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Nurturing ideas and people

We want to support imaginative people to nurture exciting ideas

In all the areas where we want to achieve impact, change often comes about because of the application of good ideas by passionate people. Paul Hamlyn was an innovator and in his business life and philanthropy he backed people with good ideas. We want to do this too.

Arts access and participation

We want to widen access and deepen participation in the arts

The value of the arts was central to Paul Hamlyn’s world view. We continue to believe in the enduring power of the Arts as a force for change, enriching people’s lives and communities.

Education & learning through the arts

We want to improve people’s education and learning through the arts

The arts play an important role in enriching young people's learning and educational experiences. Learning through the arts can engage and inspire young people, support key educational outcomes and develop skills that prepare young people for life beyond school. For many young people, particularly those experiencing the most disadvantage, the only opportunity to gain access to arts education is at school.

Arts Evidence

We want to show that the arts make a difference to people’s lives

Over the years the Foundation has provided millions of pounds of funding to arts and cultural organisations. We have a firm belief that the experiences they provide can be a force for change in individuals, encouraging creativity, reducing exclusion and assisting social and personal development. We want to build the evidence base so that others, including government, can understand the difference they make to people’s lives and communities. Over time, we hope to widen our focus on impact evidence into other social policy fields.

Investing in young people

We want to support the development and growth of organisations investing in young people and positive change

Much of our work aims to benefit young people but it is those who work directly with them who often make a difference to their lives, especially if they are vulnerable or face complex transitions to adulthood. We want to help organisations at different stages of development to improve, consolidate and spread those good practices which are endeavouring to make young lives better.

Migration and integration

We want to improve support for young people who migrate, and strengthen integration so that communities can live well together

Migration is a global phenomenon, generating opportunities for social, economic and cultural enrichment. It also creates challenges for those who have moved or been displaced, and those experiencing changes in their communities. Paul Hamlyn was a migrant, fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany, and we have long experience of grant-making, research and collaborations around migration – mainly focused on help for young people for whom migration has brought vulnerability and hardship.

Evidence and learning

We believe that learning is a collective effort, and that to be effective it’s important to explore what has and hasn’t worked.

That’s why we support grantees to collect, share and use evidence, to test new approaches and to evaluate and improve their practice. This, in turn, helps us to understand more about the work that we fund, and to analyse and make informed decisions about our approach to grant-making.

Playing our part

We want to play our role in pioneering philanthropy, both as an independent grant-maker and as a partner to others seeking to achieve social justice.

With over 10,000 charitable trusts and foundations in the UK distributing almost £3bn of grants, there is a duty for us all to ensure that we target our resources in the most effective way. Unlike statutory funders, foundations can take risks, offer support over longer periods and back causes that feel risky to others. With this freedom comes a responsibility to ensure we are working together to create the best possible environment for the organisations and individuals we want to support.

Information for grantees

We want our grants to reflect strong relationships with grantees as we work together to learn from the activity we support. Here is some information and resources to help get the most from your PHF grant.

Find out more

Other work

Alongside our strategic priorities we continue to pursue a number of important additional activities, including programmes launched under our former strategic framework. All remain key to our portfolio of work.