The Key – 2013

What’s the Big Idea?

The Key believes that all young people have the power to be great and they’ve worked out how to unlock it. The Key help young people learn and develop twelve vital life skills by encouraging them to work in little teams and use their passions, individuality, curiosity and creativity, to create and deliver their very own project ideas.

The opportunity

Young people from deprived areas, achieve disproportionately less in life yet there is NO evidence to link young people’s level of ambition to where they live.

Scary stat

The relationship between income of parents and children is stronger in the UK than anywhere else
in Europe (the impact is 1.5 x that of Canada, Germany, Sweden or Australia).

 The solution

The barrier is not in having ambitions, but in realising them. The Key helps to tap into young people’s natural motivation and ambition and then provide them with the structured support to pursue those passions – all the while building life skills, networks and real life experience. Way Up North 2

How it works

They Key is a simple programme that hits the sweet spot between freedom and structure that supports teams of friends to ‘Think’, ‘Plan’, ‘Do’ and ‘Review’ self-designed Key projects. They are supported by a trained facilitator to develop life skills and unlock funding to make their dreams a reality.

By developing an idea as part of a team, planning the project in detail and then pitching the idea (complete with project budget) to a panel of local community members, young people navigate their way through a subtle process that helps teach them 12 vital life skills.


What is Big Change doing?

Big Change has made two grants to support The Key:

One £10k grant as well as support to hire a data analyst that have allowed The Key to:

  • Build their internal capacity to imbed impact analysis
  • Inform decision making, prioritise resources and demonstrate impact
  • Provide data to partner organisations

A £25k grant to hire a volunteer coordinator to adapt to changing market conditions:

  •  Helps to engage local organisations to scale provision and build flexible partnerships