The Commission on Young Lives launched in September 2021 as an independent commission to develop proposals for a new national system to prevent crisis in vulnerable young people and support them to succeed in life. It is chaired by Anne Longfield CBE, the former Children’s Commissioner for England, and hosted by the Oasis Charitable Trust, who have decades of experience of working in and with communities, empowering families, and vulnerable children. Thousands of children in England are growing up living very vulnerable lives. Every year, hundreds of the most vulnerable fall off the radar of the education and social services system, putting them at increased risk of criminal or sexual exploitation and making them more likely to become caught up in the criminal justice system. Their chances of entering adulthood with positive opportunities and choices are low and as adults they are more likely to be seen in our prisons or suffering from serious mental health problems or homelessness. The problem has been growing over recent years but has also been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. The Commission on Young Lives has brought together experts and has worked with system leaders to identify solutions which can transform the outcomes of the most marginalised teenagers who are at risk of violence, harm, criminalisation, and diminished opportunities. In November 2022, the Commission published its national plan in its report ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’. The Commission is continuing to campaign for change and delivery and is now in a second phase of work towards implementation.

How is the Commission funded?

The Commission on Young Lives is supported and hosted by Oasis Charitable Trust and also received funding from The Passion Project Foundation.

Oasis Charitable Trust is a national charity that has been pioneering models of sustainable and holistic community development for the last 35 years. It works locally across the UK, with its base in Waterloo, London. It specialises in building – and helping others build – strong inclusive communities where every person can find their place, flourish, and achieve their potential. It does this this through a wide variety of integrated, high quality and diverse activities and partnerships, delivering housing, education, healthcare, training, youth work, family support and many other community initiatives.

Currently Oasis works with young people in 42 local neighbourhoods in England and another 26 in various other countries around the world. It works with some 1,200 homeless or vulnerably housed young adults each year and is responsible for 30,500 students in 53 schools in challenging communities and is working with a pupil referral unit. It runs a wide variety of other community building projects and initiatives; everything from foodbanks to debt advice centres, savings clubs to credit unions, city farms to community shops, breakfast clubs to adult literacy courses, children’s centres to refugee housing, libraries to football teams and health projects to employment initiatives.

The Passion Project Foundation (PPF) is a charitable social impact aggregator and investor into social impact. It brings scaled investment to transform perennial social problems. The Passion Project Foundation was set up to evidence the value of social and emotional learning, and, in doing so, help inform policymakers and key government influencers of its social impact.

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