Young Catalyst Programme

Building on the success of the Catalyst programme, which has been running for adults since 2009, Young Catalyst was launched earlier this year, working alongside six local delivery partners to help young people look to their future and explore their potential. Each delivery partner will receive a devolved budget from the Young Catalyst fund to disburse in small grants to individuals. Most importantly, the Young Catalyst partners will work with Islington Giving to identify need and share learning in order to tackle local issues as effectively as possible.

Young Catalyst offers a rare and innovative form of funding. Individual young people living in poverty or who lack support from their families gain the means to do what most children and young people take for granted – access and engage in activities or opportunities that can help them develop and achieve. The scheme is delivered with partner organisations expert at working with young people. Young people can be considered for an award where they have an established relationship with one of these organisations. A staff member or volunteer there will know them well and can identify with them if there is something that could make a real difference to their well-being and pathway to the future.

1. Body and Soul, Rosebery Avenue
Providing access for young people affected by HIV and AIDS, Body and Soul see an alignment of Young Catalyst with their Foundations of Happiness Project funded through Islington Giving’s Mental Health Challenge Fund. Through this project Body and Soul have a particular aim to reach looked-after children and care leavers

2. City and Islington College (Business, Arts and Technology site)
City and Islington College extends its reach to very disadvantaged young people not already engaged with a youth provider. It is felt that all the Young Catalyst organisations can learn from this large organisation with a depth of experience of managing individual awards.

3. Company Three (formerly Islington Community Theatre)
Company Three take an active approach to learning, involving people in all aspects of making quality theatre. Many of the young people who take part in their activities are young people referred for reasons of vulnerability.

4. Mary’s Youth Club
This long-running youth club offers universal access with a strong model of support to young people. Most participants have a history of social deprivation.

5. Middle Eastern Women’s and Society Organisation (MEWSO)
Providing access for refugee young people from the Middle East and North Africa, MEWSO tackles issues of poverty and related challenges for members of marginalised communities.

6. No Recourse to Public Funds team at London Borough of Islington
The team offers access to the most vulnerable and excluded immigrant young people living in poverty, providing opportunities of developmental support above and beyond basic statutory duty.

Each delivery partner will manage a devolved budget of £3,000 per year for two years.