more hours of unpaid care per week (Census, 2011).
Notes to Editors
About Learning and Work Institute
We are an independent policy, research and development organisation dedicated to lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion. We research what works, influence policy, develop new ways of thinking and help implement new approaches.
We want everyone to have an opportunity to realise their ambitions and potential in learning, work and throughout life. We believe a better skilled workforce, in better paid jobs, is good for business, good for the economy, and good for society.
About The National Lottery Community Fund
We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.
Latest News from
Big Lottery Fund
Our funding during COVID-1906/04/2020 09:20:00
Firstly, please be reassured that we will continue to honour our current commitments and will continue to be flexible with existing grants. However, COVID-19 will be our priority.
Community groups in Wales awarded more than a million pounds, as National Lottery continues to support communities02/04/2020 16:10:00
95 communities across Wales are receiving a share of £1,242,453 from The National Lottery Community Fund.
Coastal Communities Fund on hold02/04/2020 09:38:00
Responding to the current situation with coronavirus, COVID-19, The National Lottery Community Fund and The Welsh Government have agreed to pause Round 6 of The Welsh Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.
Statement from Dawn Austwick, CEO, The National Lottery Community Fund: Our funding approach in response to COVID-1930/03/2020 11:10:00
At this extraordinarily difficult time, we are all being challenged and moved in ways that seemed unimaginable just weeks ago.
Community projects awarded over half a million, as National Lottery funding continues25/03/2020 09:43:00
The National Lottery Community Fund has today announced funding of £594,379 to 71 community projects from across Northern Ireland.
£1.5m National Lottery boost for Scottish groups19/03/2020 16:20:00
Over 220 arts, sports and community groups across Scotland, are sharing in a National Lottery cash boost of £1,570,035 announced today (THURSDAY 19 MARCH).
Coastal Town Centres and Communities given a boost by Welsh Government and the National Lottery Community Fund18/03/2020 17:11:00
The National Lottery Community Fund has announced the opening of Round Six of The Welsh Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. The £3.7 million programme opens on 1 April 2020 and aims to support the economic development of coastal areas by promoting the growth and sustainability of jobs and towns.
Updated statement from Dawn Austwick, CEO, The National Lottery Community Fund: COVID-1918/03/2020 11:33:00
The Big Lottery Fund know that many charities and community organisations across the UK are facing increasing challenges as a result of COVID-19 and we want to support those we fund as far as is possible at this difficult time.
Community Action Response launched in the face of the emerging Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis13/03/2020 15:10:00
In the wake of the £30 billion emergency fund announced in the Budget yesterday and anticipated switch to the delay phase of the Government four-part plan, leaders from different sectors have today joined forces to launch the Community Action Response to encourage everyone to do what they can to support their communities and particularly vulnerable and isolated people during Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.