Lancaster District Young People’s Foundation

Putting our trust in young people

The Lancaster district is a vibrant and caring place where organisations have worked together to support young people for generations. Almost a quarter of the population (23%) in our area are under 20. 
Our vision is to empower cross-sector collaboration and influence change, for a district where all children and young people are heard, happy, inspired and dare to dream.
Did you know…
  • 15% of children live in relative low-income families and 11% in absolute low-income families
  • The life expectancy of a baby born in 2020 to a household among the poorest in the district is about a decade shorter than a baby born to a household among the wealthiest.
  • The cost-of-living crisis and the impact of the pandemic have adversely affected both outcomes and provision for children and young people across our district.

“I am excited about developing the Lancaster District Young People’s Foundation.  I am in awe of the fabulous work that is happening in our local area.

I am looking forward to working with a network of people whose mission will be to improve the lives of children and young people and support and strengthen the work of the youth sector.” – Catherine Westwell, Young People Foundation Officer (Lancaster CVS)

Lancaster District Young People’s Foundation is supported by Young People’s Foundation Trust – a national charity which supports local collaboration in place for children and young people.

Young people at the core of everything we do

Young people told us that they are struggling with their mental health. 

We supported seven organisations to deliver over 500 sessions and activities to 197 young people, supporting them with their mental wellbeing. 

Young people told us that they leave the house in the morning not knowing if their parents will be able to ‘find’ dinner by the end of the day.  

We supported 27 organisations to feed 1,954 young people in our most disadvantaged communities.

Young people told us that they want to make a difference in their communities.

We supported 188 young people to take part in weekly social action projects ranging from growing food in their communities to preparing and serving meals to senior citizens.
With funding from Francis C Scott Charitable Trust and in partnership with Cumbria Youth Alliance, young people are leading the way in designing and delivering a grants programme, distributing £60,000 across Lancaster and Cumbria to support activities that are important to them.

About young people's foundations

Nationally, Young People’s Foundations (YPFs) are offering a positive and welcome model of local collaboration. They exist to improve the lives of children and young people, by supporting and strengthening the work of local agencies which contribute to that goal. To date, there are 11 active YPFs across the UK and 8 in development.  Our aim is to create a foundation for the Lancaster district by bringing organisations working with children and young people together to create a stronger and more connected district, where all children and young people can thrive, be inspired, and realise their potential.

Each YPF is different, working to a flexible model which is shaped by local need and ambitions.  However, all YPFs share commonalities, to read more about what these are please see the Young People’s Foundation Trust strategy, which provides a helpful overview of  YPF vision and values.

In 2022, building on the work of the Lancaster District Youth Partnership, we began developing a Young People’s Foundation to address the wide range of issues affecting organisations working with children and young people. At the heart of what we are creating will be the voice of children, young people and communities.

This video explains how Lancaster District Youth Partnership, funded by the Westminster Foundation, worked together to support local children and young people.

Our membership values


Membership is open to any group working with children and young people, with no limit on numbers. An equal voice will be given to all organisations, no matter their size.


The Foundation values the multitude of organisations that deliver youth and children’s work. There is a need for variety to meet the needs of as many young people as possible.


The Foundation is non-competitive and encourages collaboration between members. We will work to fundraise, coordinate and network to benefit our whole membership. We will not compete against members, nor will we deliver services which members could provide.


The needs of children and young people will be addressed by the public, voluntary and private sectors as a group rather than individually.


The Foundation works for, and with, small local organisations and retains a local focus.


The Foundation is designed for the long term. It is a constant.

Join us

Join us in putting our trust in young people.

Join us in giving young people safe spaces. 

Join us to create a district where all children and young people are heard, happy, inspired, and dare to dream.

Any organisation that shares our vision will be invited to become a member of Lancaster District Young People’s Foundation.
Join us to become part of a diverse and inspirational network of organisations all working to achieve our collective vision for children and young people in the Lancaster District.
Our work is shaped by our member organisations and the young people they serve.

Get in touch

Catherine Westwell

Young People’s Foundation Officer

Catherine leads on developing and supporting the Young People’s Foundation, which is working to strengthen the young people’s sector and improve the lives of children and young people.

[email protected]