Truth About Youth

Truth about Youth is the grants programme of The Co-operative Foundation. The Trustees of the Foundation want to nurture and support young people in making a positive contribution in local communities.

Our Truth About Youth programme funds charitable projects that enable young people to challenge and change negative perceptions about their age group.

As part of our three year commitment, we are helping to bring about a cultural shift in the way that young people are viewed and treated in this country.

In 2009, The Co-operative Foundation launched its Truth about Youth programme with seven projects in cities across the UK:

The Foundation awarded one charity in each city a share of £3 million funding to create and deliver a Truth about Youth programme over two-three years. The charities do this by bringing young people together to show their own communities the positive and inspiring things that they are achieving in their area.

Each project has succeeded in creating and delivering youth-led projects using a variety of different mediums including theatre and ‘the arts’, photography and online blogging.

The partners all work with the media and their wider communities and engage with minority and hard to reach groups.

In numbers...

To date, Truth About Youth has inspired:

  • 34,500 young people to take part
  • 13,500 adults to take part
  • 1,900 young people to set up their own projects.

Case study: Rachel Blair

Rachel Blair is 17 years old and lives in Newcastle. Rachel volunteers with the Truth about Youth project in South Tyneside and Wear, run by Regional Youth Work Unit. Since joining the project, Rachel has gained new skills and confidence and has made friends along the way.

“Young people get a lot of negative press and we need more positive stories to counteract that, there’s some really great youth work going on out there we just need to let people know about it. I am a member of the Truth about Youth steering group and we set up youth-led projects, it’s great because we choose what we want to do around the community. It’s good to have adults actually wanting our opinions. It’s different from school where you are told what to do. As a steering group member I’ve learnt how to compromise, what to think about when you’re designing projects and how to plan them.

"It has been an inspiring project to get involved with, and we have already seen a significant improvement in perceptions in our individual areas.”