How to apply for Erasmus+ funding

Got a great idea for a project that will help young people in your community? There’s funding available from the British Council under a scheme called Erasmus+. Read on to find out how to apply.

Girl with money in the dark

Yay, money! Now I can afford to turn the lights on.

What does Erasmus+ funding pay for?

Have an idea for a project that will help young people? Erasmus+ funding is the pot of money that’s here to pay for just that. A Youth Initiative is a project that’s created and run by young people. Open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 30 (or 15-18 as long as you have help from an adult), this funding offers you the chance to organise, take responsibility for and manage the budget of your own project.

What project can I set up?

Pretty much anything you like – as long as it helps your community. From forming a weekly discussion group, to running a football coaching project or dance and music classes, the possibilities are endless.

Together with six friends Catherine Mugonyi, from Blackpool, created Aunty Social, a cultural club where young people can get involved in craft workshops, watch films and socialise. “I was looking for something for young people to do in the evening that didn’t involve going to the pub,” she says.

How do I apply for Erasmus+ funding ?

It isn’t easy, but it’s worth preserving. Most people enlist the help of a ‘coach’ (youth worker) to support them, but in the first instance you should familiarise yourself with the application process by:

  • Going on the website and working out which type of funding opportunity suits your idea to make sure your project is eligible. A list of different funding strands is here
  • …Getting in touch with a local youth worker to help you explain the process to you

Before Catherine and her team applied for funding they publicised the idea through Facebook. “Once we knew they’d be a demand for it we approached a youth worker, Buzz Bury, and looked into applying for a Youth in Action grant.”

It’s not vital to use a coach, but having someone who offers support throughout the project and takes you through the tricky application process step by step can make life easier. “Buzz made sure we’d completed our form down to the tiniest detail,” says Catherine.

Setting up a Erasmus project

Before your project gets off the ground there may be practical things to consider, such as sorting out any insurance you might need, setting up a bank account, and working out the costs of essentials, like equipment, a hall or materials.

Your coach will be able to help you with the practical issues, plus there should be advice available from local Community Interest Companies (like social enterprises for example).

What can I gain from running a project?

Being involved in the community, meeting new people, and learning new skills are just a few of the benefits. “My confidence has grown so much, and I feel that what I’m doing is valued,” says Catherine. “The more workshops we put on, the more our participants blog, tweet, and come up with more ideas for activities; they love it.”

Catherine’s tips for starting a Youth Initiative

  • “Feedback is essential,” says Catherine. Make sure you do some local research locally to make sure your project is actually of interest.
  • Speak to youth workers about the practical issues, and get a coach to help you fill out the form.
  • Get your ‘housekeeping’ in order before you make the application. “Make sure you set up the bank account and get your paper work sorted out, it will save a lot of hassle when you’re trying to get your project up and running,” says Catherine.
  • Spread the word in your community. Once people know what you’re doing you’ll be surprised at how generous they can be. “It’s amazing how many people and organisations out there want to help and support you,” says Catherine.


Next Steps

  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.




Updated on 29-Sep-2015