UK charity opens fund to transform the lives of seriously ill young people

April 16, 2018

Together for Short Lives is today launching round two of its Improving Transitions for Young People Fund, which will back new initiatives aiming to transform the experiences of young people with life-limiting conditions as they move from children's to adult services.

The fund will make awards of £40K-£150K for up to 30 months, and is open to organisations across the UK, including voluntary sector organisations; NHS and other statutory organisations; and social enterprises which offer services free at the point of delivery. Together for Short Lives is encouraging services across the health, social care, education, employment and housing sectors to work collaboratively and forge partnerships to develop projects that can be upscaled regionally and adopted nationally to deliver a long-term change.  

The projects will benefit the growing group of young people, who, due to advances in medical technology, are surviving into adulthood. Unfortunately, a lack of co-ordination between children's and adult services, and an absence of tailored support mean that these young people and their families have a poor experience of moving to adult services.

Together for Short Lives is responding to this urgent need by championing new initiatives that can fill in the gaps, supporting these young people so they can move smoothly to adult services. The Improving Transitions for Young People Fund offers a unique opportunity to organisations that are passionate about helping young people live life to the full, giving them the chance to explore and develop innovative new projects that have the power to make lasting change.

Short LivesThe charity welcomes applications that:

Address the ‘cliff edge’ of transition, the point at which young people move from familiar children’s services to adult services – focusing on developing innovative new services within the adult sector

Focus specifically on young people with life-limiting conditions who also have profound and multiple learning disability

Support and empower professionals in the adult sector

Support the engagement of primary care, particularly GPs in transition for this group of young people

Round one of the funding saw two partnerships receive funding for collaborative projects. Wetherby-based Children’s hospice Martin House joined forces with York’s St Leonard’s adult hospice service, pioneering a project known as ‘Expanding Worlds’, which is helping young people build their skills and resilience as they move to adult services. The second project to receive funding, ‘Futures’, is a collaboration between national charity Volunteering Matters and West-Midlands-based Acorns Children's Hospice, and offers mentoring to young people so they can develop skills and access work placements.

Barbara Gelb OBE, CEO of Together for Short Lives, said: 

“We are thrilled to launch round two of our Improving Transitions for Young People Fund, which has the power to transform the experience of seriously ill young people as they move from children’s to adult services. We invite organisations passionate about making a difference to seize this opportunity to form partnerships and work collaboratively on innovative projects that will support and empower these young people."

"As it stands, too many seriously ill young people face huge challenges in getting vital support, and the lack of age-appropriate services for them means that many are missing out on opportunities to achieve their full potential. Many have very complex needs, but like every young person they want to get on and enjoy their lives. Beyond their health care needs, they may have ambitions to study, train, to work, have relationships and to leave home and live independently. These young people do not have the luxury of time, there is an urgency to address the issue of transition today."

Together for Short Lives is now taking applications for the Improving Transition for Young People. The deadline for applications is 1 June 2018. For further information please email

This programme has been made possible thanks to the generosity of three charitable foundations committed to making change happen for those who need it most.

For more information about the Together for Short Lives Trust please click here. Potential applicants can find out more and apply here

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