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Realising Ambition

A UK-wide programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund investing in outstanding projects that have a strong track record of helping young people to fulfil their potential and avoid pathways into offending

Realising Ambition is a UK-wide £25m Big Lottery Fund programme replicating 25 services aimed at preventing children and young people from entering the criminal justice system. Launched in 2012, the five year programme is providing grant funding and specialist support to 22 organisations to refine and build the evidence base of their services.

Realising Ambition aims to:

  • improve the evidence base of what works, for whom and why in avoiding pathways into offending
  • promote learning about what it takes to replicate evidence-based interventions
  • help commissioners to ask the right questions about evidence, practice and impact.

The programme is being led by Catch22 with the Dartington Social Research UnitSubstance and the Young Foundation as consortium partners.

Partners and funders


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All news
  • 17.07.2017Measured ProgressRealising Ambition may have reached a destination: last weeks’ House of Commons celebration event, but its journey continues.
  • 30.06.2017Because I'm worth it: ninth Programme Insight launchedIn this briefing we describe what cost-benefit analysis is and why it is important for service delivery organisations, funders and commissioners as well as set-out our approach to cost-benefit analysis.


All events
  • No events currently scheduled.


All publications
  • 28.03.2017Realising Ambition Programme Insight 8: Show me the moneyIn our eighth Programme Insight, we consider the realistic costs of delivering high quality services for children and young people. We explore why realistic cost estimates are important, highlight the dangers of cost under-estimation and introduce the key concept of unit cost analysis.
    pdf | 609KB
  • 22.02.2017Realising Ambition Programme Insight 7: Commissioning possibleIn our seventh Programme Insight, we consider key issues evidence-based commissioning is presenting to commissioners. We then offer learning from the Realising Ambition delivery organisations on the role that evidence has played as they have engaged commissioners with their preventative services.
    pdf | 497KB