Attracting over 100 application entries, ten applicants were shortlisted as finalists in mid November.  We are delighted to share their ideas and project proposals, along with their immediate support needs, which are all presented below.

Supporters and pro bono partners of the Awards are now invited to engage with these organisations to assist their development over the weeks leading to the virtual Finalé Event on 2nd December, at which a winner, or winners, will be selected. If you wish to attend the Finalé Event on 2nd December, you must pre-select 3 finalist’s projects you wish to visit on the evening. Please register your place in advance by emailing Mona Rahman at

Please take some time to review the applicants below and their support needs and get in touch where you think you may be able to assist in their development.

Apart of Me

Apart of Me is a charity that helps vulnerable young people transform their grief into superpowers like compassion and creativity. Our service is based around our multi-award-winning, Bafta-nominated app, with over 90,000 users since launching 2 years ago.

An independent evaluation showed the app is having a significant, positive emotional impact for the young people who use it. In response to this pandemic, we have accelerated our plans to internationalise the service, and are about to launch in 3 new languages, with 5 more in the pipeline.

Our service is based around a structured programme, delivered through the app, which trains bereaved young people up to be Guides. Guides help other young people through their grief by improving the game design, sharing their stories of loss, and providing peer mentoring in the form of grief tips that are shared both in the game and through our website.

Support needed:

  • Pitch Prep: It will be the first time we will be taking part in this type of event. Help us prepare our pitch and presentation to get the most out of the opportunity.
  • Impact and Evaluation Framework: Help us define more clearly our Impact and Evaluation Framework. We need help understanding the best metrics to choose to measure our impact, and the best way to report on this impact. We also need help thinking about how to gather case studies.
  • Business plan and potential business models: We need help innovating our fundraising approach. We currently rely heavily on our growing international network of volunteers, but we need core funding to help us scale our vision and really achieve the impact we want to achieve in the field of adolescent grief and mental health.
  • Legal advice: We need help setting ourselves up with the best legal structure, and we need some legal advice around IP.

The Black Curriculum

The Black Curriculum is building an online learning platform specifically focused on training senior leaders to create anti-racist schools and equipping teachers to teach Black British history all year round. We previously operated a face-to-face model, and successfully trained 400+ teachers across 7 cities. Moving forward, we are building an at scale mode of ending racial inequality in the classroom by providing accredited courses delivered by domain experts, together with lesson material on a single online platform.

We will take an evidence based approach and regularly measure the diversification of school curricula following accreditation. Firstly by continuing our human led audits, and later, by leveraging natural language processing to quickly audit curriculums and lesson plans to ensure they are representative and provide recommendations in real-time. Additionally, we will assess cohesion within schools, increase in the sense of belonging, and improvement in the attainment of students from diverse communities.

Support Needed:

  • Scaling: this is not a new problem and the consequences of not solving it are vast. Teach us how to scale. Provide strategic support around building traction, creating a sustainable model, raising capital and infusing a validated learning approach to improve our chances of success.
  • Impact assessment: help us measure what matters! Systemic change is at the heart of our mission, to this end, we would like support on how we can embed structured impact assessment in the spine of our solutions to create real social transformation.
  • Relationship building: we need help to form relationships with schools and local authorities nationwide, who will commit to piloting our platform from 2021.
  • Marketing: Black British history is British history. Help us build an effective marketing strategy to reach the widest possible audience as well as gain endorsement from key influencers in the education ecosystem.

Download Application

Commons Law CIC

Commons is the not-for-profit criminal law firm based in London, which was set up to provide legal advice and representation to people at the police station, at court and for appeals against conviction involving domestic and international cases. We provide people, many of whom have complex needs, who are suspected or accused of committing a crime with the time and resources required to effectively defend their case.

We run a flagship crisis navigation service to ensure our clients access services that may be able to support them in a range of other areas of their lives such as housing, mental health, immigration, employment and more.

We produce information resources about the criminal process and human rights and develop and deliver grant-funded projects to challenge injustices that impact people coming into contact with the criminal justice system.

We collaborate with third sector partners to support service users with additional needs or vulnerabilities who may be at risk as a result of their criminalisation.

Support needed:

  • Marketing: help us to develop new marketing materials and messaging to share the firm’s impact creatively to a wide audience of local authorities, government, NGOs, charities and individuals.
  • Local and national government: help us to influence local and national government on the potential of crisis navigation and holistic defence as we increase the impact and visibility of the pilot.
  • Scale support: to explore how to expand our crisis navigation model and transition the pilot into new areas.
  • Funding: Covid-19 has exposed some of the largest gaps between the need for support services and the engagement of the criminal justice system. We will need larger institutional investment alongside other partners such as an academic research institution and health policy body to assess and amplify our model of practice.

Elimu International

Elimu is a community organisation which supports Black youth aged 16-25 with careers, education and financial literacy. We have developed a community of role models who volunteer their time, skills and experience to help achieve our mission through mentoring, workshops, and Q&A’s which are hosted by our youth. They also deliver sessions on our Fellowship programme. More details below:

  • Fellowship programme – This programme takes 30 at-risk young people through a 12-week programme of learning, mentoring and business planning. The programme aims to reduce the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
  • Mentoring programme – we connect individuals and organisations with young people for 6-month or 1 year relationships.
  • Online events – volunteers from PwC, JP Morgan, World Remit Parliament and Johnson&Johnson deliver workshops with our young people via Zoom. Our young people also host Q&A’s with entrepreneurs on Instagram Live

Support needed:

  • Pitch prep: we would like support in preparing for our pitch to help us most effectively communicate our purpose and vision.
  • Impact reporting: help us to clearly and effectively demonstrate the impact we are making to better plan for the future. We would benefit from having an improved method of measuring the changes we are initiating.
  • Marketing: we would like to reach more people with our message and reach a wider audience of young people to scale up in the future. We need help with a marketing strategy and creating materials.
  • Financial management: to help us expand we are looking for guidance with creating our budget and cashflow forecasting. Our accountant would also benefit from the expertise of someone with more experience of managing charity accounts.
  • Business plan planning: to enable us to grow in the coming years and best serve our target audience.
  • HR: we would like guidance to help us plan towards our team growth.
  • Community building: as our community will be engaged online as opposed to in-person for the foreseeable future. We have successfully carried out a number of Zoom and Instagram events, but we want to explore more creative ways to keep our community growing and engaged with ourselves as well as one another online.

Lifting Limits

Lifting Limits’ mission is to challenge gender stereotyping – a root cause of gender inequality – in and through education. Gender stereotyping surrounds children in every aspect of their lives, informing their understanding of the world, limiting aspirations and sowing the seeds for unequal outcomes in childhood and later in life. With gendered attitudes ingrained in children from age 10, early intervention is key – by secondary school age these attitudes are harder to change and primary schools (age 3-11) therefore have a critical role to play.

Lifting Limits is the only organisation tackling gender stereotyping in English primary schools through a systematic, evidence-based, whole school approach. Our comprehensive programme of training and resources has been rigorously tested in a successful, independently evaluated, year-long pilot. In our first two years we have reached nearly 10,000 pupils and 1,200 educators, across 22 schools and we are now poised to scale our approach across primary education.

Support needed:

  • Pitch support ahead of the selection event – communications: support to help us communicate our message clearly and concisely.
  • Communications and PR strategy: ensuring our core message is clearly communicated and our ‘storytelling’ targeted effectively towards our different audiences (including schools, funders and policy makers).
  • Strategic business advice: to help challenge and steer us to be entrepreneurial and agile, whilst staying true to our mission and charitable purposes; support developing a viable business model for scaling, include costing our services to generate income in the context of constrained schools budgets.
  • Financial governance: guidance with best practice in preparing our budgets, management accounts and cashflow forecasting. It may be that this support could initially be external but ideally we will be looking to recruit a hands-on Treasurer to our board of trustees.
  • Charity governance: having recently obtained charitable status, testing our processes to ensure outstanding governance; advice on trustee recruitment as we look to strategically expand our board.
  • Office space: our small team works from home and (post-Covid) a little office space for a couple of days a week as our team grows would be very welcome.

Download Application

Mosaik Education

Currently only 3% of refugees are able to reach university, compared to a global average enrolment rate of young people 37%. Mosaik helps refuges to reach by university through academic guidance and language learning programmes. All of our programmes are designed with refugees, use technology to make them accessible, and are delivered in collaboration with community organisations.

Having launched the our programmes in 2019, Mosaik is now working in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Currently, we cannot keep up with the additional demand from within Middle East and outside of the region. We are proposing to build a tool that allows our programmes to be used more autonomously by community organisations around the world, thereby scaling our impact to close university access gap faced by refugees.

Support needed:

  • Intellectual property: how best to leverage open licences to balance between fidelity of the materials, sustainability, and ease of access
  • Monitoring and evaluation:  for interventions aiming to produce change across a sector or at a systems level
  • Strategic and operational planning: support on strategic and operational planning for international expansion
  • Digital strategy advice: Advice and critique on the digital strategy behind our project

Download Application

MYTIME Young Carers Charity

A young carer is a child, just like any other. The only difference is that young carers are responsible for the care of at least one member of their family, though they may be as young as 5 years old themselves. These children work incredibly hard to take care of their loved ones, yet they represent a largely forgotten community, and often face enormous disadvantage as a result. At MYTIME, it is our mission to level the playing field for young carers by providing them with the support, opportunities and friendship that every child needs.

Through our School Support Programme, we aim to raise awareness of young carers within their school communities, to equip schools with the tools and the know-how to identify and more effectively support their young carers, and ultimately, to ensure that young carers have everything they need to achieve their full personal, academic and professional potential.

Support needed:

  • Finance: we are ambitious, and hope to grow our charity and impact progressively over the coming years. We would like support in understanding how best to manage our finances as we develop and expand.
  • Marketing: we currently invest in our PR and our social media presence, but do little in the way of marketing. We would love to be able to draw on the expertise of somebody who could help us to develop and enact a marketing strategy, and to produce marketing materials. This will help us to raise awareness of our organisation and cause, and to expand our support network.
  • HR: we would like to connect with HR professionals who would be willing and able to support us in times of need, for example, in the eventuality of a team restructure.
  • IT support: we lack an IT expert on our team, and would be grateful for a supportive contact in this field. We are particularly keen to understand more about app development.
  • Business strategy: we would appreciate some guidance around how to develop our business plan to encompass the long-term goals and expansion that we aspire towards. We aim to work sustainably, innovatively and impactfully to create meaningful and lasting change where it’s most needed, and our business strategy must reflect this.
  • Legal advice: we would be grateful for the opportunity to connect with a legal expert, so that we might be able to seek ongoing professional advice as and when specific questions arise.

Download Application

Say It With Your Chest

Say It With Your Chest is a not-for-profit social enterprise. At Say It With Your Chest, we believe in the importance of empowering young people to be the best version of themselves. We achieve this by working in partnership with secondary schools to improve the behaviour and outcomes of students.

In collaboration with secondary schools we deliver a programme called the Switch Ambassador Programme to students who are at the highest risk of being excluded. The programme includes tailored group workshops and 1:1 mentoring sessions. We work with students who are at the highest risk of being excluded because there are many negative outcomes that can happen as a result of being excluded from school.

For example:
– An excluded student is four times more likely to be jailed as an adult (The University of Edinburgh, 2016).
– Only 1% of excluded students go on to receive five good GCSE grades ( IPPR, 2017).

Support needed:

  • HR:  help us plan and achieve our team growth.
  • Marketing: help with increasing our social media presence, brand awareness and reach among the policy makers we want to influence as well as potential clients and customers.
  • Ambassadors and introductions: we are looking for organisations and people to champion our work and to introduce us to other organisations we might work with which have similar values and aims.
  • Financial modelling: help with a business model and financial plan to enable us to scale.
  • Legal advocacy support: help with campaigning to influence policy changes and practices in the education system.
  • Governance: people to join the board who can further develop the organisation.
  • Impact evaluation and measurement: we would welcome guidance in developing an independently validated impact assessment model. This would be invaluable in showing potential customers why they should use our services. We would also like help in developing a methodology by which we can demonstrate the Social Return on Investment (SROI) of the work we do.

Skelmersdale Resilience Fund

Skelmersdale Resilience Society is a new Community Benefit Society to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. It will issue withdrawable “community” shares, to combat blight and deliver high street sustainability beyond the pandemic recession, demonstrating benefits of shifting local economies away from reliance on shareholdings under company law and towards society law.

We’ll do this by:

  • Building a high street resilience fund; the fund will be built from share purchases by local people and local institutions, on the basis of an innovative shares prospectus
  • Making an offer ,to firms struggling to survive, to fund them through the recession in return for partial ownership by the society
  • Creating ‘buy back’ provision for owners, should they wish to re- take private ownership, at a premium to ensure sustained growth of Society funds
  • Working to build a common commitment to high-level employment and environment practices, and towards broader shifts in high street use.

Support needed:

  • Director recruitment: we welcome scrutiny of and advice on our proposed open recruitment process for new Directors to create a multi-skilled board with the right mix of governance and local engagement skills. There will then be a further stage of infrastructure development around the ‘investment committee’, and guidance and support will be welcome here too.
  • Relationship with Financial Conduct Authority: the community benefit ‘purpose’ and other constitutional features for the new Society need careful finalization before submission, because what is proposed may be beyond narrower conception of what a Community Benefit Society might do. Legal support beyond what is “off the shelf” will be most welcome, given the possibility of either needing to engage directly with senior FCA decision-makers or developing a ‘workaround’.
  • Business valuation and contract development: we will need an appropriate base methodology for the fair valuation of businesses, within the parameters of which we will then to develop our ‘offer’ to business owners approaching us over our offer, leading to watertight contracts inclusive of the ‘buy back’ option. Specific financial and legal advice is welcome.
  • Business plan and prospectus: stress-testing of and robust challenge to our business plan and shares prospectus, especially in terms of delivery costs and uptake/demand/expansion routes is very welcome.
  • Wider network: we’re committed to the principle that this project has to thrive through local financing, if it is to be genuinely replicable, but we will appreciate support on introductions to networks through which we can share our experiences and learn what we might do better.

Website is currently under development, but if you would like further details, please contact Paul Cotterill  at

Download Application

Square Circle

We create belonging at work.

We are a social enterprise. Unlike others however we don’t focus on how young people can work on their ’employability’ or their ‘fit’, but instead on the many ways that employers can up-skill and develop the way they hire and manage people, to be more inclusive of all talent.

Young people leaving education come together in consultant teams to tackle our client briefs, delivering solutions for employers about cognitive bias and identity. From training to reverse mentoring, employers can now access the ideas and knowledge the newest generation of talent have about how the world of work can include everyone.

The future of work is changing. 2020 has seen a lot of the future work skills that employers were preparing for suddenly arrive – and we think the latest generation of talent have incredible value to add to the conversation about future of work challenges, and opportunities.

Support needed:

  • Legal/ tax/ freelancing structures: We always pay every young person who works with us for their time and their talent. We would like some support thinking about the best way to run the relationship we create with young people as freelance consultants, to make it as straightforward and suitable for them. We offer flexible, paid work while people are job seeking- what’s the best way to do this?
  • Impact measurement: we have impact methodology in place to track the way we can accelerate a young person’s journey towards rewarding work – towards the career they want. Our mission however is behaviour change amongst decision makers who employ and manage others – we see some changes after each client brief, but we would like some support in developing a way to measure the medium to longer term impacts, and how to track more intangible shifts in attitudes and behaviours.
  • Sales and partnerships: what we are doing is different. In this area the system continually demands a default to labels, to things operating as they always have. We want to understand how to sell whilst staying close to our values.
  • Mentoring: our Operations Lead, Maryam, recently graduated and is taking Square Circle forward. Whilst she is doing the labour of reverse mentoring employers, we’d love a charity/ soc ent mentor for her please!