More Information for Parents and Guardians

Being young today is busy. School. Friends. Hobbies. Staying healthy. Helping at home. Finding out who you are.

But if young people spend a lot of time away from school, it’s easy to put learning, making friends, and planning for the future on the back burner. After all, the future can seem pretty far away.

Here at the Renaissance Foundation, we think the future should be exciting for all young people. We run a three year programme to give young carers, young patients, and young people who are struggling, the time and inspiration they need to figure out the kind of future they want.

It’s not about narrowing down the options. It’s about keeping doors open by introducing them to new people, new places, and new ideas. That way, our young people experience more. Aim higher. And feel more confident taking their next steps into adulthood.

Our Young Leaders attending a workshop on Silent Filmmaking at the BFI in 2018.

Our Young Leaders attending a workshop on Silent Filmmaking at the BFI in 2018.

How did we start?

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Our Young Leaders on a visit to No. 10 Downing Street in 2017

We were founded in 2003 in East London by our director as a result of his personal experience of being a young carer with significant health conditions whilst studying for his GCSEs. He observed first-hand how these circumstances impacted upon his education, outlook and mental health. However, at the same time he saw how a person can be helped to overcome these problems through inspiration.

Building on our origins, we focus exclusively on three hard-to-reach groups which are young carers, young hospital patients suffering from life-limiting illnesses and transitioning from paediatric to adult care, and ‘school pupils at risk’, all aged between 13 and 19, and referred to us by well-respected authorities. Over the course of 15 years we have developed enough to call ourselves experts in our field and we feel certain that we are a force for good for many young people.

What do Partners have to say?

The i-Can Do it programme has been highly successful in propping [the young people] up, revealing their aspirations, developing their emotional resilience and teaching them practical and social skills that are crucial to the success of their transition and the rest of their life
— Michelle Johnson, Director of Nursing at Barts Hospital
The impact of Renaissance Foundation is wide-ranging, from introducing students to careers and sports they were not aware of, to giving students the confidence to be more vocal about their hopes and ambitions for the future
— Sajeda Begum, University and Business Links Coordinator, St Paul’s Way Trust School
Our Young Leaders meeting Lewis Hamilton, who was himself a young carer, at the F1 Press Day at Silverstone in 2018.

Our Young Leaders meeting Lewis Hamilton, who was himself a young carer, at the F1 Press Day at Silverstone in 2018.

What do parents have to say?

The kids are definitely really lucky to have you guys arranging these fun activities and giving them things to look forward to as all the hospital appointments can get quite stressful especially for teenagers [...] Thank you once again because what you guys do really makes a difference
My son [...] says he has much more confidence, self-belief and motivation to achieve his goals since being on the RF programme. We are so pleased and proud of what he has achieved since being with RF. This would not have been possible without your help


+ How do I get my child onto the Renaissance foundation programme?

We take our referrals directly from professionals working with the young people. This varies between groups but typically contains pastoral staff, clinical nurse specialists and ward nurses, and social workers. If you would like to get your child involved with the programme, please speak to a professional who will be able to complete the referral form on their behalf.

+ Why is the programme 3 years long?

Three years may sound like a lot, but we’re aiming to make a difference in the long-term. So that means going beyond a quick burst of help, to steadily building skills that they’ll keep with them for life. We move at their pace.

+ How do you safeguard the young people on your programme?

We take safeguarding very seriously and have a policy in place which you can see here. If you would like to discuss this further then please do reach out to the outreach team at

+ Is there any cost associated with the programme?

No, all activities have no cost to the young person, the only thing we do ask is that young people make their own way to a meeting point in Central London to join in our events.

+ How do you stay in contact with the young people?

On our new participant form we ask the young people whether they would like to be contacted via text, Whatsapp, phonecall or email. We then verify with the parent or guardian in the Parent Consent Form whether they would like us to contact their child directly or contact the guardian instead.