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

Realising Ambition


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  • 07.10.2016Realising Ambition Programme Insight: Turning the lensIn the fifth Realising Ambition Programme Insight, we focus on organisational readiness to replicate alongside flexibility to adapt to the demands of delivering interventions.
    pdf | 1MB
  • 14.06.2016Realising Ambition Programme Insight: Proving vs ImprovingIn the fourth Realising Ambition Programme Insight, we explore how we came to see data on outcomes for young people as more than just a means of gauging success – it became clear that data can support service refinement and adaptation when replicating services.
    pdf | 681KB