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Life Chances Fund- DFN Move Forward (Think Forward)

Social Impact Bond

Location: London, United Kingdom

Launch date: 2018

Duration: 60 months

Capital raised: N/A

Policy area: Employment

Government outcomes fund: Life Chances Fund (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports, Big Lottery Fund)

Commissioners: DFN Charitable Foundation, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) (Central government)

Providers: Think Forward UK (Charity Number: 1152862)

Investors: Big Issue Invest

SIB structure: Intermediated

Target population: The programme is going to work with young people aged 14-25. The programme has defined enrolment criteria, only selecting young people with mild to moderate learning disabilities.

Size of cohort: 358

Stage: Implementation

Intervention description

DFN-Move Forward is a unique school to work employability programme that will support young people aged 14-25 with mild to moderate learning disabilities to develop the aspirations, qualifications and skills they need to realise their potential and gain paid employment. The project includes the engagement of parents and staff at mainstream and special schools and colleges and Local Authorities. It will provide holistic and personalised 1:1 coaching support, comprehensive careers IAG tailored to the specific cohort, employability activities including work-based insight days, skills workshops, mentoring, volunteering and work experience. Multi-stakeholder engagement is at the heart of the project and it will drive systemic change whereby parents will increase their aspirations and schools and employers will have increased capacity to support young people more effectively.

Approach to Specifying Intervention

DFN-MoveForward builds on ThinkForward’s existing programme, which was designed in 2011 as a social impact bond and used evidence based approaches to support those most at risk of NEET.


Young people with mild to moderate learning disabilities will enter and sustain paid employment

  • Definition: As above
  • Baseline: The estimated average employment rate for individuals aged 18–24 with mild to moderate learning difficulties is just 10%.
  • Maximum Payment: £8,000
  • Outcome Target (#): 105
  • Outcomes Achieved (#): N/A

Young people become work-ready through participation in 4+ workplace activities

  • Definition: As above
  • Baseline: Research highlights that existing provision in schools is not to a high enough standard and that there is not a consistent thread through participation in work readiness activities.
  • Maximum Payment: £2,000
  • Outcome Target (#): 262
  • Outcomes Achieved (#): N/A

Young people complete the ThinkForward work skills BTEC/alternative in-school qualification

  • Definition: As above
  • Baseline: Based on modelled data received from our school partners, we assume that the young person would not have these qualifications.
  • Maximum Payment: £3,000
  • Outcome Target (#): 184
  • Outcomes Achieved (#): N/A

Further information

  • Referral Route: Will build on ThinkForward’s well-defined and extensive monitoring processes used for its existing programme, to track young people from their referral onto the programme, throughout their level of engagement in various activities and to their achievement of outcomes.
  • Total potential Maximum Outcomes Payments: £1,683,000
  • Date Outcomes Contract Signed: 27/09/2018
  • Date Service Delivery Started: 01/09/2018
More detailed information on this project can be found in the Data Template Excel sheet linked below, with a full list of sources. All fields are defined according to our data dictionary.