What is the Rank Aspire Programme (RAP)?

The Rank Foundation innovated and delivered the GAP programme for 30 years; working with community projects to identify and invest in young leaders UK wide. This resulted in meaningful work and accredited learning opportunities for nearly 1000 young community leaders, it provided a positive turning point for many individuals and developmental opportunities for projects. Following an external review and key stakeholder feedback, we re-launched the GAP programme as the Rank Aspire Programme (RAP); it’s bolder, bigger and more tailored to individual needs and the ever-changing community landscape. Our vision is to contribute to a society that values young leaders and the Aspire Programme will continue to invest in those who may have fewer opportunities to prosper.


Only organisations who are already part of the Rank network are eligible to apply. At present, applications are by invite only.

  • Aged 18 to 24, having left school and in transition to further education or employment
  • Demonstrating leadership skills and commitment to social change
  • Aspiring to develop skills, experience and accredited/ professional qualifications in the voluntary and charitable sector
  • Coming from areas of social and economic disadvantage, disadvantaged backgrounds or personal circumstances, and who may face barriers to social mobility

The transitional years from 18 to 24 cover the period from the end of compulsory education to the start of a career, and are one of the critical phases for social mobility. In this phase, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to make a successful transition to adulthood and work. They are most likely to embark on vocational or work-based training, but the quality of this is variable and may not provide the skills young people need to get into meaningful and lasting work

The programme is a 12 month commitment by both the young leader and their organisation, running from September to September.

There may be scope to open applications to all organisations in the network in the future, however at present the application process will remain as invite-only.