2022 winners

Read below to find out more about the groups and projects that we supported in our 2022 funding round.

Community awards 

Read below to find out more about the groups and projects that we supported with funding in 2022.

Barford Tigers Hockey Club

Barford Tigers Hockey Club were awarded £2,500 to provide free access to hockey for vulnerable groups, with training twice a week and games on Saturday. The Foundation funding will provide all the equipment needed to enable access to all without barriers.

'We are very grateful for this award which will allow us to expand our free hockey scheme, improving both the physical and mental wellbeing to young people in our community most in need.' Charn Gill, Barford Tigers Hockey Club

Birmingham & Solihull Women's Aid

Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid have been awarded £2,500 to fund their Come Together programme. This aims to build friendships, increase confidence and develop new skills amongst young women affected by domestic and sexual violence.

'This grant will directly support young women affected by domestic abuse to recognise they aren’t alone. Young women will gain a sense of community and have a continuum of support, enabling them to move forwards in their lives positively.' Jigisha Patel, Birmingham & Solihull Women's Aid

Birmingham Irish Organisation

Birmingham Irish Association will use the £5,000 funding to increase the services it offers through its Young Persons Emotional Support Project. The project team will build positive relationships with young people, families and professionals. to provide emotional and practical support to young people with mental health needs, including facilitating groups and activity sessions.

'The grant from the foundation will enable us to increase support to those young people in our community who are struggling with their mental health. Specialised support will tackle anxiety, depression, loneliness and the feeling of worthlessness many of our children are experiencing following a very difficult few years for them' Maurice Malone, Chief Executive, Birmingham Irish Association.

Community Connect Foundation

Community Connect Foundation will use their £5,000 funding to run football coaching sessions for 42 weeks. Each session will include half hour of information sharing and engaging discussions on topics including ASBO, crime, education, careers, health and intimidation & bullying. In addition CCF’s youth provision engaging with young people, they will also be encouraged to and signposted to local and national supporting services.

'CCF is grateful to National Express Foundation for awarding this funding. Our project will make huge differences to the lives of our young people by taking them through a journey to overcome physical and mental impact Covid-19 had on them.' Soyfur Rahman, Community Connect Foundation

Employability UK

Employablity Uk will use their £5,000 funding to deliver the The Journey Continues - a programme of workshops for young people not in a mainstream school of from a NEET or SEN background.

'This grant enables the charity to continue our important work with under-represented groups. The Journey Continues gives the targeted young people the opportunity to reflect on their own skills and aspirations and discuss with our volunteers about their visions and goals and how to achieve a successful future. We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with the National Express Foundation, which has helped us transform over 250 young lives over the past 2 years.' Krystyna Nosek


FITCAP will use their £5,000 funding to take two cohorts of young people on a volunteer pathway equipping the skills to seek work as coaches in future.

‘This funding will enable us to train our young leaders and future of FITCAP coaches. They will learn new skills, take responsibility, become qualified and gain part-time employment with FITCAP moving forwards, whilst being mentoring by our more experienced coaches, making them well-rounded individuals and positive role models in the community.’ Sam Davis, FITCAP


FORM 180 will use its £5,000 funding to develop a new music project which will provide young people with the channel to express themselves and gain the support they need to return to mainstream education.

"We are ecstatic to have received an award for our brand-new project SOUND180. Because of the National Express Foundation, the youth in the communities we serve will experience a positive way of expressing their thoughts and feelings through music!" Jeremy Grant, Form 180

Gro-Organic CIC

Gro-Organic will use their £5,000 award to support 30 young people with complex multiple needs or at risk of exclusion. The programme will provide mentoring support over a period of 12 months helping the young people to develop social and emotional skills and resilience.

“This grant will make a significant difference to vulnerable young people who can’t access the urgent support they need. Those at risk of serious harm will now receive tailored mentoring which will significantly improve their future prospects” Sarah Treanor BEM, Gro-Organic

Hall Green Youth

Hall Green Youth will use their grant of £5,000 to provide mentoring support for young people at Hall Green Secondary School, building on the powerful results achieved in previous years. In addition it will run the Just Chill youth support group once a week.

Support from the Foundation will help at least 24 vulnerable young people make up time lost during COVID, improve their future prospects by supporting their mental health and building constructive social networks.” Sarah Barnes, Hall Green Youth

Longford Short Football

Longford Short Football will use their £2,500 awards to fund more portable goals to expand the number of football sessions they can hold and enable more young people to participate.

'This wonderful foundation grant will enable us to deliver impactful sessions within the socially disadvantaged areas of critical importance for our young people and bridge postcode divides while fostering a more inclusive and peaceful society.' Jim Sweeney, Longford Short Football

Olio Hub

Olio Hub will use their £5,000 award to expand its activities, allowing more young people to participate and also to renew equipment.

'The funds awarded to Olio hub will enable our young people to take part in rewarding positive physical and academic activities. We will continue to encourage engagement with participants learning and sharing skills leading to a brighter future for all.' Sandra Adams, Olio Hub

Our Community Foundation

Our Community Foundation will use their £5.000 award to support 30 young people to develop digital skills which will enhance their knowledge, build their life skills and support their transition into education, employment and/or training.

'This funding will really help us to unlock the digital potential of young people from Birmingham. Our project will equip them with digital/ media skills, build confidence in public speaking, communication and ICT skills in a culture that empowers learning.' Basharat Dad, Our Community Foundation

Provision House

Provision House will use their £5,000 funding to deliver a work experience and training programme to 60 NEET young people at their Dudley centre.

'The generous grant from the National Express Foundation will enable us to continue and grow our work with young people. The training that we provide makes a real-world difference to our young people and sets them on a course towards employment and self sufficiency.' Mark Price, Provision House

Sandwell Steelers

Sandwell Steelers with use their £5,000 award to launch a junior rugby programme, with the right equipment to ensure young people can particpate in the support.

“This funding allows the Sandwell Steelers to launch a brand new Junior program for the 16-18 years olds of Sandwell and the West Midlands. While this equipment will make the sport more accessible to all in this age group, increasing participation in a physically and mentally rigorous sport, it also allows our academy players to continue their journey with the Steelers, maintaining the bonds they’ve made with their teammates on- and off- the field that otherwise may have been lost.” Jamie Kelly, Sandwell Steelers

Solihull Down Syndrome Support Group

Solihull Downs Syndrome Support will use their £2,500 award to run a term-time week drama group for member, promoting inclusion, confidence and social skills.
It gives the members the opportunity to enhance their speech development and vocabulary encouraging interaction within the community.

'Receiving this donation will have a huge impact on our Drama Group. We shall be able to deliver a Safe Space for our members to access an inclusive, bespoke, fun learning environment and give our members' parents and carers a much welcomed respite.' Patrick McElwee, Solihull Down Syndrome Support Group

Solihull Moors Foundation

The award of £5,000 to Solihull Moors Foundation will faciliate the development and growth of its SEND Youth Club, delivered one evening a week, for young people aged 12-18 with special educational needs and disabilities. It will provide inclusive opportunities to take part in fun supported activities with qualified and experienced staff, such as multi-sports, team building, creative arts and social opportunities.

'This funding means that we will be able to offer a safe environment for SEND young people to socialise with their peers in a mainstream setting. Building strong foundations so they can become active members of the community in turn tackling the feeling of social isolation.' Becci Fox, Solihull Moors Foundation

St Peters Hillfields

St Peters Hillfields will use their £5,000 award to support their after school youth hub. Apart from providing a safe space for youth people to meet, St Peters aim to build life skills by providing practical training sessions, including cooking, mechanics and electrics and photography.

'The St Peter's Youth Hub will relaunch to reach vulnerable children in one of the most deprived areas of Coventry. At Youth Hub, we provide children with a safe space, a warm meal, and opportunities to gain new skills.' Rev Matt Spina, St Peters Hillfields

The Haven Wolverhampton

The Haven Wolverhampton will use their £5.000 award to deliver a progamme of business and enterprise skiils to young women they are supporting. The skill will help the women to build their self-sufficency and to break the the cycle of domestic abuse and homelessness.

'This grant will enable The Haven Wolverhampton to provide a programme of business expertise and advice to young women who have been subjected to domestic abuse, so they can develop the confidence and knowledge to develop their own enterprising initiatives.' Sarah Abiss, The Haven Wolverhampton

TLC College

TLC College will use the £5.000 award to run weekly youth club sessions every Friday. The sessions will include physical activity and sports, as well as opening up discussion and debate on topics or interest, and building employment skills.

'We are pleased to receive this grant from The National Express Foundation. The funding will provide young people with the opportunity to attend weekly term time youth club sessions in a relaxing, friendly and safe environment in order to enhance their life skills while having good group social interactions and meeting new friends.' Lina Al-Amri, TLC College

Together Minds CIC

Together Minds will used their £5,000 funding to meet the demand for wellbeing support to the siblings of disabled children. The MyTime programme will deliver workshops that will explore the emotions and needs of the young people and enable them to make connections with others in the same situation.

'We are incredibly grateful and excited to receive this funding. It will enable us to deliver our My Time workshops to siblings who are aged 16-18 years. This will have a huge positive impact on their mental health by building confidence, self esteem and connecting to peers.' Jo-Anne Shellum, Together Minds

Educational institution awards 

The Trustees of the Foundation agreed to focus the limited funds available in 2022 on supporting community groups.

The final multi-year commitments made in previous years have been honoured.