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Guide for parents Q&A

Here you will find some brief answers to common questions about UnLtd awards. Click on the questions below to reveal the answers. Please feel free to contact us if you have a question that is not answered here.

A medal?

No.

A certificate?

Yes. To show at interviews, to mention in applications and to add to portfolios (or to hang on the wall).

Have you won a competition?

To receive Awards, young people need to convince UnLtd Award Managers. Sometimes, we organise competitions to generate ideas but many young people simply contact us with their ideas.

How much?

The amount given to an individual Award Winner depends on the needs of the venture. It is agreed in advance and must be spent on the venture. We offer several different Awards. Each has its own criteria and its own top limits.

In cash?

Not exactly. An Award Winner must have a bank account. Many set up separate accounts for their ventures so they can keep their business’s money and their own money separate. Awards for Under-18s can be paid into adults’ accounts if necessary and if all parties agree.

Why you?

Each Award Winner must have a good idea and must prepare, with UnLtd’s help, a good project plan. If an UnLtd Award Manager is convinced that everything is in place, the young person has done well and deserves our support.

You could pay for us all to go on holiday!

No. Not with an Award. UnLtd will monitor how the Award is spent. We will need to see bank statements and all original receipts (not photocopies). But, once their ventures are complete, Award Winners who keep their businesses going can decide for themselves – within the rules relating to different kinds of businesses – what to do with the profits.

But you’re only… you need… you’ve got…!

…young? On our Award application form, we ask for the name of a responsible adult who will act as an “adviser” to the young person. This adviser might be a parent, carer, youth worker, teacher or other person in a position of responsibility.

…permission? We talk to adults from the very start to be certain that young people have their understanding and support. For legal reasons, we need adults to countersign contracts. To ensure child protection, we ask for adult consent before we use photographs or videos of young people. These are not used if permission is not given.

…special needs? UnLtd Awards are open to all. Please alert us to any special needs, circumstances or requirements. We do not see these as barriers. We work with agencies and organisations, health professionals, care workers, foster carers and others. We know that adults with responsibility for looked after children need to be closely involved. Our staff are DBS (ex CRB) checked.

Who is going to give you this?

UnLtd accesses and distributes to young social entrepreneurs public funding, support from other organisations and charitable donations which are intended for this purpose.

Is it a loan? I mean, do you have to pay it back?

No. We do not charge interest and we do not want the money back unless it has been misspent. The money must be spent on the venture as agreed at the start. An UnLtd Award Manger needs to approve spending on major items and needs to approve changes to the original spending plan. If an Award Winner misleads us and abuses the Award, we will reclaim the money or the items it has been used to purchase. This is not a situation we expect to arise so there should be no cause for concern.

Are you sure this is legal?

A legal contract is used. It is adapted with the details of the particular ventures. With under-18s, it is explained to the young people and their parents or carers. If it is acceptable to all parties, the document must be signed by adults who will be responsible for ensuring that the contract is not broken.

What if it all goes wrong?

If a venture ends with a loss rather than a profit, spending which was agreed by an UnLtd Award Manager will be covered by the money in the Award and the Award Winner will not be expected to cover such losses. On the other hand, unauthorised spending from the Award would break the terms of the contract and would not be supported. Award Winners or their supporters who contribute their own money towards a venture do so at their own risk.

Award Winners must arrange appropriate insurance, licences, permissions, health and safety checks etc. UnLtd will advise on what might be needed and can call upon experts to help. Naturally, young people want their ventures to be big successes first time around. In reality, things don’t always work out that way. UnLtd will advise at every stage and will try to flag up potential problems before they happen. Even so, unexpected difficulties or disappointments might arise. We’ll sit down afterwards and talk things through with Award Winners.

We’ll ask them to remember the things they did well, not just the things that went wrong.
This learning from experience will help them – and other Award Winners – in future.

There has to be a catch!

No catch. We do not ask for payment for our services. We do not invite young people to borrow money from us or pay interest. We are not affiliated with any political or religious group and we do not have any secret corporate sponsors.

Is there something you’re not telling me?

No, but we have tried to be brief. In this introduction, we have tried to cover the main topics and answer typical questions. There are more details in our other documents and there is always plenty to discuss once ventures are under way but there is no hidden agenda.

The only thing we haven’t mentioned so far is that this could be the experience of a lifetime or the start of something life-changing.

What do they want in return?

In a word: reciprocity. This means we want Award Winners to share their experiences and help us to advise future Award Winners. It is important to us that our Award Winners know that they are important parts of a supportive and growing community of young social entrepreneurs.

Who can I talk to about this?

The UnLtd Award Manager will provide personal contact details. If the Award has been offered via a school or college, there will be a designated member of staff there who should be your first point of contact.

An Award: what do you mean?

A sum of money to finance a well-planned social venture which has the potential to make a positive difference to society. We give grants to young social entrepreneurs: young people with good business-like ideas which will benefit others. We support ideas for social ventures NOT charity fund-raising activities. We support individuals NOT organisations so we do not pay into school or youth club accounts.

Is this your idea of a joke?

No. We are committed to helping young people to make positive impacts on society and other people’s lives.

Do you have to make a profit?

The venture is a business and should aim to, at least, cover costs. Better still, it should leave money in the bank to keep the business going. UnLtd will not ask for any part of any profits to be returned.