Grants and Advocacy

 Applications for courses starting or continuing a new academic year from September 2023 are now closed.




The Grants and Advocacy Programme supports young people with insecure immigration status in the UK to access and complete higher and further education through the provision of small bursaries and tailored advocacy support.

Our youth-led approach to grant-making puts those with lived experience at the heart of our decision-making processes. All awards are made in collaboration with previous grant holders, thereby providing space for young people to utilise their skills and experiences to support others to pursue their dreams, regardless of their status.

What we offer


We aim to support refugees, asylum-seekers, and undocumented young people to complete their education by providing grants of up to £4,500 to those who have no access to government funds, or to those who are facing extreme financial hardship. We can provide grants towards:

  • Tuition fees
  • Exam fees
  • Transport costs
  • General study costs


Young people who receive a grant will also have the opportunity to access tailored advice and one-to-one support from Hope for the Young throughout their studies.

Our Grants and Advocacy Coordinator will be there to answer questions, signpost grant holders to new opportunities and services, and advocate on their behalf if they are facing difficulties. They will also discuss all the ways in which they can get involved in Hope for the Young’s work.


We provide grants for young people:
  • between the ages of 16 – 28.
  • who are in or would like to access school, college or university.
  • studying up to their first undergraduate university degree.
  • subject to immigration control with no access to student finance (e.g. asylum-seekers, undocumented young people, survivors of modern-day slavery and trafficking).
  • refugees and those granted leave to remain in the UK but cannot meet their financial requirements for accessing or continuing their education.
We do not provide financial support for:
  • Postgraduate degrees.
  • International students or those with study visas.
  • Private education courses.
  • those who have exhausted their appeals and are unlikely to remain in the UK to complete their education.
  • Contributions towards tuition fees where the university is charging the overseas rate.

How to apply?

Applications for courses starting or continuing a new academic year from September 2023 are now closed.

1 Referral

We need an application form to be completed by an education or welfare organisation on behalf of the young person seeking support (e.g. a Teacher or Support Worker).

In exceptional circumstances we will consider a self-referral from a young person, if they do not have anyone who can complete the application on their behalf. However, they will need to include the contact details of someone who has agreed to provide a professional reference in support of their application. 

If you require further details or need help completing this form – please contact us at

Please note, incomplete applications cannot be processed therefore please ensure that all sections on the application form are completed in as much detail as possible.

2 Proof of Status

We will also need proof of the young person’s immigration status e.g. Home Office document or a letter from a solicitor. Applications will not be accepted without this evidence so please make sure that the person submitting the application has a copy of this before making the application.

3 Other Charities

As we are a small charity our funds are extremely limited. Our maximum grant is £4,500, however, most grants awarded will be smaller than this. Therefore, we will not be able to fund university tuition fees in full.

If you are seeking support for your tuition fees it is important that you also apply to other charities and can clearly demonstrate how you plan to meet the full costs of studying throughout the academic year. As part of your application we will require the names of the organisations and the amounts you have applied for.

You can find a list of other charities that you may be able to apply to on Refugee Education UK’s website HERE.

What happens next?

  • Both you and your referrer will receive an automatic email letting you know that we’ve received your application and supporting documents.

  • Our Grants and Advocacy Coordinator might get in touch with you and/or your referrer to ask for more information or relevant documentation.

  • We will assess your application and decide whether we can shortlist it to be discussed at one of our funding panels. If we are unable to shortlist your application on this occasion, we will let you know by the end of May.

  • If your application is shortlisted, it will be discussed during one of our funding panels made up of Hope for the Young’s past grant recipients, staff, and trustees. We aim to notify all applicants on the outcome of their application by the end of June.

  • We will get in touch to inform you that your application has been successful, subject to your college/university place being accepted and/or you have secured the additional funds required.

  • We will agree a payment plan and discuss future communication requirements with you and/or your referrer/education institute. We will then ask you to sign and return a grant agreement form.

  • The money will then be transferred in line with the agreement – (tuition fees are paid directly to the college/university. Other payments are paid monthly, and continuation of grant payments are conditional on good attendance).

  • You will be invited to attend an introductory meeting with our Grants and Advocacy Coordinator who will welcome you to Hope for the Young and explain how we can further support you with your goals (this could be in person or online).

  • Our Grants and Advocacy Coordinator will be there during your studies to answer questions, signpost you to opportunities and services, and advocate on your behalf if you are facing difficulties. They will also discuss ways in which you can get involved in Hope for the Young’s work.

  • At the end of the year we will ask you to complete an evaluation form to help us learn from your experiences and understand the impact the Grants and Advocacy Programme has had.

For further details about the Grants and Advocacy Programme, please contact our Grants and Advocacy Coordinator via or  07448 155126

(please note, their working hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am – 5.30pm.)

Meet our grantees!


Ismail, 24, arrived in the UK as a child. As a teenager, he realised he was ‘undocumented’ and his irregular status would cast a long shadow over his early adulthood, eventually leading to mental health problems. After a decade-long battle to regu...

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Agnes, aged 19, received a grant from Hope for the Young’s Education  Fund to study at university. At just 4 years old, Agnes  found herself in a new country, thousands of miles from her  family  home in The Gambia. Life in Dagenham, East London, ...

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Arooba’s arrival in the UK in circumstances beyond her control placed her in a period of extended uncertainty at a crucial time in her life. This is her inspirational story of strength and determination in reclaiming her education.

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Emad is a 23-year-old asylum seeker from Iran who was awarded a grant from Hope for the Young’s Education Fund in 2016, allowing him to finance his first year of university in biomedical science and embark on the first steps towards fulfilling his...

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A woman medic wearing blue scrubs and a face mask .


When Julia* came to the UK 4 years ago, aged 19, she found herself having to start all over again. Rebuilding her life and finding a new support network were challenging enough, but she then began to face huge difficulties when beginning a degree ...

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Rajmonda poses for a photo in a graduation cap and robe.


Rajmonda, a brilliant young woman from Albania, breaks down all the barriers in her way to graduate with a degree in Education.

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