Partnership for Young London

Partnership for Young London participated in the first round of the Cornerstone Fund, between 2019 and 2022. Cornerstone is a funder collaboration which was set up to explore ways of creating systemic change.

Three images showing people meeting to discuss the project.

Partnership for Young London

Grant type: Cornerstone Fund
Grant amount: £138,000 over two years

Partnership for Young London set out to improve how young people’s views and lived experience can shape and influence research, and thereby shape the decisions that affect them.

A key element of the Cornerstone Fund was the prioritisation of partnership working. Partnership for Young London worked with London Youth, the Centre for Youth Impact and the Young Londoners Research Network, all sharing a bold vision for young Londoners.

Together, they knew that the voices of young people were rarely taken into account at the core of policy-making about issues that affected them.

Linking research and practice, their partnership sought to promote young people’s voices, recognising that young people have a right to help identify issues and develop the work that happens about them, taking an active part in change.

The partnership got off to a strong start by establishing a research network, but Covid-19 had a serious impact on the capacity of the partners, the availability of the youth work professionals they wanted to engage with, and the ability to set up student placements.

As with other Cornerstone projects, a move to online training and seminars helped the partnership reach more of their target audience.

They were also able to rapidly gather insights on the impact of the pandemic on young people and there was an immediate platform to share their voices with health and government bodies, including the GLA.

Young people also took part in online events with Public Health England on the vaccine roll-out to ensure messages reflected their views and insight.

Following Cornerstone, there is real potential for long-term change. The partnership has strong links with 14 universities; and has co-created a set of principles and a shared work plan that establishes the foundations for better collaboration between researchers and the youth sector in London.

“[How do you] gather data and insight, analyse it and then use it to challenge practice or challenge the services that are on offer. That’s the journey we’ve tried to get embedded across this piece of work.“

This case study has been adapted from Changing Systems Together: Stories from Round One of the Cornerstone Fund (PDF), produced by Collaborate CIC, the learning partner to the Cornerstone Fund.

The Cornerstone Fund is a funder collaboration involving City Bridge Foundation, the Greater London Authority, the National Lottery Community Fund, Trust for London, and the John Lyon’s Charity.

The Cornerstone Fund is not open to new applications.