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Grant funding launched to empower young people to spot abuse in relationships

Youth organisations and charities across the country are being given the opportunity to bid for grants of up to £25K to develop resources to support young people in a toxic relationship.

The Your Best Friend project is funded by the Tampon Tax and aimed at resetting the expectations of girls, young women and non-binary young people so that they reject abusive relationships.

Your Best Friend research shows harassment and abuse is commonplace in young people’s relationships – 83% of young people have experienced unwanted personal/sexual comments when chatting online. A further 71% of young people have been aware of behaviours that worry them in friends’ relationships and 9 in 10 of these have actively spoken to their friend to try to help.   

Young people are taking on this responsibility themselves, often without the knowledge or confidence to do so.  They reported that self-doubt (45%) and not finding suitable information (60%) would definitely stop them talking to their friend about toxic or unhealthy relationships.  

Through the Your Best Friend project, young people are creating a campaign to reach young people where they already are, online and offline, opening their eyes to what’s unhealthy and how to support each other. 

To ensure the campaign reaches all those who need it, £300K worth of grants are available for grassroots and youth organisations across England and Wales to adopt campaign materials for local use or come up with an idea of their own. 

Suzanne Jacob, OBE, Chief Executive of SafeLives said:

This project has put young people in the driving seat, working alongside domestic abuse and youth work experts to create a campaign to help their peers spot red flags. We want to award these grants far and wide so that whatever a young person’s background, and wherever they turn – their community group, school, sports team, as well as online on social media, they can see the information they need to say ‘that’s not right’ and be able to help their friend, knowing when and where to get professional help.”

Laura, a young person involved in the project, said: 

It is important that groups across the country, led by young people, are able to use onward grants to keep spreading the messages from Your Best Friend… [the money could be used] to keep resources updated and contextually relevant to their locality which could increase outreach and ensure as many people as possible are able to access the resources. This could ensure more people have access to support if they or a friend experience a toxic relationship.

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