More funding offered as the National Express Foundation celebrates 10 years of supporting young people

23 August 2022 3:00 PM

Ben Kids In Communication Kicsters 2

The National Express Foundation is inviting local community groups to apply for a share of £95,000 of funding being made available this year to help disadvantaged young people to succeed in life.

Since it was launched in 2012 the National Express Foundation charity has supported 25,000 young people through £1.5 million of funding for organisations that have worked with young people in the community. 

The Foundation is now offering further funding to more deserving community groups this year and first stage applications are being accepted until Friday 16 September 2022.

After what has been a very challenging time for everyone, the charity aims to support groups with inclusive initiatives that deliver developmental, educational and social activities for local young people across the West Midlands.

James Donnan, General Manager for National Express Foundation, said: “As we continue to build back from the pandemic it has presented many challenges for all of us. For young people it has been even harder as they’ve missed out on so many things they would normally have done, including the activities and experiences which help shape their lives.

“The National Express Foundation wants to support community groups that will create inclusive activities, helping local young people to build the skills that they need to get on in life and to help them develop constructive social networks outside of education or work.

“It’s not long until our first stage application deadline, so I would urge community groups to take a look at our website and submit an application as soon as they can.”

Previous beneficiaries have explained the impact the Foundation funding has had:

Project Manager Ben Williams from Black Country group Kids in Communication said:

"Upon re-opening our youth clubs we found that there was an increase in demand for our services and activities which, thanks to support and funding from National Express Foundation, we were able to meet. 

“Young people have led the way in developing community projects and digital activities as well as co-writing our Kicsters accredited awards delivered via the Open College Network. We're incredibly proud of our young people and all they have achieved both personally and as a team." 

CEO Di Vernon MBE, from Birmingham group Employability UK explains:

“The funding from the National Express Foundation meant we were able to pilot new ideas and campaigns which has enabled us to transform and grow in all aspects.

“Working with young people from a range of backgrounds has taught us that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and this funding has helped us to put new programmes in place to reach even more young people."

Jim Sweeney, from the Longford Short Football community group said:

“National Express Foundation funding allowed our Short Football project to reconnect with our marginalised Longford community post-pandemic, enabling us to run two free sessions a week.

“It has had a positive and powerful impact on the lives of all our young Short Footballers who have been able to participate in our regular National Express Foundation sessions and events, especially where they’ve been awarded medals that most would never have achieved previously. Many are from broken homes and don’t necessarily get the support needed to play for a proper football team.

“In addition, being able to gift these mixed ability boys and girls a free National Express Foundation branded kit was inspiring as most of them are from areas of deprivation and poverty, so wearing the kit gave them a sense of pride, identity and belonging.”

National Express Foundation’s application process for 2022 funding awards will involve two stages. The deadline for first stage applications to be considered is Friday 16 September, with successful groups being invited to complete a second round application by Friday 30 September. 

Full details including the online application form and details of previous activities that have been supported can be found at