Together for Short Lives
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Improving Transitions for Young People Fund

Young Adult with carer

The Improving Transitions for Young People Fund is Together for Short Lives’ ground-breaking funding programme, seeking to address the cliff edge in care experienced by young adults in their transition from children’s to adult services. The Fund backs innovative projects that have the potential to transform the experience of young people with life-limiting conditions as they prepare for and move on to adult services. Grants range between £40K & £150K for up to 30 months.

Why is this so important?

The projects will benefit the growing group of young people, who, due to advances in medical technology, are surviving into adulthood. Unfortunately, a lack of co-ordination between children’s and adult services, and an absence of tailored support mean that these young people often move to adult services without appropriate arrangements in place.

The key beneficiaries will be teenagers and young adults aged 14-25 with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, and their families. It is intended that it will support both projects that help teenagers through transition and projects that help young adults as they settle into adult life.

Round 2 of the Fund

Two projects were successfully awarded funding and begun their projects in late 2017.  Applications to the second round of funding closed in June 2018 and we hope to announce the outcome of the selection process in November 2018.

Together for Short Lives has specifically asked for projects that:

  • Address the ‘cliff edge’ of transition, the point at which young people move from familiar children’s services to adult services –focusing on developing innovative new services within the adult sector.
  • Focus specifically on young people with life-limiting conditions who also have profound and multiple learning disability.
  • Support the engagement of primary care, particularly GPs in transition for this group of young people.
  • We are also looking for initiatives that have a strong local commitment and the potential to be scaled up regionally and adopted nationally to deliver a long-term change.

Together for Short Lives will promote the spread of successful projects so that more young people with life-limiting conditions will get the support they need as they move from childhood to adulthood.

This programme has been made possible thanks to the generosity of charitable foundations committed to making change happen for those who need it most.

Current Projects

Expanding Worlds

In partnership with St Leonard’s Hospice for adults, Martin House Children’s Hospice’s project will enable young people to build their resilience and develop skills as they move from the teenage world to the adult world. Working collaboratively with young people, Expanding Worlds will help to identify the areas of biggest challenge and need for them in their move into adulthood, across physical health, emotional well-being, social, housing needs, work and leisure. The project partners will support young people to develop their own direction for the sessions during the project, giving them the opportunity to learn, implement and develop their self-management, proactivity, negotiation skills and resilience.

Charlotte lives in North Yorkshire, and has been supported by Martin House for five years:

“Life can be pretty strange and quite a challenge at times. In December last year my mother died suddenly and then in February this year my father died of heart disease.”

“I am 22 years old and have lived happily with them both all my life. They were remarkable parents, fun, loving and kind – the best. Fortunately I have a great brother and sister-in-law, niece and nephew. They live in a small house, but they took me into their home for seven months, until something could be sorted out for me. I have ataxia telangiectasia, a rare degenerative condition that affects the muscles, co-ordination, balance and the immune system. I have problems, but I am doing pretty well considering. I have never lived on my own and it is hard – but also exciting. I am on a steep learning curve. It is quite lonely at times, but my two amazing dogs, Baby and Prince, help me get through.”

“This new project is perfect. I have been involved in its development from the beginning. The voices, wishes and needs of the young people are central; it is not just something that is being imposed on us. There is so much to learn about life, and the plan is that we do it together.

“You never know what is round the corner, so make the most of your life while you can.”


Over 30 months Volunteering Matters’ project, Futures, will support 40 young people aged 17-19 across three Acorns Children’s Hospice sites and at three special educational needs schools in the West Midlands. It aims to support these young people living with complex and life-limiting illnesses and conditions to recognise their skills and positively shape their futures through mentor support. They aim to engage them in skills development, volunteering and social action, and work placements.