The Queen’s Trust: Helping young people help others

13th November 2015

Since 1977, The Queen’s Trust has invested over £93m to help young people help others, and in doing so, benefit wider society. As one of Frontline’s Founding Partners, The Queen’s Trust has been an invaluable supporter, and with us from the beginning. Here, Nicola Brentnall MVO, the Trust’s Director, discusses the work of the organisation and its involvement with Frontline.

What is The Queen’s Trust?
Independent of the Royal Household, The Queen’s Trust was established in 1977, the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The Prince of Wales led a public fundraising appeal to create a fund that would help young people help others.  In total, £14.5m was raised and £3m given away in initial grants in the early years. The balance was invested and the trustees have been distributing the proceeds ever since. In 2011, the trustees decided it was time to bring the work of The Queen’s Trust to an end and we intend to spend out the balance of the fund by 2019.

What is The Queen’s Trust approach to funding?
When making decisions on who to fund we look for boldness, ambition and belief in the potential of young people. We’re committed to supporting young people in difficult situations to achieve long term success in life, and providing practical help to enable them to do so. This is illustrated by the charities and programmes we support; like Frontline, Teach First and IntoUniversity. We want to achieve the biggest possible impact by supporting charities that share the key characteristics of leadership, sustainability and strategic planning.

How did The Queen’s Trust become involved with Frontline?
In 2013, Sam, a Teach First ambassador, heard that we were looking for new charities to support. He outlined what Frontline is trying to achieve and suggested that we get in touch with Josh MacAlister, Frontline’s Chief Executive, also Teach First alumnus. I met with Josh and Mark Potter, the External Relations Director, and was immediately struck by their passion to help the most vulnerable children in the UK and by their intelligent, considered, strategic approach.

Of course, evaluation is another important part of a funder’s decision-making, particularly in terms of demonstrable impact. We look for evidence that what we’re backing works. But that didn’t exist when we chose to fund Frontline. We made the decision to give a grant by looking at the evidence that was available to us – such as the IPPR report, the leadership team, the backing of Ark, the curriculum and the advisors supporting the development of the programme. In Frontline’s case, even though there was no proof that what they wanted to do would work, the qualities listed above were great indicators of the likelihood of success. At the very least – it was well worth a try.

Our funding for Frontline
In order to help Frontline build the case for support, we initially supported Frontline’s evaluation work, specifically looking at what difference Frontline Participants can make in terms of outcomes for children and families. This work is due to report in the second half of next year and is already generating interest.

We now offer unrestricted funding across the Leadership Development Programme.  Unrestricted funding in this way works really well as it gives greater flexibility to charities to apply funding where the need is greatest, across a robust business plan and towards a long-term strategy.
Why other organisations should support Frontline
Frontline is enabling more people to enter the social work profession, particularly those who might not otherwise have considered this to be a career option. It is increasing the number of professionals making a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable children and their families – which is great.

Trusts, companies and individuals alike, if you are interested in backing an organisation that’s bright and ambitious, committed to enabling young people in difficult situations to secure better outcomes, and if you’re interested in backing new ideas built on sound principles, Frontline is the right organisation to get behind. Why not join us?