The charity supports 16-25 year olds in Birmingham who have a plan to get into work, training or education but cannot find the money they need. It has been running for six years and with no paid staff, all of its fundraising income has been spent on supporting young people to thrive and reach their potential.

The Trustees are proud to have supported 420 applications from young people in the last year alone, knowing the difference that the grants can have on people’s lives, especially during the pandemic.

Since March 2020, the foundation has seen how digital deprivation has had a negative impact on the young people it supports. Closure of public spaces, colleges and other venues where people can normally access computers and internet, has meant more young people need laptops to apply for work, access education or attend training courses online.

Sophie Wilson, Chair of Trustees at The Matt Kendall Foundation, said: “The majority of the applications we’ve received in the last year have been for laptops. Being able to write essays, attend courses and apply for jobs is difficult on a mobile phone and so it has been fantastic to support so many young people to reach their potential.”

One grantee, Aimee (not her real name), was given a laptop to help her with her studies to become a social worker. She said: “I didn't have a device to connect, I struggled with my phone a lot. This in turn affected my mental health badly. I was feeling so low and always sad.

“Hearing and seeing my tutors and my classmates gives me a sense of belonging and [with the laptop from The Matt Kendall Foundation] I am able to participate in class again. This brought so much joy into my life. I feel revived and I feel positive about life again.”

With the Foundation planning to close in May 2021, there was a limited amount of funding left for its main grants programme. Due to the enormous demand experienced over recent months, it looks likely that this grant funding programme will have to finish a little earlier than anticipated, it may be as early as the 19th March.

Dream Bigger Grants remain open until 19th March, with these being assessed the following week by a panel of Trustees. Successful candidates for the Dream Bigger Grants will be notified if they have been successful by the end of March.

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