by Author Carol Reid

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Youth Music Emergency Fund (Update: Now Closed)

Youth Music has announced a new Emergency Fund to offer additional support to music-making organisations affected by coronavirus. We are grateful to our supporters for making the Emergency Fund possible: players of People’s Postcode Lottery, PayPal, and the National Lottery via Arts Council England.

Through this fund we’ll aim to prioritise the people and organisations in the most immediate need, and to make quick decisions and payments. Grants of up to £10,000 are available, and organisations do not need to have held a Youth Music grant to be eligible to apply.

This fund is the first phase of our response. There will be weekly application deadlines for an initial six-week period. The first application deadline was 5pm on Thursday 9 April. The online application form is now open - apply through our online grants portal. The application guidance notes contain information on all the questions which will be asked in the online form.

The Emergency Fund is designed to support organisations facing the following challenges:

  • Cashflow – organisations are seeing threats to their income, in particular from charged-for services and from contracts. This has significant implications for honouring employment and freelance contracts and core ongoing costs. At the time of writing there is still a lack of clarity about eligibility of government support measures and when any funding might be released.
  • Maintaining services – there are/will be challenges in continuing to deliver core services through staff or volunteer absence, social distancing measures, increased childcare responsibilities, venues being closed etc. 
  • Adapting services – delivering services in new ways, which can be more expensive, have high set-up costs (e.g. IT infrastructure, buying tech or instruments for tutors and young people) or require new policies or expertise.
  • Children and young people – the impact of the situation on children and young people’s mental and physical health; the negative implications for some vulnerable children of being out of school; keeping in contact now that the normal music sessions have ceased; engaging young people in new forms of learning; reaching children beyond digital access (e.g. disabled young people; those who don’t have devices or an internet connection).

We expect that this will be a highly competitive fund. When we make decisions, we will aim to award grants based on need. We know that we won’t be able to help everyone, and we’ll have some difficult decisions to make: we’ll be doing our best to prioritise those people and organisations most in need, and our hope is to support as many organisations around the country as we can.

Please direct all questions to in the first instance. If you can’t access email, then telephone 020 7902 1060. A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found at the bottom of this page. 

If you have any access needs then we can provide additional support to help you complete an application. Please email or telephone 020 7902 1060. We will tailor this support to help meet your requirements.

Youth Music CEO Matt Griffiths says:

“We know this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone. The young people supported by projects we fund face challenges at the best of times, and this global crisis is making their lives even harder. The Youth Music team is working hard to make sure we can support those most in need. It won’t be a perfect solution, and it’s devastating that we won’t be able to help everyone – but we’re privileged to be in a position to help as much as we can. We are exceptionally grateful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, PayPal, and the National Lottery via Arts Council England – without whom we wouldn’t be able to provide this vital support.”

Applications need to be made through our online grants portal

All application deadlines can be found here.

Emergency Fund FAQs

When are the deadlines?

Please find all details here:

Where do I apply?

Please use the grants portal to complete your online application which is available here: (if you haven’t made an application to Youth Music before then you will need to set up an account first).

Where can I find the application template?

You can find it in section 5 of the applicant guidance notes document:

What can I apply for?

The fund is designed to help organisations whose primary activity is inclusive music-making with children and young people – and their freelancers, staff and beneficiaries. The Emergency Fund is designed to support organisations facing the following challenges: cash flow, adapting services, Maintaining services, children and young people. There are two priority areas, organisational sustainability and adapting and staying inclusive. You can apply for core costs and capital costs. Please download the applicant guidance notes document for more information:

My organisation is not based in England, can I apply?

We are only accepting applicants who are delivering work in England for participants residing in England.

I do not hold a Youth Music grant, can I apply?

Yes, the grant is open to both current grant holders and those who do not currently hold a Youth Music grant. For further information on eligibility please consult section 2 of the applicant guidance notes document:

I hold a Youth Music grant, can I apply?

Yes, the grant is open to current grantholders. However, we encourage you to see if you could repurpose any of your existing Youth Music budget to fund what you are apply for (please get in touch with your Grants and Learning Officer to discuss this in more detail). As we are trying to help lots of organisations with the funding, we are likely to give priority to organisations with no existing grant or low levels of resources available.

Can I apply more than once?

You can only apply once.  If you are not successful in your first application but are deemed to be a good fit for the fund and in urgent need, then your application will automatically be carried over to the next week’s panel for consideration again.

We are a relatively new organisation, and we do not have annual accounts for the last financial year. Can we still apply?

We may be able to accept management accounts, cash flow forecasts and/or other records for your income and expenditure for the period you have been active.

We have not had our most recent accounts audited, shall we send you the annual accounts for 18-19?

It will be helpful if you can provide the most up-to-date information about your financial situation. This might include draft accounts for 19/20, or your latest management accounts. If you are not a Registered Charity please also enclose your 18/19 accounts. 

I am a freelancer/practitioner/artist, my income has been impacted by COVID 19. Can Youth Music help?

We do not currently fund individuals. We are regularly updating information about funding available for freelancers here:

Can we send you a draft for our application?

Unfortunately, we can’t review draft applications – this fund is over and above our normal activity so we don’t have the capacity to do this. However, feel free to email us with specific questions.