A new fund targeted at 11 to 25 year olds living on the Isle of Wight aims to support young people to grow the skills they need as they move out of education and into employment.

The Young Island Lives fund from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation is open to not for profit groups who can help young people on the Isle of Wight grow the technical and life skills they need to reach their potential both in employment and the wider community.

The foundation says the Isle of Wight is one of the worst areas in the South East for both unemployment (five per cent - ONS) and economic inactivity (c27.9 per cent IOW vs 18.8 South East - ONS). 

Jacqui Scott, CEO at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation said: "HIWCF funding can be a lifeline for small charities which make such a huge impact in the communities they serve.

Apply online at www.hiwcf.org.uk/grants/

"Young Island Lives uniquely provides community groups with an opportunity to design packages of support that can create lasting impact across two years, enabling potentially deeper interactions with their young people.

“Young people already face multiple barriers to employment, but they are also contending with the rise of the ‘gig economy’, which pushes temporary contracts and shift work, and can really limit the progression pathway for young people.

"This fund aims to boost practical skills directly relating to entering more secure employment, such as CV writing and interview practice workshops, as well as valuable social skills such as confidence, resilience and team work that many young people struggle with, especially those who were particularly impacted by the Covid-19 lockdowns."  

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation has a second fund open to Island groups, particularly those aimed at easing poverty and increasing wellbeing for Island residents who are living hard and challenging lives.

Both funds are open until midnight on Wednesday, May 22.