Time to Talk project secures £500k to support disabled youngsters in post-Covid future

3 mins read

Monday 26 July 2021

We are delighted to announce that the Time to Talk Next Steps programme, delivered in partnership with the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), has secured almost £500,000 in funding f rom The National Lottery Community Fund to support 210 young people with additional needs over the next three years.

The three-year programme will offer strength-based support to disabled youngsters aged 16-25 to help them build their confidence, provide motivation and make plans for the future beyond Covid.

It will also help families, carers and professionals to raise aspirations and encourage independence for the young people they support.

NDTi developed the programme during the start of the Covid pandemic and will be delivering it in partnership with Contact in order to provide the best-possible range of signposting and support. It will build on the success of the original Time To Talk project, which ran for six months from September 2020.

The programme is co-produced with young people and families, who are directly involved in its development. They will be at the centre of training for young peer supporters and professionals across England on how to build effective, strength-based support.

Angie Fenn, who leads Contact’s helpline team, said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the families we support and we know that many young people are experiencing anxiety about their futures. Some will have finished school or college or completed their education and are now unsure how they can move forward.

“We are delighted to be involved in this innovative project. Contact has a wealth of information, support and advice to share with young people and their families so they have the best chance of achieving what they want to achieve. We look forward to working with NDTi when it starts this September.”

Ikra, who is one of the young people that helped design the project, said: “I have gained a lot of confidence from it. I still have lots to offer and also have dreams to come true and get somewhere in life as a normal person. I know there will be lots of challenges in life to get where I want to be, but I never give up.”

How to get involved

If you or someone you know would like to make a Request for Support, please complete an expression of interest form. They aim to allocate young people places every six week from September 2021 and will be publishing dates for allocations throughout the year shortly. 

Find out more about the programme on the NDTi website

For advice on supporting your disabled youngster through this important transition into adult life, check out our Preparing for Adulthood webpages