Programme Areas

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John Lyon’s Charity divides its grant-giving into nine Programme Areas. There is no priority given to any specific Programme Area and applications are considered on their own merits within this framework.

Arts & Science

When applying under the Arts & Science Programme Area, suitable projects should typically:

  • Seek to engage the hardest to reach in effective programmes
  • Help to increase the confidence and skills of teachers and headteachers to deliver Arts & Science projects and leave a legacy in the school
  • Provide opportunities to get children out of their classrooms and into Arts and Science venues
  • Enable young people to have new and varied experiences and acquire new skills
  • Provide access to regular arts focused activities in their local communities
  • Projects should be of the highest quality, using the most qualified practitioners, with the most up to date and relevant training
  • The acquisition of Arts Awards is desirable but not essential for projects
  • Bursary awards are available via Music Education Hubs or specialist Arts institutions

The Charity will not consider requests from music organisations that do not complement the delivery of the local Music Hub.

Children & Families

Suitable projects or groups include:

  • Play activities for children aged 0-10 years outside the formal school setting
  • Services that provide support to families
  • Drop-in provision for under-fives including crèche provision and stay and play
  • Parenting initiatives
  • Projects delivered in Children’s Centres and Early Years settings

We cannot support the core running costs of Children’s Centres or provide funding for childcare.

Education & Learning

Suitable projects could include:

  • Projects that happen within state schools in the Charity’s Beneficial Area including colleges of Further Education
  • Projects in schools should add value to the curriculum and seek to inspire children and young people in learning
  • Supplementary schools e.g. core costs, tutor costs, English and Maths acquisition.  Please note, we do not fund Mother Tongue teaching
  • Structured learning activities outside the school day e.g. reading help outside of school
  • Acquisition of new skills e.g. cookery programmes

We do not fund:

  • Statutory obligations to deliver the core curriculum
  • Healthy eating projects or school vegetable gardens
  • Salaries of people employed by the school or local authority

Emotional Wellbeing

We will consider applications from specialist mental health organisations or from schools seeking to deliver emotional wellbeing services.
Suitable projects must include the following:

  • Initiatives must be led by qualified practitioners and include formal clinical supervision
  • Must be delivered in a dedicated setting or within a school, unless the project involves specific outreach
  • Projects should seek to engage harder to reach young people in the therapeutic process

We cannot support initiatives delivered by statutory mental health services or other health or publically funded bodies.

For more information on the Charity’s funding of Emotional Wellbeing initiatives see our guidelines for psychotheraputic work with children and families in schools.

Special Needs & Disability

Suitable projects include:

  • Arts activities
  • Education and learning
  • Employment initiatives
  • Family support
  • Inclusion opportunities
  • Respite breaks for families and carers
  • Short breaks for children and young people
  • Skills acquisition
  • Sports activities
  • Training
  • Trips
  • Youth work and recreational activities


Suitable projects can include:

  • General participation in sport
  • Focussed work with specific target groups
  • Nurturing talent and creating realistic pathways to elite status
  • Training and coaching qualifications
  • Projects that include education components


Suitable projects could include:

  • Employment related training
  • Apprenticeships in the charitable sector (e.g. Arts) that are not covered by government funding streams
  • ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) as part of a larger family learning project
  • Projects that have a focus on providing opportunities for Looked After Children

We are also interested in projects that attempt to mobilise support from the business sector and create real pathways into work.

Youth Clubs & Youth Activities

We will consider applications for:

  • Activities for young people outside the school setting
  • Universal access to youth clubs and youth activities

Youth Issues

We will consider projects that raise awareness amongst young people about issues that may affect them.  Issues could include (but are not limited to):

  • E-safety
  • Equality issues (e.g. race, sexuality, gender, religion)
  • Homelessness
  • Sexual exploitation and domestic abuse
  • Youth Offending