Unlocking change



Tender is an arts charity working with young people to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence through creative projects. They work to promote healthy relationships, challenging harmful attitudes which support abuse, and empowering young people to seek help.

I have learnt that not all relationships are healthy and some people are really horrible to their partners. I want to be a boy and a man that treats girls and women well.

Tender Project Participant, West Yorkshire

Tender’s arts-based practice helps young people to explore sensitive or difficult issues from a safe distance. They use a person-centred approach to create and deliver programmes that often involve peer dissemination across the school.

Building on their significant expertise, they are expanding their work to adopt a whole community approach – complementing their direct work with young people by working with local specialist youth teams, social workers, early intervention teams, as well as connecting with parents and carers. By doing so, they aim to create a better shared understanding of domestic abuse and sexual violence, building confidence to address it, and support the implementation of better policy and practice.

Tender has a well-established and diverse Youth Board which, supports advises and advocates for Tender’s work, creating their own campaigns and resources, and providing insight into pressing issues for their peers.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, young people have seen unprecedented disruption to their lives and relationships. As Tender has grown to meet this demand, we have been immensely grateful for the support of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation: not just financially, but for the encouragement and genuine interest that the grants team have taken in our work. Support from the Foundation has enabled Tender to sustain the quality of our prevention work in the most difficult times and, in this past year, to support, safeguard and save more young lives than we have ever reached before. Thank you.

Cordelia Morrison, Development Manager, Tender

Connection to Esmée's strategy

Long-term outcomes
  • Gender-based violence is reduced through the delivery of preventative work.

Tender’s work gives young people a safe space to talk about things they have heard and may themselves think about how to be in a relationship. Young people feel safe enough to volunteer difficult opinions and skilled facilitators carefully challenge those beliefs without stigmatising the young person, which is crucial for empowering them to truly reflect on what’s healthy and what’s not.

Annabel Durling, Funding Manager, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

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