Fifteen projects in deprived communities have been selected to share a £10 million fund aiming to help talented youngsters, the government has announced.
Secondary school staff
may find that some of their pupils are involved in the projects which include a youth radio station and community cafe.
Announcing the funding, minister for women and equality Harriet Harman said: "We know that inequality is grounded not just in who you are but your family or the place you were born.
"Better-off children overtake more able, poorer children at school by the age of six," she added.
A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said that the projects will be encouraged to pool their budgets to deliver best value for money.
One social enterprise project in Norfolk is expected to provide training and work experience for the whole community while a collective gardening project provides food for a residents' cafe.
Last month saw the government outline a strategy promoting closer links between the government, voluntary sector and local authorities.
Launching the strategy, children's minister Delyth Morgan said she hoped better communication between stakeholders could improve the life chances of young people.