HC Deb 20 May 2004 vol 421 cc1136-8W
Charles Hendry

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the Positive Futures initiative in(a) reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training and (b) reducing substance misuse among participants. [172825]

Caroline Flint

Positive Futures has an ongoing national monitoring and evaluation strategy that aims to identify and establish the value that both the national programme and individual projects have for participants and the communities in which they live.

(a) Reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training.

Approximately 20,000 young people are engaged with the 107 projects at present. Of these, in the previous six months: over 2,400 have made some kind of educational achievement (e.g. returned to education, doing better in school, improved school attendance); nearly 600 have secured a job or are now looking for a job1; over 1,500 project participants have achieved some form of training or award (e.g. sports/leadership awards, Duke of Edinburgh, drugs education)2.

Source: 1 MORI (figures from a minimum base of 83 projects) 2 MORI

(b) Reducing substance misuse among participants.

As a sport and activity based social inclusion programme, Positive Futures creates opportunities to address the multiple issues associated with problematic substance misuse. It is targeted at marginalised young people in the 10–19 age range living in the most deprived communities, who are at increased risk of involvement in problem drug use and crime.

Substance misuse prevention work offered by Positive Futures projects includes: drop-in surgeries, often with specialist advisors on hand; one-to-one sessions; leaflets/literature; informal advice through sport, e.g. staff will adapt sessions to focus on fitness and healthy lifestyles. This creates opportunities to address drugs and alcohol issues.

During March 2004 around 200 front-line Positive Futures staff across the country received comprehensive substance misuse training as part of the programme's Workforce Quality Initiative.

Charles Hendry

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of the Positive Futures initiative has been in each year since its launch. [172826]

Caroline Flint

The table shows the total amount of government funding allocated by the Positive Futures programme to local projects for each financial year, since its launch in 2000.

Financial year Total government fielded

project grants (£)

2000–01 545,000
2001–02 2,915,000
2002–03 2,295,000
2003–04 6,085,000
2004–05 5,200,000


1. For 2000 and 2003 the figures include funds from the Home Office, Sport England, the Communities Against Drugs fund and the Recovered Assets Fund. From 2003–04 onwards the Home Office funded the total cost of project grants.

2. 2000 to 2003—these figures have been approximated to financial years as Sport England originally allocated funding in variable 'project years'.

3. From 2003–04 onwards there was:

An extension of the programme to include 17 to 19-year-olds, with a focus on links to education, training and employment. Additional funding to projects in the top 30 high crime Basic Command Unit areas (BCU).

4. From 2004–05 onwards there was a reduction in the core grant to established projects from 100 per cent. to 60 per cent. while support was given to identifying and negotiating gap funding. The programme has secured support from a range of local and national organisations, including £1 million per annum from the Football Foundation for new projects. Local projects have individually secured additional partnership funding ranging from £10,000 to £150,000.

5. In addition to the project grant costs shown in the table, the programme also incurs some central costs associated principally with monitoring and evaluation, communications and the training and development of project staff. Estimates of these costs are not available for all the years shown in the table. However, for 2004–05 the total central costs are expected to be approximately £0.5 million.

Charles Hendry

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding has been provided to voluntary youth organisations through the Positive Futures initiative in each year since its launch. [172827]

Caroline Flint

Records held about Positive Futures projects classify their lead delivery agency as either statutory or non-statutory. 55 per cent. of 107 Positive Futures projects currently operating have a non-statutory lead delivery agency.

The table shows the amount of government funding that has been allocated to non-statutory agencies for Positive Futures projects since the programme began in 2000.

Funding (£)
2000 to 20031 2,350,000
2003–04 956,000
2004–05 2,565,000
1Figures for 2000 to 2003 have been amalgamated because during this period Sport England allocated funding in variable 'project years'.