Coram Youth Homelessness Grants Programme

Grants for grassroots organisations supporting young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in London.



Coram, with funding from Oak Foundation, is calling for expressions of interest for a grant of £25,000, to support grassroots organisations working with young people (aged 16-25) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in London. The grants will start in October 2024 and run for a year. They will enable the selected organisations to build their capacity, primarily by delivering their own project, but also joining a collaborative programme run by Coram.

Based on the expressions of interest, six shortlisted organisations will be invited to submit a full application. Young people with lived experience will be part of the panel which then chooses four applicants to receive grants.

Expressions of interest must reach us via the form at the bottom of this page by 2pm on 29 July.



The aims of this funding are to:

  • build the capacity of grassroots organisations working with young people affected by housing and homelessness issues
  • unleash the potential of young people with lived experience of challenges around housing and homelessness, enabling them to have their voices heard in their local communities and beyond

We’d particularly like to reach the most disadvantaged young people at highest risk of homelessness. For example (though we are open to you telling us about other needs): care-experienced young people or those who should have been recognised as entitled to care; young migrants and refugees; those from global majority communities; LGBTQI+ communities; D/deaf, disabled or neurodivergent young people.


Eligibility and Criteria

  • You are a grassroots not-for-profit organisation with a turnover of between £100,000 and £1 million per annum, with accounts for the last two years, and a high-quality safeguarding process
  • You already support young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in London. Working on homelessness or with young people doesn’t need to be your only or even your main activity, so long as you can demonstrate some track record with relevant target groups, and are looking to extend your reach and support to them
  • You can demonstrate an existing commitment to youth participation and participatory processes
  • Your project builds your own capacity. We understand these are challenging times and have a very broad definition of capacity-building. See dropdowns below for more information
  • Your project involves young people with lived experience from the start
  • You are able to engage with Coram’s collaborative programme. See dropdowns below for more information


What we won’t fund

  • Work taking place outside Greater London
  • Work undertaken or costs incurred before October 2024
  • Services that actively seek to promote any religion

What happens next

If you are interested in applying for the funding:

  • Look at the information below, including our FAQs
  • Develop your project idea, involving young people
  • Ask any further questions you have by emailing We aim to respond within 2 working days
  • Check the Updates section below from time to time. If we’re asked questions where we’d like to share the answer fairly with all applicants, this is where we’ll update you or point you to updates in the FAQs

Submit a brief expression of interest about you and your idea (700 words plus a 100 word summary) using the form below by 2pm on 29 July. Young people will play an important role in reviewing applications and deciding which organisations will be invited to submit a full application. Please ensure what you write is clear, engaging and avoids the use of jargon/technical language.

All organisations which submitted an expression of interest will be notified by 5 August whether they are one of 6 organisations we will shortlist for the four grants.

See below for the programme timeline and more information about what happens if you are shortlisted, so you can plan ahead.


More information and relevant documents for the grants programme

Building capacity

We define this very broadly. It could involve:

  • trialling a new much-needed service for a year with young people involved in co-production
  • delivering an existing service in a way which widens or deepens its reach to the target group, or which involves young people with lived experience more than before in co-design or co-delivery
  • delivering your own peer education project or policy-influencing campaign (coordinating with the collaborative Coram programme as appropriate, see below)
  • a creative way of reaching relevant young audiences with messages around their rights and entitlements, or which encourages them to seek support early
  • other participation activity with young people, or organisational strengthening: for example, the support costs involved in bringing young people with lived experience as genuine participants onto the Board of Trustees or an advisory group
  • a combination of some of the above, or another idea to build capacity

We recognise that covering core costs is important. However, we will need the sense of a clear project, and an application for unrestricted core costs is unlikely to be successful. In the budget we ask you to submit if you are shortlisted, we will be comfortable with you allocating a realistic amount against the core costs involved in your project.


Involvement in the Coram collaborative programme

The grants offered are part of a wider Coram programme funded by Oak Foundation. We require our four grantees to engage with this programme as part of their grant, but we don’t want this to be onerous, and we understand that may look different depending on your organisation, so if you get to full application stage we will ask you to tell us how you can engage. We plan to provide the six shortlisted organisations with feedback about areas of strength and areas of improvement in their expression of interest, and during this conversation we would also be happy to discuss the nuances of how you could connect with the collaborative programme in a way that’s right for you.

For the programme, Coram itself is recruiting a group of Housing Rights Ambassadors with lived experience either of homelessness or being at risk of homelessness, to deliver:

  • a peer education project around housing and homelessness, so that young people with lived experience of the issues can co-design training with specialist housing professionals, and then go out and share key messages with other young people at risk, making them aware of their rights and entitlements and avenues for support
  • a campaign chosen by young people, which will reach key stakeholders in London to promote policy and practice change

You could engage, for example, by:

  • supporting young people you know to join either the peer education programme or the campaign, or both. These could be alumni from your programmes, young people who’ve accessed your services, or young people who have capacity to be involved in Coram’s Housing Rights Ambassador programme alongside the project they’re involved in within your organisation. If we make a grant to you, your volunteers would remain yours under the umbrella of the collaborative programme, rather than becoming Coram’s. More details about our Young Ambassador programme can be found through the recruitment drive we’ve published here
  • setting up peer education sessions with young people you are in contact with, or with other organisations local to you, to be delivered by young people on Coram’s Housing Rights Ambassador programme
  • amplifying the campaign through social media
  • supporting the campaign through engaging your own young people and audiences
  • young people and/or staff in your organisation attending campaign events or meetings with stakeholders


Grants Timeline and Full Application Process


29 July at 2pm Expressions of interest due
5 August All applicants informed, 6 shortlisted
27 August at 2pm Full application due from 6 shortlisted applicants
6 September Interviews of 6 shortlisted applicants by a panel involving young people
12 September 4 successful applicants confirmed
By 30 September Grant agreements including monitoring, evaluation and data-sharing requirements, signed. A payment of £15,000 (60% of the grant) will be made
1 October Projects start. We plan to organise a group induction for all four grantees very early in the life of the project, to familiarise them with each other and with monitoring and other requirements
30 March 2025 Mid-term report on grants due. On receipt of a satisfactory report, a second and final payment of £10,000 (40% of the grant) will be made
30 September 2025 Projects finished
31 October 2025 Final grant reports due


Full Application Process

For the six shortlisted organisations invited to submit a full application, the process will be as follows. We will:

  • give you a brief feedback conversation on your expression of interest, indicating areas we found compelling and areas where you could strengthen your application
  • ask you to expand on your expression of interest in a longer format (2,000 words) and submit it with a project budget by 27 August. It’s only at this full application stage we will ask you how you will engage with Coram’s collaborative programme, but please do give it consideration early in your planning
  • ask you to share with us two years of accounts and your safeguarding policy, plus management accounts and/or a cashflow forecast for the current year
  • invite you (including at least one young person from your organisation) to meet our panel of young people and expert staff for a thirty-five minute interview on 6 September. We’d ideally like this to be in person at Coram’s campus near Russell Square, but we’re open to doing it remotely or part-remotely if necessary

Decisions on grants will be communicated by 12 September, and following joint signature of a grant agreement, we’d expect to make payments to successful organisations in late September for an October start.



We aren’t a registered charity. Can we apply?

Yes, if you are a non-profit body with charitable objectives, such as a charitable incorporated organisation, a CIC, or a social enterprise where all profits go back into the organisation and not to any individuals or individually-controlled companies.

What if we are just above £1M annual turnover or just below £100,000?

If you can demonstrate that something exceptional (such as a capital grant) has pushed your turnover over the norm, we will consider an expression of interest. We recognise that the minimum turnover figure may exclude some amazing grassroots organisations, but it is there to provide additional assurance to us that your organisation can effectively manage a one-year project grant of £25,000 without undue pressure or risk.

Do we have to be an organisation working across the whole of London?

No, you can work for example in particular boroughs or all of them.

Can we apply for less than £25,000?

No. For administrative simplicity and ease of comparison, we are asking for applications for exactly £25,000.

Can we recruit staff with this grant? Can we pay young people for their involvement?

Yes, and yes, if appropriate to your project. Coram is a London Living Wage employer so we recommend that staff you recruit should be paid at least at this level. If you do recruit anyone for the project, it may mean it takes a few months for you to get up and running, so your project planning needs to recognise this. We would also recommend you consider temporary contracts for new staff working on the project, to minimise risk to the organisation.

Can we apply in a partnership with other organisations?

Yes, so long as the lead organisation meets the eligibility criteria outlined. Since the aim is to build the capacity of grassroots organisations, we would not expect to see large sums going to organisations over £1M but recognise there may be some specialist help they can contribute to your project. We would expect any partner to be flagged at the expression of interest stage, and would need clarity at the final application stage about what their role is and what resources are going to them. They would also face due diligence on their finances and safeguarding, like the lead applicant organisation. We’d expect you to mirror our grant agreement to any partner and you would need to take on the responsibility of managing any subgrant you make.

How do you define ‘at risk of homelessness’?

We’d prefer it if you tell us.

We recognise that there are diverse groups of young people experiencing disadvantage who may be at higher risk of homelessness. For example: care-experienced young people or those who should have been recognised as entitled to care; young migrants and refugees; those from global majority communities; LGBTQI+ communities; D/deaf , disabled or neurodivergent young people.

If your project is focused primarily on those at risk rather than those currently experiencing homelessness or those with lived experience of homelessness, we ask you to make the case at expression of interest stage as to why the particular group of young people you work with or are targeting are at risk, and how your planned project would reduce that risk. You could make the case using your organisation’s own experience, local or national data, or any other means.

We are open to well-considered projects which are based on a recognition that only a proportion of their target audience are at risk of homelessness. You might make the case that you need to engage the whole target audience, because sharing activities or messages with a whole group or community would increase the overall reach of those interventions to those most at risk, as well as avoiding the stigma of ‘selecting’ those deemed most at risk.

Tell us more about the collaborative Coram programme you’d like us to engage with

The Coram Group supports young people who have experienced disadvantage in a range of ways through the charities which are part of the group. We have experience of involving young people in participation, for example by supporting young migrants and refugees to deliver peer education programmes which inform their peers about their rights and entitlements.

With funding from Oak Foundation, we are creating a Housing Rights Ambassador programme, in which young people with lived experience of housing issues and homelessness can deliver peer education and campaign for change to reduce youth homelessness in London. This can also include young people from some or all of the four grantee organisations.

In the peer education element of the programme young people will share key messages with their peers, making them aware of their rights and entitlements and avenues for support, to prevent homelessness and help people know where to go when at risk. This will be co-designed and co-delivered by young people who are Coram volunteers, as well as volunteers from some or all of the four grantee organisations (depending on what each grantee organisations thinks is appropriate), alongside experts at Coram. Those young people from any organisation who go on to deliver peer education in communities will be paid by Coram for their time to do so.

Young people from this programme, and from some or all of the four grantee organisations (again, depending on what each grantee organisation thinks is appropriate), will also deliver a campaign to shape and inform the policy and practice landscape at a national and local level. They will be trained and supported by policy and participation staff at Coram to decide on the theme of the campaign, and then develop and launch it, including meetings with local and national policymakers and practitioners.

What should our budget plan for, when considering how we might engage with Coram’s collaborative programme?

We want you to have the resources to focus primarily on delivering your own project. Depending on what you plan to offer as your part in the Coram collaborative programme, you might need to consider:

  • the travel and subsistence costs of your young volunteers attending training courses at Coram’s campus in central London, to join co-design sessions on peer education or the policy-influencing campaign
  • support costs of staff attending these activities with your young volunteers if you feel it is necessary – though at Coram training courses, peer education sessions and main campaign events there will always be a Coram staff member present
  • any accessibility costs for individual young people you involve, such as signing or translation to enable them to join in with the collaborative activities
  • venue costs, if for example setting up peer education sessions in your community on behalf of the programme
  • media costs if participating in Coram’s Housing Rights Ambassadors’ policy-influencing campaign, or the costs of adapting campaign materials to your target audience

Coram will pay for:

  • the costs of delivering training courses to young people in peer education or campaigning, regardless of whether they volunteer for Coram or for grantee organisations
  • general materials design and production for peer education and campaigning
  • the costs of young volunteers we recruit directly as Coram volunteers to the programme
  • hourly-rate wages to any young person who directly delivers the peer education programme out in communities

We work with disabled young people / specific migrant communities – can the grant support access / translation costs?

We would expect you to estimate the access or translation costs or similar, required to support young people to participate in your project, and include them in your application. We recognise that supporting those with particular needs may involve greater costs, and this might mean involving fewer young people than other applications. You won’t be penalised for this when we judge applications.

Can the grant cover capital expenditure?

The grant is intended mainly for revenue expenditure, but if you want to budget for the cost of equipment, for example a laptop, or other items that would increase access or enhance the project, this is fine.

Can the grant cover overheads and existing services?

We are keen to ensure that your project doesn’t put pressure on your existing work, and even enhances it. We want to see that you’ve given thought to covering your core costs. You do not need to restrict them to a ‘set’ 10-12% in your budget to us. Be generous to yourselves but reasonable, and balance this with the needs of the specific project.

We are ready to fund existing work if you are demonstrating a clear project to enhance it, such as widening reach, deepening youth co-production, etc.

We also want to see, if relevant, the costs of integrating and supporting those of your existing services which mesh with your proposed project. For example, reaching out to more young people who you haven’t yet reached could increase demand for your existing work, and it would be perfectly legitimate to cost for that increased demand.

Of course, none of this should include double funding any activity which is funded from elsewhere.



For our FAQs, see dropdown above.

Flow chart of the grant application phase [downloadable PDF].

Expression of Interest blank template form [downloadable Word document]. This document is to help you prepare your expression of interest. We will only consider submissions using the correct online Expression of Interest form below.

Full application form [downloadable Word document]. This will be the actual form used if you are shortlisted.



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Expression of Interest Form


An Expression of Interest form in blank word template is available in the Documents dropdown above. This template also includes additional helpful guidance points on what to think about in your answer which are not on the form itself, so it is worth looking at. For the longer answers, we recommend you use it to prepare your answer and paste your final version from it into this online form.

Your Project

Please submit an expression of interest for the funding. We expect this to be a competitive process, with young people involved, so do write in a clear and engaging way without technical jargon. In a maximum of 700 words:

- tell us what your organisation does right now to provide effective support to young people in London who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
- describe the extent to which your organisation already involves young people in participation and participatory processes – we recognise that you may want to improve in this area and we won’t mark you down for being open about the stage you are currently at
- convey a clear idea of your capacity-building project and the change you hope it will make
- tell us how young people would be involved and supported, both in influencing the full application for this grant if you are shortlisted, and throughout the project itself

The fields on this form do not count the number of words submitted. Where a word limit is given, please test word count in the template and don’t exceed the maximum. We will remove any text that exceeds the word limit from the end of the document before it goes to assessors, even if that cuts the sentence in half.
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