a young girl speaking at an event

Young People
& Education

Overview of the Themes

Each of our four cross cutting themes brings synergy and coherence across our strategy. They are described here in more detail for the Young People and Education programme, as the intended outcomes of our support.

We’re currently busy researching and developing our plans for the LEARN, LEAD and LOVE themes to ensure our funding can make the biggest difference in the future. In the meantime we are working with selected partners to test how we can best meet our objectives as well as opening our LIVE theme for applications now.


Learning and education for young people have been central in our work for centuries and will continue. We also nurture lifelong learning for all. Our programme priorities are:

  • Enabling excellent learning opportunities to equip young people to achieve their future potential, in a rapidly changing world
  • Preparing young people for successful transitions from secondary education into the next stage of their lives


Inspiring and authentic leaders are vital in any community. We will develop leadership and good practice in the sectors we care about most, to build more effective organisations. Our programme priorities are:

  • Investing in the quality and opportunities for leadership in schools, education and youth organisations
  • Supporting initiatives that improve the quality of teaching in schools
  • Investing in the leadership potential of young people in their own communities

LiveGuidelines & Application Form

Resilience and emotional wellbeing are integral to a ‘good life’. We will nurture creative and cultural opportunities that foster wellbeing, particularly in communities where they are hard to come by. Our programme priorities are:

  • Supporting the emotional wellbeing of children and young people, through creativity, the arts, and access to nature and the outdoors
  • Supporting evidence based approaches to mental health and wellbeing through schools. This priority is being delivered through our Associated Schools and selected partners and isn’t open to applications.


Family and friendship is at the heart of Mercer life. In our new strategy we place a high value on helping people build stronger connections, overcome isolation and build new relationships, making ‘Love thy neighbour’ a practical reality through social action. Our programme priorities are:

  • Nurturing and improving the life chances of pre- school children (under 5s) by supporting parents and families
  • Supporting safe spaces and places for young people to connect.