The Commission on Young Lives is a major independent commission to evidence and design a new national system to prevent crisis in vulnerable young people and support them to succeed in life. It launched in September 2021 and 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.

Bringing together experts and working collaboratively with system leaders, the Commission will identify solutions which can transform the outcomes of the most marginalised teenagers who are at risk of violence, harm, criminalisation, and diminished opportunities.

Preventing young people from entering the justice system is in all our interests. That is why we are co-producing a new way to bring hope and success to young people through education and personal support.

The Commission on Young Lives will publish a series of interim reports throughout the year and its final report in Autumn 2022.

How will the Commission work?

Our national panel of experts and leaders will guide and inform the work of the Commission. This unique group of people will combine personal and professional insight and understanding of the issues and the impact on the lives of young people and communities with extensive experience of ‘getting things done’ – in communities, in services and in government.

The Commissioners will meet four times throughout the year to provide advice. In addition, Commissioners will also be invited to participate in a series of evidence sessions with expert witnesses focused on our areas of interest. We will also be holding policy roundtables and regional discussions. Attendance at additional events to the core meetings will be optional for Commissioners.

How is the Commission on Young Lives funded?

The Commission on Young Lives is supported and hosted by Oasis Charitable Trust, and also receives 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. It is using social impact investment to pilot new models of intervention to both prevent young people from entering the justice system and to resettle them better when they have.

The PPF is following a public health approach to reduce future need because it has social and economic impact. Preventing young people from entering the justice system is in all our interest and alongside our investor and the UK Government it is co-producing a new way to bring hope and success to young people through education and personal support. Its investment model will pay for interventions that prove better outcomes for young people are possible and desirable - this is what young people themselves want.

PPF is an organisation dedicated to the creation of socio-economic impact having carried out over a decade of independent research into human development and societal progression. They are expected to bring to market further innovation and support other initiatives in due course.

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