#iwill Fund


The #iwill Fund will enable more young people to take part in social action through high quality opportunities which create lifelong habits.

What’s it all about?

The #iwill Fund is an England wide joint investment. The original funding involved bringing together £40 million in funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and The National Lottery Community Fund to create a central investment pot. The #iwill Fund was extended in 2020/21 and 2021/22 to create a total investment of £54 million. In July 2022, DCMS and TNLCF announced additional funding of £12 million to create thousands of new youth social action opportunities for young people.

The #iwill Fund is currently closed for applications.

The #iwill Fund distributes its investment through working in partnership with other funders. A collaborative group of 30 Match Funders have joined the #iwill Fund to date by match funding the investment on at least a £1:£1 ratio, developing funding programmes that enable more young people, particularly from less affluent communities, to take part in high quality social action that builds a habit for life. The five investment drivers that underpin our investment are:

  • Create high quality youth social action opportunities
  • Focus on creating a habit for life
  • Reach young people who have not previously undertaken sustained youth social action
  • Focus on sustainability of delivery and sustainability of the youth social action for the young person
  • Have youth voice within the funder / delivery organisations and the project itself.

If you would like further information on the #iwill Fund please get in touch with either Samantha Tague, Head of Funding (#iwill Fund) sam.tague@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk or Jolanta Molloy, #iwill Fund Manager jolanta.molloy@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk

Match Funder will have different approaches to awarding funding and project delivery. Please see more information on the Funding Partnerships tab. To stay up-to-date sign up for the #iwill newsletter. You can also see the latest news by following #iwillFund on twitter.

The #iwill Fund was launched in November 2016, to support the #iwill campaign’s goals in England, which is aiming to make social action the norm for young people aged 10-20. From the end of 2020 the #iwill Campaign became known as the #iwill Movement. The #iwill Movement is supported by Volunteering Matters and UK Youth who have formed a consortium to host an independent #iwill Coordination Hub that will support the #iwill Movement until 2026. The #iwill Movement is UK wide whereas the #iwill Fund only funds projects that are delivered in England.

Funding partnerships

These values below are awards made by the #iwill Fund, including match funding unless otherwise stated. You can read evaluation and learning reports from the #iwill Fund here.

These latest awards were made between December 2022 and March 2023:

Volunteering Matters in partnership with UK Youth – have been awarded £1,175,909 funding for the #iwill Movement, co-ordination hub, ambassadors and champions hub, and evidence and insights hub with the focus of creating a society that understands and champions the power of youth, and where all young people are enabled to lead change in their own lives and communities. 60 Ambassadors and 500 #iwill Champions will be recruited and trained annually and will inspire a wider cohort of young people to engage in youth social action activity. The #iwill Ambassadors and Champions will collectively have an estimated additional onward reach of 16,000 young people, in communities across the country.

Bite Back 2030 - have been awarded £290,000 to build on the success of, and learning from, their #iwill Funded School Food Champions programme (see below). They will scale up the impact and engage 30,000 young people aged 11-14 in social action to improve their access to nutritious and affordable food in their schools and wider communities. Bite Back 2030 will work in 100 schools across England to deliver their programme, with each school matched to a Bite Back 2030 Young Leader who will inspire, mentor, and encourage the pupils through their social action journey.

Clarion Futures – have been awarded £633,800 to scale up their Intergenerational Social Action (ISA) programme, by expanding the ISA Mini Community Ambassador Model to other communities, and to embark on new innovations in the space, testing new approaches to use Youth Social Action to connect generations.

Co-operative Community Investment Foundation – have been awarded £1,380,000 funding for The Young Gamechangers Fund (YGF), which is designed to provide longer-term funding to individual young people who are leading social action in their communities. It will make grants to grassroots organisations that either a young person has founded or is a member of. YGF consists of two delivery mechanisms:

  • A – which is a grants programme that funds young people directly (this is NOT #iwill Fund funded), and
  • B – which makes grants to grassroots organisations that either a young person has founded or is a member of. #iwill Fund funding will be used for delivery mechanism B only. 150 grants will be awarded over the course of three years.

The Diana Award – have been awarded £610,860 for the Diana Award Mentoring Programme, a 12-week mentoring intervention and careers skills development programme for young people aged 14-18 at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) delivered in three regions across England. Youth social action will be a key aspect of the programme of skills development, feeding into the improvement of career skills, social relations and wellbeing.

The Ernest Cook Trust (ECT) - have been awarded £920,000 to run The Blue Influencers Scheme. The Blue Influencers Scheme follows the successful delivery model of ECT’s Green Influencers Scheme but takes a new targeted focus to support young people and communities in coastal areas of deprivation and on tackling key environmental and climate issues on beaches, in seas, rivers and estuaries. The programme has been developed due to environmental concerns raised by young people from coastal areas. Evidence suggests that despite living in proximity to the ocean, many deprived coastal communities do not feel welcome in these blue spaces or feel connected to their immediate environments. The Blue Influencers Scheme will be delivered by 20 Host Charities (who apply for grants of £20,000) and their employed Blue Mentors.

Global Action Plan – have been awarded £562,152 for place based intensive environmental youth social action across disadvantaged communities in coastal/rural north Kent and south Essex, delivering an intensive educator programme, and mass educator and student activation for environmental youth social action.

Sovereign Housing Association - have been awarded £290,000 for their Wellbeing Champions Programme (WCP) which will enable groups of young people to become wellbeing champions in their community. This will empower them to lead social action projects which raise awareness and support for their peers and others in the community. Grants of up to £10,000 will be made to grassroots organisations in order to build their capacity to support groups of young people to undertake wellbeing social action projects.

Students Organising for Sustainability – have been awarded £569,500 to support youth-led education and biodiversity projects through educational establishments over a three-year period. This project will create nearly 2,260 young leadership positions and give over 166,000 young people the opportunity to be directly involved in climate activism that will have a direct impact on their physical environment.

Green Schools Revolution - a direct delivery project with four workstreams (i) Climate Action Plans, (ii) 30% Now for Nature, (iii) Teach the Teacher, (iv) The Future Forum - will take three key parts of the Department for Education’s Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy (CCSS) as a basis to build youth social action upon. All of the workstreams will target young people in rural and coastal areas of high deprivation, a cohort that has traditionally been unrepresented in climate activism work.

Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) - The Peer Action Collective (PAC) is a network of young people across England and Wales, working hard to make their communities safer, fairer places. In March 2023, the #iwill Fund announced it would fund PAC again, alongside YEF and the Co-op Group. Since 2021, over 6,800 young people have been taking action on the big issues leading to serious youth violence as part of the PAC programme and with this further £7.5m joint investment, PAC will now impact the lives of more than 11,000 further young people aged 10 to 25. It will run over five years, with two phases.

Going to new locations across England and Wales, young people will conduct further research and take social action on the three key themes which PAC has identified as crucial to making their communities better places:

  • Positive activities: how sport and other activities could protect children and young people from violence through new, positive friendship groups, opportunities to take risks in a safe environment and links to services.
  • Education: understanding the best ways for all children to get the most out of school, improving attendance, preventing exclusions, helping them realise their potential and be protected from involvement in violence.
  • Trusted adults: finding the best ways to make sure children have trusted adults, such as youth workers or mentors, in their life to protect them from involvement in violence.

Again, YEF have appointed delivery partners in England and a national partner, the Young Foundation. Applications for these roles are closed for the first phase, the second phase will begin around March 2025 when there may be opportunity for new delivery partners to come on board – so please do keep checking if you may be interested in applying to be a delivery partner at that point.

If you would like to find out about the work of PAC in your area please visit the PAC Website: https://peeractioncollective.com/ or alternatively contact YEF on youthvoice@youthendowmentfund.org.uk and they can direct you to your nearest PAC Delivery Partner.

More information about the work of YEF can be found at https://youthendowmentfund.org.uk

Active projects awarded prior to December 2022:

BBC Children in Need - have received two #iwill Fund awards. The first, in 2019, formed a £1.17m fund to deliver three distinct but connected strands of work:

A funding pot to support young people who face disadvantage or barriers to inclusion to take part in social action projects.

An initiative to embed youth social action into schools, using BBC Children in Need’s unique position and reach into the sector.

A youth leadership programme that will provide young people with the skills and meaningful opportunities to lead but will also provide learning for the sector about best practice in this area.

In 2020, BBC Children in Need received additional matched funding of £1,727,575 to deliver:

Further funding to top up the funding pot for youth social action, in response to additional need created by the pandemic.

A strategic programme in partnership with the Trussell Trust to provide a platform for young people with lived experience of food insecurity and acute poverty to share their stories, and to use their unique insight to shape decisions and co-create solutions on a local and national level.

A strategic, place-based programme about violence affecting young people.

A strategic funding pot to empower Black children and young people to access youth social action while supporting the development of young leaders.

Bite Back 2030 - are delivering two separate #iwill Fund programmes. The first, School Food Champions, empowers groups of young people to lead social action projects in schools to tackle food and health inequalities. The aim is to build a movement of young socially minded food champions and change agents in their school communities. The project has been inspired by the threat to young people’s health emerging from the Covid 19 crisis. There are four planned cohorts of schools which will engage with the programme through four academic years.

The second programme is Community Food Champions, is designed to drive grass roots change in the food environment. Bite Back 2030 works with young people to identify what’s going on in their local community, and the changes they would like to see - empowering them to influence those around them, and connecting them with local political, business, or media stakeholders who can support their goals. The delivery of this programme began in July 2022, with UK Youth as a strategic partner to work with young people across 50 groups from six key locations in England: London, Peterborough, Sheffield, Hull, Newcastle/Sunderland and Leeds/Bradford.

Clarion Futures - working alongside Housing Association Youth Network (HAYN), they set up HAYN Volunteering Academy, which aims to support young people to become leaders within, and ambassadors for, their communities. The Academy provides young people with funding and resources to volunteer or to design and deliver social action projects to support themselves, their peers, and their wider communities.

In December 2022, Clarion Futures were awarded further funding from the #iwill Fund alongside partner Places for People. This is to scale the impact of their youth social action programmes and enable young people to carry out intergenerational youth social action via a micro-grant scheme. Young people will lead Intergenerational Social Action across a range of themes including the environment, mental health and social isolation and loneliness. Clarion Futures will support young people to deliver projects linked to these themes by working with partners Backyard Nature, The National Parks and a mental health partner.

Co-op Foundation – have been a Match Funder since 2017, initially running a £2 million England-wide grants programme using youth social action to address youth loneliness. A report into youth loneliness has been released, which references some aspects of the #iwill Fund work. A further £3.3m award from the #iwill Fund has allowed delivery of work based on three forms of ‘lived experience’ social action. Using the 'My World, Our World, The World model', the approach puts young people at the very heart of activity and connects them authentically to causes they can address. A six-month and year-end evaluation of this approach has been conducted.

The Diana Award – are also delivering a programme which explores in depth, the issues of anti-racism and sexual bullying via the Anti-Bullying Ambassador programme. Young people and school staff are be trained to shape attitudes and change behaviours throughout schools and the wider community, creating school networks of Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. Teams of Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in primary schools across England will be empowered and supported to lead in engaging with their peers, parents and guardians to help address issues and help to improve the school culture.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award – used funds raised during their diamond anniversary to match their #iwill Fund award to create a £3m Diamond Challenge Fund, aimed at increasing the involvement of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in the DofE Awards programme. In 2021, the DofE were awarded further funds to create the £400k Resilience Fund as an emergency response to the impact that the pandemic had on young people living in IMD areas 1-3 and those facing additional challenges.

The Dulverton Trust – have been funded to deliver a two-year grants programme to promote youth voice. The programme will fund charities in rural communities and the heritage sector, neither of which has historically implemented youth voice, or delivered youth social action projects. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic represented an opportunity to change the way organisations in this sector work with and listen to young people. The Dulverton Trust have also worked to embed youth voice into their own grant making and decision making.

The Dunhill Medical Trust – their £1 million partnership is supporting My Home Life England (MHLE) in collaboration with The Linking Network to deliver a three-year programme of work. This funding is expanding the reach of the Care Home Friends and Neighbours initiative; with a view to transforming the lives of young people, particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds through volunteering with older people in care homes across England. This will help young people kick-start the habit of community volunteering and other forms of social action early in life, developing skills for the future and supporting them to feel part of a national effort to connect generations for mutual benefit.

The Ernest Cook Trust – have established The Green Influencers Scheme as a three-year £3m programme to enable young people aged 10-14 to create deep, lasting and meaningful connections with the natural environment and establish a culture where youth social action becomes the norm. Grants have been awarded to host organisations (environmental and educational charities), to support the employment of 44 Green Mentors across England who enable young people recruited from schools and youth groups to lead the way as Green Influencers on their own social action projects.

Global Action Plan - were funded to collaboratively design a teacher community and support programme called Transform Our World (TOW), providing classroom and online support to more teachers and students in disadvantaged areas. They worked with partners to extend accessibility of green social action opportunities, expand their award winning ‘Water Explorer’ portal to include online support, and signpost a range of high quality green social projects on different topics.

In March 2021, they were awarded a further £676,700 to:

Expand the Transform Our World online hub and teacher training.

Regional schools-based social action programme engaging 19,200 young people.

Two national high-profile events per year.

Coordination of youth led campaigns to put priorities for change to climate and nature to government and business leaders.

A media campaign to amplify youth calls for climate and nature delivering two million reach.

Global Fund for Children (GFC) - will deliver a two-year project focused on making social action the norm for primary school children in Bradford, focusing on engaging with the hardest to reach young boys under the age of 14 in building lifelong social action habits. GFC will work with four small grassroots partners already working in the intersections of rural and/or socio economically deprived areas in Bradford to create high quality opportunities for boys and young men to engage in meaningful social action to support them in building habits to engage with causes they care about, challenge harmful gender stereotypes about male engagement in community, and support the wider gender equity work of GFC.

Greater London Authority – have created a £1.7m ‘Young London Inspired’ programme, which is delivered mostly through schools via the ‘Team London Young Ambassadors’ scheme, in order to reach young people who were not currently participating in youth social action. Alongside this, a small grants fund supported youth social action projects to bring about positive mental health and other wellbeing outcomes for young people, whilst also benefiting their community.

This funding was extended in 2021 to deliver an enhanced programme to target and support Alternative Provision, Pupil Referral Units, and Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND) Schools, as well as its universal school-based social action programme, which focused particularly on primary schools in areas of higher deprivation. ‘My London’ has provided capacity building support and multi-year funding to 15 youth focused community organisations to collaborate in designing local models that engage vulnerable young people in social action and volunteering.

Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade (JLGB) - are jointly investing £1.8 million into a three-year project, expanding and developing their existing eVOLve programme in order to build a self-sustaining and community-wide, collective impact project that supports young people who face intrinsic barriers to participation. This work will be underpinned by an online platform that provides training, social action opportunities, awards, and qualifications in a trusted and culture sensitive way.

Liverpool Football Club Foundation - run a schools-based youth social action programme. The initial #iwill Fund grant made in late 2018 has facilitated work with schools in areas of high deprivation. Children and young people have been empowered to tackle societal issues and support good causes through campaigning for change, volunteering, peer education, peer mentoring or fundraising. In September 2019, an extension #iwill Fund grant was awarded to expand the school youth social action programme by working with the seven to nine years age group and piloting their approach with Special Education Needs schools and alternative education providers. The expansion has incorporated work in Kirkby, an area of Merseyside that faces high deprivation.

An additional award made in May 2021 helped fund the ‘youth voice champions’ project, and an expansion of their #iwill Fund work was launched in June 2022. This aims to facilitate the development of youth voice and youth social action opportunities in community groups and youth organisations across the Liverpool City Region.

The National Deaf Children’s Society - were awarded £680,135 in August 2021 for a 30-month project to:

Expand the Young Campaigner's programme into regional campaign groups.

Increase the number and size of the grants they provide to Make a Change grantees - allowing for more ambitious projects.

Continue and expand the Young Inspectors programme beyond what has been done as a reaction to the pandemic.

Continue to expand the Buzz website's content to include more role models who are deaf.

Significantly expand the Deaf Works Everywhere campaign's reach

Continue additional rounds of the Pen Pals and Mentors programmes.

Ormiston Trust – were awarded £962,480 from the #iwill Fund in November 2017. They have been working through the Ormiston Academies Trust to develop a model which will make social action a central part of a young person’s journey through school, using their network of 34 academy schools as well as the multiplier effect of engaging feeder and local partner schools. Their aspiration is that every Ormiston student (27,000) will have a fresh experience of youth social action.

In June 21, Ormiston Trust were awarded for an additional two-year programme to use key learnings from their original programme to further demonstrate and test social action practices across new institutions. This includes the creation of an education toolkit and showcasing to the whole education sector how to start up social action in their settings.

Pears Foundation – have been a Match Funder since 2017 delivering a £10m programme with four strands:

Health and social care – NHS Trusts across England have been awarded grants to develop youth volunteering programmes as part of NHS70. Learning from 32 NHS trusts and their respective charities with regards to setting up or running youth volunteering programmes in hospitals can be found here.

Education – Grants have been made to primary and secondary schools, special schools, further education colleges and universities to introduce enhance and embed youth social action opportunities. Highlights include working with the Association of Colleges as a learning partner for a Further Education youth social action pilot, and the Linking Network which was funded to develop their primary schools programme.

Sustainability – Grants have been made to assist established organisations in overcoming specific, identifiable barriers to opening up new audiences and/or capacity. A key aspect of this strand was a grant made to Scouts & Guides who will join forces to open units in new and existing areas to tackle waiting lists and extend reach to deprived communities.

Environment – A partnership between The Woodland Trust, the Forestry Commission, DEFRA, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Derby County Council, Pears Foundation and the #iwill Fund has seen the creation of a ‘Young Peoples Forest’ situated on the site of two former coal mines. Young people were engaged in the design, creation and use of the new 400-acre woodland.

The Premier League Charitable Fund – is the charitable arm of the Premier League. They launched a £3 million fund in 2018 which used youth social action to build on existing national programmes delivered by Club Community Organisations (CCO’s). The fund works with a delivery network of 91 CCO’s across England, providing funding across three programmes which use sport and football as a way of engaging hard to reach young people. As part of the skills development aspects of these programmes, opportunities are provided to engage young people in social action. This incorporates a primary school programme (Premier League Primary Stars), a skills development programme for young people with risk factors at key transitional points (Premier League Inspires) and a sports outreach programme which is delivered in community settings (Premier League Kicks). These programmes are available to the delivery network of CCO’s only.

Sovereign Housing Association Ltd – created a £500k fund in November 2021 to support organisations that had not been part of previous #iwill Fund projects to assist in their understanding of the benefits of high-quality youth social action, and access funding to carry it out. A two-strand youth focussed programme incorporated a grant fund aimed at youth led projects and increasing youth voice in communities, and a youth network to help organisations increase youth voice and embed youth social action.

Spirit of 2012 – received funding for the Inspire 2022 programme, delivered by UK Youth. This programme has supported young people to create a calendar of social action events across the year of 2022, to mark ten years since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Young people from across England co-designed, pitched and delivered a range of inspiring and engaging events to support their local communities to lead positive change.

UK Community Foundations (UKCF) - in partnership with 17 community foundations, UKCF are delivering a programme focussed on young people under the age of 14 years. Projects focus on issues affecting this age group and that have been identified by the network through their local knowledge and connections with youth organisations – including recovery from covid, youth mental health and wellbeing, and youth empowerment and aspiration. The programme strives to fund both groups that are well established but also those that are new and innovative, and in particular those groups that can reach young people that are new to social action.

Virgin Money Foundation - were awarded to deliver a place-based fund in the northeast of England, enabling young people to get involved in social action in their local communities. The first round of their #iwill Take Action Fund awarded five larger strategic grants to organisations such as the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and Youth Focus Northeast, as well as a number of smaller grants. A second award made to VMF allowed them to make a second round of grants, again to organisations in the northeast. One of the grants supported a young film maker to create a film about the vital role of PSHE in schools.

Young Manchester – their original £4 million programme, the ‘Youth and Play Fund’, launched in November 2017. It aimed to make youth social action business-as-usual for organisations across Manchester by 2020. Young Manchester used strengths and place-based approaches, delivered through a network it created of voluntary and community sector organisations, businesses, schools, universities, health bodies, and housing providers. All these partners were committed to embedding social action within open access youth and play provision, and into the lives of young people. Building upon its success, a further £3.2 million was made available through its Youth and Play Fund, for 2020-22 Youth social action will remain at the heart of this fund, as Young Manchester work towards their ambition of making Manchester the ‘City of Social Action’

Closed projects:

Careers & Enterprise Company - matched an investment of £45,000 from the #iwill Fund to develop resources and training materials to support Careers & Enterprise Advisors within schools understand the role social action plays in career development and to then support the embedding of this work into schools.

Comic Relief - have been a match funder since 2017 and ran a £2m grants programme making awards to 13 organisations across England. The grants programme was co-produced with young people with the aim to develop opportunities for young people least likely to engage with social action. By using young people with lived experience to develop key aspects of the grants programme, Comic Relief were able to reach some of the most marginalised young people with their funding. As of October 2021, this scheme was fully closed.

Mumsnet - received a £66,000 investment to support research into the attitudes of parents to youth social action. This found that 9 in 10 believe it’s important for their child to get involved in activities that help others or the environment, while more than 8 out of 10 agree that voluntary activities should be part of their child’s education.

One Million Mentors - received investment of £30k to support a pilot to test the potential of the business community in the West Midlands to promote and support young people to take part in youth social action via mentoring.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation & Esmée Fairbairn Foundation – their £3.6 million partnership created the Act for Change Fund, with the aim of providing resources for young people to challenge social injustice, find ways of overcoming inequality, and give voice to issues they are experiencing. Over two rounds of funding, 28 grants were made to organisations providing more opportunities for disadvantaged young people to lead social change. Key aims of the Act for Change Fund were to support organisations to build on what they do, develop quality and sustainability, and embed practice.

The Scout Association - were awarded £1.2m in January 2021. They increased youth social action in young children by extending their provision to introduce Scouts groups for early years children, based on an initial idea by some of their Young Leaders, called Squirrels. Every new Squirrels group was co-led by Young Leaders to support the children to complete social action and develop life skills.

Spirit of 2012 - closed their £2m grants round in October 2017 with the appointment of UK Youth (working in partnership with British Red Cross and the Young Women’s Trust) to deliver a programme enabling girls and young women to change their communities through social action, for the benefit of other girls and the wider community. This programme, called EmpowHER, helped young women and girls lead change in their communities, increase their self-esteem and build wellbeing by providing inclusive and meaningful social action opportunities. The final #iwill-funded cohort concluded in May 2021, working in 21 locations around England, and bringing the total number of EmpowHER participants to 1,898. Spirit of 2012 awarded a legacy grant of £500,000 to UK Youth to collate and disseminate learning from the EmpowHER programme, capture best practice into shareable resources, and test sustainability to support future youth social action projects.

Sport England - closed their £3 million Potentials Fund in April 2017. Through the power of sport, they engaged young people who expressed an interest in social action but were yet to make it a habit. They originally awarded grants to 16 successful organisations, and then made two further awards in 2018. In September 2019, Sport England were awarded an additional £353,989 of #iwill Fund monies, which they will match with £530,984 of their funds. This provided further funding to three of their existing #iwill Fund projects in order to sustainably scale their successful youth social action work and allowed their delivery to continue until December 2022.

UK Community Foundations – ran a £12m small grants programme through their network of 43 Community Foundations across England to allow organisations to deliver high-quality youth social action opportunities in their local area. By September 2021, they had made more than 1,800 grants across the country. Projects have enabled young people as young as 10 to deliver a wide range of activities including beach clean-ups and environmental projects, mentoring and supporting their peers, campaigning for change, raising awareness of issues important to young people and supporting others in their communities.

vInspired - used an investment of £460k to launch the Inspired Card, stimulated by the success of the Young Scot Card and linked to the European Youth Card, and underpinned by enhancements to the vInspired platform.

Volunteering Matters - were awarded £370,000 in February 2021 to deliver a two-year programme in partnership with UK Youth to take forward key aspects of the #iwill Campaign’s work and expand their numbers of Young Ambassadors and Champions. Volunteering Matters and UK Youth engaged the Centre for Youth Impact to deliver the ‘Evidence and Insights function’. Three support functions helped to drive the #iwill Campaign movement forward:

#iwill Coordination Hub,

#iwill Ambassadors and Champions Delivery Partner, and

Evidence and Insights Delivery Partner.

WE Foundation - received an initial award from the #iwill Fund to expand their WE programme with £3 million to scale across England, trying out new technology to reach more primary & secondary schools. This programme was to create open access provision for the WE programme in schools across the country and would provide considerable opportunity to influence their programme to really embed the journey of youth social action into their programme. In December 2018 WE were awarded additional funding to develop their model further by working with 200 schools in the Birmingham and West Midlands areas. The shift to a place based, localised way of working had an eye on sustainability, with the aim to create communities that buy into and will eventually self-sustain the embedding of social action in their local areas. At the 2019 WE Day event, three young people from the #iwill Fund Leadership Board explained what the #iwill Fund is about. See their segment and hear from young people participating in youth social action

Youth Endowment Fund - The Peer Action Collective (PAC) was initially a £5.2 million programme, aiming to give young people the chance to make their communities safer, fairer places to live. Funded by the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF), the #iwill Fund and the Co-op Group, the PAC was established to support young people to take the lead. It set out to be a ground-breaking network of peer researchers. That meant young people were in charge of asking questions and finding out what needed to happen to make their area a better place to live. But it was about more than learning about what needed to change. Being part of the PAC meant young people got support to take their research and turn it into action. From setting up a youth centre, taking action to improve local mental health services, or supporting more young people into employment – together, they created opportunities to make their communities safer, fairer places.

YEF appointed Delivery Partners in each region of England. These partners supported young people who had been or who were on the cusp of being impacted by serious youth violence, to act as peer researchers, research respondents or changemakers carrying out youth social action projects in their local community. YEF appointed a National Social Action and Peer Research Partner (The Young Foundation), and a Learning Partner (UCLAN Centre for Children and Young People’s participation), and a Campaigns and Youth Voice partner to help support the network. The research gathered was collected and analysed through the Fatima App created by their Technology Partner (HereIAm).

This phase of PAC is now completed, read a report outlining its findings and achievements.

The Learning Hub

The Learning Hub supports, and builds on, the activities of the #iwill Fund. It has two strategic objectives:

  1. To inform the strategic and investment direction of the #iwill Fund. This will ensure that the Leadership Board and #iwill Fund delivery partners are able to target funds into the right areas, ages and approaches, where it is really needed
  2. To strengthen and connect the youth social action sector by enabling and facilitating the sharing of learning, data and insights across delivery partners, including what does and doesn’t work. Sharing key insights and learning more broadly within the wider youth social action sector.

The Learning Hub was commissioned by the #iwill Fund Leadership Board to provide insight and intelligence to inform and shape future decisions. In addition the work of the Learning Hub is designed to provide an invaluable source of information and support to the #iwill Fund delivery partners.

However, the Learning Hub will also reach beyond these – to delivery organisations providing youth social action opportunities and the institutions within which youth social action is embedded; other funders who may support youth social action; and the wider research community seeking to increase understanding of youth social action.

The Learning Hub has developed three workstreams which will support its objectives. This will allow us to support funders in making decisions about how to support youth social action now, and to capitalise on the evidence generated through the #iwill Fund to create a legacy of evidence to support funding and delivery in the future.


This work will develop our understanding of barriers and enablers in building and strengthening sustained youth social action. It will support the identification of emerging practice and the testing of potential new solutions as well as help guide investment decisions.

Sector Evidence Plan

This work will build our understanding of what youth social action achieves, how to reach under-served groups, and how to sustain youth social action.

Quality Practice

This work will deepen our understanding of what it takes to deliver quality youth social action.

All the #iwill Fund Learning Hub reports to date can be found at the Centre for Youth Impact’s website.

Opportunities to get involved

Below are current opportunities for organisations wishing to apply for #iwill funding from our Match Funders. Opportunities will be added and / or updated as and when new funding programmes open.

No current opportunities.

Opportunities for Young people to get involved

Youth Endowment Fund

The Peer Action Collective (PAC) is a national network of peer research and social action in areas with high levels of serious youth violence. Young people will be supported to use their unique access to research what is happening in their community, how it is affecting young people, and what young people think needs to change. They will be then supported to conduct social action locally and nationally to address the issues that they identify, utilising the relationships they have built with local decision makers during their research. Since 2021, over 6,800 young people have been taking action on the big issues leading to serious youth violence. With a further £7.5m investment from the Youth Endowment Fund, #iwill Fund (a joint investment between The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and Co-op, PAC will now impact the lives of more than 11,000 young people aged 10 to 25. Going to new locations across England and Wales, young people will conduct further research and take social action on the three key themes of (i) positive activities, (ii) education and (iii) trusted adults, which PAC has identified as crucial to making their communities better places. The Peer Action Collective is now in the delivery phase.

If you would like to find out about the work of PAC in your area please contact YEF on youthvoice@youthendowmentfund.org.uk and they can direct you to your nearest PAC Delivery Partner. More information about the work of YEF can be found at youthendowmentfund.org.uk/

Join the #iwill Movement

Volunteering Matters in partnership with UK Youth – have been awarded £1,175,909 funding for the #iwill Movement, co-ordination hub, ambassadors and champions hub, and evidence and insights hub with the focus of creating a society that understands and champions the power of youth, and where all young people are enabled to lead change in their own lives and communities.

The #iwill Movement celebrated #iwill week at the end of November, an annual celebration of the work that people, Ambassadors, Champions, and partners are leading up and down the UK. This year was extra special as we marked 10 years of the #iwill Movement.

Are you involved in social action? Or are you already a young leader? Join the #iwill Movement - a network connecting young people engaged in social action, from the grassroots to a national level, all across the UK. If you’re 10-25, sign up to become one of our #iwill Champion. Or if you’re 26+, sign up as a general supporter Become a Champion or Supporter - iwill. Each year, the #iwill Movement recruits 50 young people aged 10-25 as #iwill Ambassadors. They come from a variety of backgrounds across the UK, but all have one thing in common – a passion to make positive social or environmental change. Ambassadors are selected because they demonstrate a strong commitment to social action and have stories to tell that can inspire their peers to take part in social action. Next applications will open in Spring 2024.