#what’s working

2024 Funding Opportunity

What’s Working for Young People’s Mental Health?

The Prudence Trust is delighted to offer a new funding opportunity to enable charities and CICs supporting young people’s mental health to better understand the impact of their work and find out how they could improve.

We believe well-evidenced practice is vital to advancing young people’s mental health. We recognise that organisations have different needs when it comes to evaluation, and many do not have the resources to do the research they would wish to. Knowing this, we’re open to hearing different ideas on the best approach to learning for each charity.

This opportunity is open in the first stage to all those who meet the criteria, whether or not they already hold a Prudence Trust grant. A longlist of these applicants will be invited to a second stage in late March. Final grants will be awarded in June 2024.

Our intention, through this funding, to increase the standard of evaluation across the many good interventions which exist.


Application deadline
First stage: Friday 8 March 4pm
Second stage invitations will be made in late March.

Purpose of funding
Evaluation work for youth mental health organisations.

Eligible organisations
UK registered charities or CICs
With an annual income above £250,000.
Must have a track record of running mental health support services or services for young people for at least two years.

Example eligible costs
Salaries, consultancy fees, training.

Value and term of grants
Total grants budget: £1 million
Grant size: We anticipate awarding 5-8 grants, varying greatly in size
Grant term: Up to 24 months

Information webinars
Thursday 8 February 2pm – Sign Up
Monday 12 February 12 noon – Sign Up
Thursday 29 February 2pm – Sign Up
All webinars are optional and will cover the same information through an introduction and Q&A.

Who can apply

This opportunity is for organisations who support young people in the UK with their mental health at prevention and early intervention stages. We will only consider applications from organisations who meet these three criteria:

  • UK registered charities or CICs with an annual income of £250,000 or over.
  • The charity or CIC must work mostly with, or have a programme they want to evaluate that works almost entirely young people aged 11-25, and have a clear focus on their mental health as a primary outcome of that support.
  • Where the proposal is linked to a particular service, that service must already be running for at least two years and must have secured sufficient funding to ensure the programme runs for the duration of the proposed evaluation.

We will not consider applications from unregistered charities, those whose work is not primarily focussed on young people, those whose work does not have a clear mental health outcome, or evaluation of brand new services.

We have collected some of the most common questions we have been asked in our online webinars in this FAQs  document. You may find it useful to read these questions before getting in touch or submitting your expression of interest.

What you can apply for

The aim of this funding opportunity is to support charities supporting young people’s mental health to better understand how their service works and how it can be improved . Since we will only be able to make a small number of grants, we will only support proposals where the strategic value of measuring impact is clear. E.g. designing more effective programmes, demonstrating impact for commissioning, stopping programmes, aligning services with young people’s needs.

What we will offer funding for

Some examples of what our funding could cover include:

  • Consultancy support for work such as strategy review, theory of change, creation of an evaluation and change plan.
  • Upskilling of staff responsible for monitoring and evaluation
  • Costs to work with an external evaluator or academic on specific programmes.
  • Staff or consultant time to review evidence of similar services.

This opportunity won’t award funds for:

  • The costs of service delivery
  • Retrospective funding (we can only fund costs incurred after June 2024)


Budget and grant amounts

Our total grants budget for this opportunity is £1m. We expect to award 5-8 grants, of various sizes, from this total. You should request an appropriate grant for the type of evaluation you want to do.

  • For evaluations of specific programmes, we expect evaluation costs to be proportionate. In this assessment we expect a proportionate evaluation should cost no more than 10% of that programme’s annual delivery costs.
  • We won’t consider requests for less than £10,000. Other funders may be more suitable for these requests.
  • We are less likely to consider requests over £200k. If you have a strong proposal for more than this, please contact us before applying.


Key dates



Stage one (open to all)
Mon 5 February First stage applications open
Thur 8 Feb at 2pm
Mon 12 Feb at 12 noon
Thur 29 Feb
Optional information webinars
Thur 8 Feb at 2pm – Sign Up
Mon 12 Feb at 12 noon – Sign Up
Thursday 29 Feb at 2pm – Sign Up
Fri 8 March 4pm First stage application deadline


Stage two (by invitation)
Late March A long list will be invited to apply for the second stage
Fri 3 May 4pm Second stage application deadline
Late May Online or in person assessment visits
Mid June 2024 Grants awarded

How to apply

The deadline for stage one applications was 4pm on 8th March. This stage is now closed.

A Word template of this form is available here, for your reference. We will only accept submissions through the online form.

You will know if you are invited to submit a full second stage application by the end of March 2024. If invited, our partners at NCVO will work with you to develop your second stage proposal.
We will let second stage applicants know whether their application has been successful in mid June 2024

How grant decisions are made

We will only consider applications that meet the three application criteria above. After that, we will prioritise applications that can demonstrate these strengths:

  • A culture of curiosity. Organisations that are interested not just in collecting data but in using it to find out how they can improve. Organisations open to surprising findings.
  • Projects that have a clear strategic purpose for the organisation.
  • Senior leadership is committed to learning from the evaluation.
  • The proposed learning is useful and actionable. There should be a clear output at the end of the grant period. E.g. a new theory of change or an action plan.

To help our decision making The Prudence Trust calls on advice from an expert panel of external advisors and young people. For this opportunity we will also be helped by evaluation experts at NCVO. Final decisions are made by the board of trustees.

what to expect if you are successful

In addition to a grant, Prudence Trust is working with NCVO to provide ‘What’s Working?’ grant holders with mentoring, access to a cohort of fellow youth mental health charities undertaking evaluation, and evaluation workshops. We encourage grantees will take part in these activities.

You will need to agree to our grant terms and conditions and we will expect you to keep us updated via written reports every six months and ad hoc calls.

The Prudence Trust - places to go for help

We want to support charities doing great work to explore why it works, make it better or, even, stop doing what’s not working.  Above all, we want them to use this learning to advance the understanding of what is working in children and young people’s mental health.