Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to have a big future and build a great life!

We want York children to be the best they can be. To have the support they need to make the most of their school career and to grow into adults who are happy in their personal and working lives and proud to be themselves.

Who and What?
BFF is a York based charity working with local disadvantaged children and their families. We support children from age 5 right through school and through post 18 education or training to when they start work. We help children and their families with their emotional wellbeing, resilience and life skills. Our goal is to help all children, no matter their background, reach their potential in the classroom, the workplace and in life.

BFF does this by providing schools with professional counsellors to work with both children and parent/carers. This helps alleviate the pressures of difficult family situations, helps develop coping strategies and improve family relationships. All allowing the children to come to school relaxed and ready to learn. We also develop and deliver tailored life skill and resilience development programmes for the children in partnership with the children’s schools. Our support helps the children to develop the coping strategies, skills and attributes proven by academic research to be vital for success in school, work and life.

Why vote for BFF?
We're a local charity working with local children, their families and schools. Our support for the children and families will help to smooth the way through tough times at school. We'll stay along side the children right the way through until they leave full time education. We want them to be their best and develop into confident adults, fully engaged in their communities.

What will the Aviva award pay for?
A fully qualified professional counsellor will spend one day a week in each school throughout the school year. The cost of the service is £9,048 per school per year.

Who will benefit?
The local communities in deprived areas of York. Particularly Heworth, Clifton, Guildhall and Hull Road. 60 individuals, approximately 30 families will benefit over the two year project.

The detail!
Helping York Kids Build Great Lives starts in two York primary schools in January 2018. Our pilot schools are Tang Hall Primary and Haxby Road Primary. Both schools have approximately 50% of children qualifying for Free School Meals (FSM), twice the national average. York has a well-documented difficulty with the academic attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their non-disadvantaged peers. This is clearly seen at both GCSE and A-Level with a stubborn 20% gap in performance. BFF is working to reduce this attainment gap by supporting disadvantaged children to reach their full potential in school. This will lead to improved training, apprenticeship, Higher and Further Education opportunities leading to improved work opportunities and more contented lives.

Communities will benefit through improved mental health for their children and parents/carers leading to improved family relationships, ability to bounce back and cope with adversity and take advantage of new opportunities. The children will have improved education, training and work opportunities as they develop into young people and adults. These outcomes will lead to reduced levels of poverty, inequality and social exclusion in these communities.

We recently appeared in the York Press, a joint BFF and Haxby Road Primary article talking about our pilot programme and the benefits it will bring. See it here:

We have received funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and from private donors to date. Progress and community support are strong. Our trustees, schools and broader community have high optimism for a sustainable and bright future.

Big Futures Foundation

Moment of Pride

What makes us proud? The buy in from our community: schools, parents, academics, local government, counselling professionals and the public is astounding, the determination and focus of our diverse team of trustees and everyone involved with BFF to improve the life outcomes of York children.

Location: York