#iwill Fund

#iwillfund

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

Area
England
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. In early 2020 DCMS and TNLCF announced further funding of approximately £9.3m in the #iwill Fund.

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.

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 four investment drivers that underpin our investment are:

  • Creating high quality opportunities that connect young people authentically to causes they can address and in particular issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis
  • Engaging the younger age group to build a habit, with a focus on primary age (where possible). Engaging older age groups where potential impact and scale are compelling
  • A continued focus on reaching young people from less socio-economically affluent communities and particularly those facing increased impacts and vulnerability as a result of COVID-19
  • Prioritise sustainable solutions that can be scaled cost effectively by embedding social action opportunities where young people already are and connecting young people to solving key challenges across society - in particular issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis. .

In August 2021, DCMS and TNLCF announced additional funding to create thousands of new youth social action opportunities for young people. Additional funding of approximately £3.3m is available for Match Funding and is being delivered through the existing structures of the #iwill Fund. It is providing funding for youth social action opportunities provision (both general/universal and targeted provision) and is building on our current work on reducing the socio-economic participation gap and to continue to share learning on how to do this.

If you are a funder who would like to work in partnership with the #iwill Fund (as a Match Funder) or would like further information on the #iwill Fund please get in touch with either Helen Whyman, Head of Funding (#iwill Fund) helen.whyman@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk or Jason Flynn, #iwill Fund Manager jason.flynn@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk

If you are looking for grant funding for direct delivery, rather than investing as a Match Funder, you will need to apply directly to one of the #iwill Fund Match Funders. Each Match Funder will have different approaches to awarding funding. Please see more information on the Funding Partnerships tab. To stay up-to-date sign up for the #iwill campaign newsletter. You can also see the latest news by following #iwillFund on twitter.

Funding partnerships

These values below are awards made by the #iwill Fund, including match funding unless otherwise stated:

Pears Foundation have been a Match Funder since 2017 and run a £10 million programme with four strands – education, health and social care and environment. All strands are at an advanced stage, work at present is allowing grant holders to build momentum after delays relating to the pandemic or to embed work done so far.

Health and social care – NHS Trusts across England have been awarded grants to develop youth volunteering programmes as part of NHS70. The strand is currently at the stage of embedding, dissemination and further development with the appointment of a Strategic Relationship Development and Engagement Manager to oversee this. 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, FE 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 where 5 colleges have been awarded grants to run social action programmes. This incorporates a student engagement charter, in conjunction with the Pears #iwill Fund Social Action Beacon award – which seeks to celebrate an outstanding example of a college’s ability to engage in social action and engagement in their communities.

The Linking Network has been funded to develop their primary schools programme ‘spiritual, moral, social and cultural’ using social action for personal development and character education of young people. First Give have been funded to expand their secondary school youth social action model which enable students to take part in engaging projects to raise awareness and help communities and society.

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. This work has now concluded.

A research piece with a number of partners has also been commissioned, looking into families and volunteering. This had the aim of exploring the relationship between families and volunteering, from family and organisational perspectives. Findings would help understand more around how to engage those less likely to get involved in social action and address evidence gaps, supporting organisations and improving volunteering opportunities.

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 have been engaged in the design, creation and use of a new 400 acre woodland. This is done via a dedicated youth forum, which will help shape the future of how the site is used, creating a forest for themselves and the community. Over 250,000 trees will be planted to create the forest, with young people helping to co-ordinate planting days and other events.

Comic Relief have been a match funder since 2017 and run a £2 million 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 will be fully closed.

UK Community Foundations has given £12 million in small grants, made through their network of 43 Community Foundations across England to organisations to allow them to deliver high-quality youth social action opportunities, to children and young people 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. This programme has now closed and Community Foundations are no longer taking applications for funding. However, to find out more about your local Community Foundation, please click on the following link: https://www.ukcommunityfoundations.org/our-network

Virgin Money Foundation takes a place-based approach to enabling young people across the North East to get involved in social action in their local community through their “#iwill take action” Fund. Through the first round, which closed in 2018, they awarded five strategic grants totalling £743,000, to organisations including Middleborough FC Foundation, The Key, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Youth Focus North East and Groundwork North East and Cumbria. They also had a smaller grants programme, the detail of each grant is included here: https://virginmoneyfoundation.org.uk/grants-awarded/

A new award of £270,000 was made to Virgin Money Foundation in December 2020, this was matched to launch a second round of their “#iwill Take Action Fund” in early 2021. The Fund is open to applications here: https://virginmoneyfoundation.org.uk/grants-programme/iwill-take-action/. This is a rolling programme for 2021 and will close when all funds are allocated.

Sport England closed their £3 million Potentials Fund (PDF 1.4MB) in April 2017. They are targeting young people through the power of sport to engage young people who have expressed an interest in social action but are yet to make it a habit. They originally awarded grants to 16 successful organisations (PDF 236KB), 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 (a 1:1.5 match). This will provide further funding to three of their existing #iwill Fund projects in order to sustainably scale the successful youth social action work that they are doing and will allow their delivery to continue until December 2022.

Spirit of 2012  closed their £2 million 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, helps 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.

Co-op Foundation have been a match funder since 2017, initially running a £2 million England wide grants programme which used youth social action to address youth loneliness, which is a strategic focus for the foundation. Applications to this aspect of the grants programme have now closed, with all organisations awarded and in delivery. A report into youth loneliness has been released, which references some aspects of the #iwill Fund work.

The Co-op Foundation have since expanded their #iwill Fund work in June 2019. Further funding of £3.3 million allowed delivery of work which is 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.

The three strands in this expansion are:

There are two rounds of funding for each of the strands. Round one grants have been made, with the application phase for round two to be launched imminently with further details to follow on dedicated pages on the Co-op’s website.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, this £3 million partnership, using their investment from their Diamond Anniversary fundraising, aims to increase the involvement of disadvantaged young people in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme by supporting individuals and the youth groups or schools that they attend, as well as training the adults who will support them. Beneficiaries include Paignton Community & Sport Academy. Open from 1 October 2017 to 30 November 2021, funds are restricted per Region.

In March 2021, the DofE were awarded an additional £200,000 from the #iwill Fund, providing a combined pot of £400,000 to extend their Resilience Fund. This initiative is an emergency response to the impact that COVID-19 has had on young people who live in IMD areas 1 – 3, and those facing additional challenges (including SEND). It will provide funded places to individuals, while also supporting delivery of the DofE Award in youth centres in the target areas. Open from 24 August 2021 to 31 March 2022, the Fund is time-limited and funds are restricted per Region.

Young Manchester’s original £4 million programme, the ‘Youth and Play Fund’, launched on the 30 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’. The Youth and Play Fund is now closed for applications. Details can be found here: https://www.youngmanchester.org/

Team London, the volunteering part of the Greater London Authority (GLA), created a £1.7 million ‘Young London Inspired’ programme. They delivered much of their work in both primary and secondary schools through the ‘Team London Young Ambassadors’ scheme, reaching young people who weren’t currently participating in social action. Alongside this, a small grants fund (now closed for applications) delivered projects using youth social action to bring about positive mental health and other wellbeing outcomes for young people, whilst also benefiting their community.

With successful delivery of this programme, further funding commitments have been made for its continuation. From 2021, the Team London Young Ambassadors work will 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 will focus particularly on primary schools serving in areas of higher deprivation. ‘My London’ will build on the previous small grants fund and will provide capacity building support and multi-year funding to 15 youth focussed community organisations to collaborate in designing local models to engage vulnerable young people in social action and volunteering. The programme will increase social action opportunities for targeted groups of young people, amplify youth voice and embed the community designed models in targeted areas in London, these are Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge, Ealing and Hillingdon, and Greenwich and Lewisham. This stream opened for applications in early December 2020 closing 27 January 2021. For more information, please refer to their website https://www.london.gov.uk/what...

Paul Hamlyn Foundation & Esmée Fairbairn Foundation’s £3.6 million partnership has seen the creation of the ‘Act for Change Fund’ . The aim of this fund is to provide 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 which started in 2019, 28 grants have been made to organisations providing more opportunities for disadvantaged young people to lead social change. Key aims of the fund are also to support organisations to build on what they do, develop quality and sustainability and embed practice. The Act for Change Fund is in its final year and applications are closed, with grantees providing final reports towards the end of 2021, leading into a learning and wrap up period and the closure of the fund in March 2022.

Clarion Futures (working alongside Housing Association Youth Network) In 2018, Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, set up the Housing Association Youth Network (HAYN) Volunteering Academy and became a Match Funder of the #iwill Fund. Since then, The HAYN Volunteering Academy has received £1.44m from the #iwill Fund. Clarion Futures (CF) and HAYN partner Peabody match funded this amount, giving the project a total budget of £2.88 million.

The HAYN Volunteering Academy 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 August 2021, Clarion Futures were awarded an additional £603,000 to scale the impact of their YSA programmes and environmental social action strand. This amount will be match funded by Clarion giving the project an extra budget of £1.2 million.

Programmes delivered so far:

  • Mini Community Ambassadors Programme (mini CAP) - a six month programme for teams of up to 10 children aged 5-10. It is an introduction to Youth Social Action for children in social housing communities who want to start their social action journey through small-scale projects & events (e.g. intergenerational, litter picking)
  • Community Ambassador Programme (CAP) - a 12 month programme for teams of up to 10-12 young people aged 11-20 who are passionate about making a positive difference in their communities. Community Ambassadors usually run big community events and projects that promote social cohesion but this year they focussed their projects to remain responsive to the current crisis and worked very hard to reach out to their community, supporting those in need and suffering from poverty, loneliness and isolation.

To deliver the programmes, other housing associations and non-profit youth organisations had the opportunity to apply for a start-up grant of up to £10,000. The application process is now closed but for more information please email Ambassadors@clarionhg.com

  • Social Action Youth Connectors (SAYC) - a 12 month programme for young people aged 16-25. It provides sessional work opportunity for young people passionate about social action and youth work. As a SAYC, a young person:
  • Gives additional support and social action expertise for youth organisations
  • Helps to connect and signpost young people to social action opportunities, activities and other youth programmes in their area
  • Conducts regular research and knowledge sharing with their peers
  • Raises awareness of internal and external services available for young people
  • Is part of the UK Youth Movement and working towards a Level 2 Youth Work qualification.
  • The Social Action Youth Exchange Programme - a 12 month exchange programme in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society for young people aged 18 – 25. The main aim of this programme is to share positive values, learning on global issues affecting young people, and upskill young people to become agents of change within their own communities and across the Commonwealth.
  • Youth Events: Room for Young People (#R4YP), Clarion Annual Youth Festival and Awards Ceremony, Clarion Annual Youth Submit in partnership with The Northern Housing Consortium etc.
  • Environmental YSA: In the wake of COVID-19 engagement with space and place became more important than ever. Clarion Futures decided to put an Environmental YSA programme in place whereby working in partnership with different partners they could get all children and young people to spend more time enjoying and protecting nature, encourage them to know more about their local National Parks and learn the skills necessary for small scale food production and the creation of community green spaces.
  • Intergenerational Social Action: One of the key challenges that both young and older generations shared with us was a lack of connectivity in communities between generations. By working in partnership with InCommon, Clarion has been able to overcome intergenerational challenges by commissioning projects that bring their community members together, no matter what age and supporting those most in need and suffering from loneliness and isolation.
  • Mental Health YSA: Clarion has worked with a range of bike organisations who deliver existing programmes centred round youth mental health and providing them with the resources to embed social action in the work they do.
  • Also, Clarion collaborated to develop bike programmes that aim to upskill young people’s knowledge on repairing and maintaining their bicycles, learning tips to keep their bikes safe, acceptable behaviours when cycling on the inner city roads and using cycling as regular exercise with positive peers.
  • Peabody’s Young Leaders programme is a rolling micro-grant programme for 11 – 25 year olds in London, funding youth social action through individuals or grassroots and education partners.
  • Peabody’s Lead Ambassadors programme is a YSA training and progression opportunity for young people. It develops their ability to research and represent the views of their peers, influence change through community policy discussions, and utilise a design thinking approach to identifying challenges and solutions.
  • Peabody’s HAYN Advisors: It is a route from voluntary youth social action to ad-hoc paid employment with organisations with a social purpose. The aim is to create a generation of people employed in the voluntary sector that reflect those benefitting from delivery. We believe this will increase the effectiveness of the sector and increase life chances for young people.

Ormiston Trust was awarded £962,480 from the #iwill Fund in November 2017, which was matched by £1,037,480 of their own funds. They are working through 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 proposal is made up of five elements has been put together with the aim of embedding high quality youth social action in the academy network. Their aspiration is that every Ormiston student (27,000) will have a fresh experience of youth social action.

In June 21 The Ormiston Trust was awarded a further £995,238 (matched by a further £995,238 of their own funds) for an additional two year programme. They will use the key learnings from their existing programme to further demonstrate and test social action practices across new institutions to; achieve ‘sector leader’ levels throughout; test and document all key resources and approaches in an education toolkit; enable up to 150 non-Ormiston schools in the next two years to start on their social action journey; and showcase to the whole education sector how to start up social action in their settings.

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 3 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 will be 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.

BBC Children in Need (CIN) This £1.17 million fund will be delivered over three years. It compromises three distinct but connected strands of work that will promote and enable youth social action, all of which will be led by young people. The three stands are:

  • 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 December 2020 the #iwill Fund Leadership Board awarded BBC Children in Need a further £1,757,575, which CiN are matching with £1,727,575 of their funds.

This further funding incorporates four distinct areas of work, including:

  • Youth Social Action Fund - Additional #iwill Fund monies will enable CiN to double the scale and impact of this funding programme.
  • Through a partnership with the Trussell Trust, CiN will 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.
  • Violence Affecting Young People - the youth social action aspect of this strand of work involves young people working together to affect change in regard to solutions for youth violence
  • The Young Black Lives programme covered the following areas of work:
  • o Investing in, supporting and celebrating young people’s ideas to enhance their local communities
  • o Supporting and providing access to resources to develop young leaders, and promote youth leadership and talent

Supporting young people to tell their stories and provide opportunities to influence change

Ernest Cook Trust

The Ernest Cook Trust established The Green Influencers Scheme as a three year £3million programme to enable young people (aged 10-14 years) to create deep, lasting and meaningful connections with the natural environment and establish a culture where youth social action becomes the norm.

Grants given to host organisations (environmental and educational charities) 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.

An estimated 5000 young people will benefit from this Scheme as Green Influencers, with a further 15,000+ involved in their social action projects. Benefits to local communities are as wide and varied as the projects themselves.

The Scheme actively encourages disadvantaged young people and those living in deprived areas to take part. A start-up 360o Grant of £360 is available for all groups who can then apply for Project Grants for up to £5,000 once they are enrolled on the Scheme.

Applications for larger grants are assessed by the Trust’s Youth Advisory Board, a group of eight 14 - 20 year-olds who report to the Trust’s Board of Trustees. Young people wishing to be considered as a Board member can email greeninfluencers@ernestcooktrust.org.uk for details.

Schools and Youth Groups can find details about the Scheme and Green Mentor locations at: https://ernestcooktrust.org.uk/what-we-do/green-influencers-scheme/ . To participate and connect with a local Green Mentor, email greeninfluencers@ernestcooktrust.org.uk for further information. All 44 Green Mentor roles have been successfully filled, so there are currently no further funding opportunities for new host organisations.

The Ernest Cook Trust is one of the UK’s foremost providers and funders of outdoor learning, donating around £2m in grants annually for environmental engagement, learning from the land and outdoor learning activities. Find more information here https://ernestcooktrust.org.uk/what-we-do/.

Dunhill Medical Trust Dunhill Medical Trust This £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 (CHFaNs) 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. CHFaNs seeks to inspire, guide and make it easier for young people in primary schools, clubs and community organisations to connect with residents, relatives and staff in care homes. MHL 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. We have now concluded our funding calls with 11 awards being made across two funding waves. Projects are active in Bradford, Bristol, Bury, Cornwall, Derby, Devon and Dorset, Enfield, Leeds, Leicester, Merseyside, Newcastle and Sunderland. Details of these projects together with the overall programme can be found at our project website.

The Peer Action Collective (PAC) is a £5.2 million programme, which aims 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 is here to support young people to take the lead. It’s a ground-breaking network of peer researchers. That means that young people will be in charge of asking questions and finding out what needs to happen to make their area a better place to live. But it’s about more than learning about what needs to change. Being part of the PAC means young people will get 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’ll create opportunities that will make their communities safer, fairer places.

YEF have appointed Delivery Partners in each region of England (applications to be a Delivery Partner are now closed). These partners will support young people who have been or who are 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 has also 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 will be collected and analysed through the Fatima App created by their Technology Partner (HereIAm).

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 https://youthendowmentfund.org.uk/

The Dulverton Trust have been funded to deliver a 2 year grants programme which seeks to promote youth voice. The programme will fund charities in sectors which historically have not implemented youth voice or delivered youth social action projects. These are rural communities and the heritage sector, with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic representing an opportunity to change the way organisations in this sector work with and listen to young people. The Dulverton Trust will also design structures to embed youth voice into their own grant making and decision making. An external consultant with expertise in developing good quality and meaningful participative approaches will help to develop a strategy ensuring young people’s involvement in the programme is developed in a meaningful way. There will be four rounds of grant funding delivered as part of Dulverton Trust’s youth opportunities funding category. The first of these rounds will award grants at the end of September 2021.

Bite Back 2030 will deliver the School Food Champions programme that empowers groups of young people to lead social action projects in schools to tackle food and health inequalities. The aim will be to build a movement of socially minded young food champions and change agents in their school communities. Young people will lead two extra-curricular campaigns during the programme. A structured campaign lasting two terms will be focused on improving the quality of school food. A self-directed campaign will build on skills and experiences, allowing young people to decide on the focus of activity. Some of the most disadvantaged schools in England will be targeted, in cities or towns where obesity and poverty rates are highest.

The project has been inspired by the threat to young people’s health emerging from the Covid 19 crisis. There are 2 planned cohorts of schools which will engage with the programme through the academic years of 2021/2022 and 2022/2023. The first of these cohorts have enrolled and are preparing to deliver as of September 21.

In addition, the #iwill Fund has also made a number of direct grants:

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 £30,000 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. Investment was used to recruit and train mentors, update an online platform to include and track youth social action, create training and communications materials for mentors to showcase the value of youth social action, and how to signpost young people to opportunities. Materials will be available online, with case studies and content widely available to support others who engage young people.

WE, with support from Rumi Foundation, the original award was 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. The whole school approach to delivery worked to embed social action in the lives of students, and across entire schools and communities. The aim was to create communities that buys into and will eventually self-sustain the embedment 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

WE have now ceased active delivery in the UK and will be compiling the WE Schools service-learning educational resources, campaign tools, and accompanying content/videos to make a version of the programme openly accessible online. They have invited participating WE Schools teachers to join their global community, whereby they will be provided e-support by one of WE’s North American based programme managers.

vInspired used an investment of £460,000 to support the strategic development of the vInspired offering, 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.

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.

Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade (JLGB), are jointly investing £1.8 million into this three year project, where JLGB plan to expand and develop their existing eVOLve programme in order to build a self-sustaining, 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.

Global Action Plan, the project involved collaboratively designing 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. It will then expand to include general volunteering topics. The project is based on the delivery of the Water explorer programme, which sets students challenges to investigate global and local water issues before designing a way to engage their whole school in water saving efforts.

In March 2021 they were awarded a further £676,700. Specifically for:

  • Expansion of 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 Action Plan is an environmental charity which has collaboratively designed a teacher community and support programme called Transform Our World. Transform Our World is an online hub for teaching and learning resources, as well as teacher training to support and equip teachers and their students in engaging in social and environmental action.

In addition to the programmes and resources from Transform Our World’s partners, a new feature of Transform Our World, is the Schools Climate Action Planner. This free, easy-to-use digital tool enables teachers, students and staff to identify actions they can take to reduce their school's environmental impact and creates a bespoke action plan for them to do so.

Transform Our World is directly supporting young people across the country through the expansion of the UK Schools Sustainability Network (UKSSN) and through direct face to face and digital support of groups of students in 48 high need schools across England.

The annual Transform Our World events calendar includes the Transform Our World Youth Summit which, in 2021, will take place online during the COP26 Climate Conference in November. The Summit brings together schools across England and the rest of the UK to discuss and explore how we can take action together and how we can harness the voices and power of youth to transform our world. Thousands of students, teachers, school staff and parents around the country will be joined by Transform Our World Youth Ambassadors, members of UKSSN and a variety of Transform Our World partner organisations and high-profile speakers throughout the four days of the Summit. Registration for this event is free and open to all schools across the UK.

Liverpool Football Club Foundation run a direct delivery schools based youth social action programme. The initial #iwill Fund grant made in late 2018 helped to facilitate work with schools in areas of high deprivation. Children and young people are empowered to tackle societal issues and supporting good causes by methodologies including campaigning for change, volunteering, peer education, peer mentoring or fundraising. To date this aspect of the programme has engaged with 25 primary schools and 9 secondary schools.

In September 2019 an extension #iwill Fund grant was awarded (£112,500, matched with £112,500 of LFCF funds), expanding the schools youth social action programme by working with the 7-9 years age group and piloting their approach with Special Education Needs schools and alternative education providers. The expansion is also geographical, incorporating work in Kirkby, and area of Merseyside that faces high deprivation.

Further expansion of their #iwill work will be launched in June 2022, with a £200,000 grant matched with £200,000 of LFCF funds) made in May 2021 to help fund the ‘youth voice champions’ project. This will aim to facilitate the development of youth voice and youth social action opportunities in community groups and youth organisations across the Liverpool city region.

The Scout Association were awarded £1.2m in January 2021. They are increasing 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 will be co-led by Young Leaders to support the children to complete social action and develop life skills. https://www.scouts.org.uk/squi...

Volunteering Matters were awarded £370,000 in February 2021. They will use the grant to deliver a two year programme which will see key aspects of the #iwill Campaign’s work taken forward and expanded upon, such as the expansion of the numbers of Young Ambassadors and Champions. Volunteering Matters are the lead partner, with the other partner being UK Youth. Volunteering Matters and UK Youth have engaged the Centre for Youth Impact to deliver the ‘Evidence and Insights function’ The proposal will provide three support functions to drive the #iwill Campaign movement forward:

  • #iwill Coordination Hub;
  • #iwill Ambassadors and Champions Delivery Partner; and
  • Evidence and Insights Delivery Partner.

The National Deaf Children’s Society were awarded £680,135 in August 2021, matched with £693,478 of their own funds for a 30 month project which will:

  • 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. https://www.ndcs.org.uk/our-services/services-for-families/apply-for-a-grant/make-a-change-fund/
  • 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 deaf role models. https://buzz.org.uk/
  • Significantly expand the Deaf Works Everywhere campaign's reach.
  • Continue additional rounds of the Pen Pals and Mentors programmes.

More information about their work and all of the above initiatives can be found on their website https://www.ndcs.org.uk/

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.

Systems

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.

Virgin Money Foundation launched a second round of their “#iwill Take Action Fund” in early 2021. The Fund is open to applications here: https://virginmoneyfoundation.org.uk/grants-programme/iwill-take-action/. This is a rolling programme for 2021 and will close when all funds are allocated.

The Co-op Foundation expanded their #iwill Fund work in June 2019 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.

The three strands in this expansion are:

There are two rounds of funding for each of the strands. Round one grants have been made, however there will be an application phase for round two, which is due to launch shortly. Once ready, the details of how to apply will be included in the above dedicated pages on the Co-op’s website.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award were awarded an additional £200,000 from the #iwill Fund in March 2021, providing a combined pot of £400,000 to extend their Resilience Fund. This initiative is an emergency response to the impact that COVID-19 has had on young people who live in IMD areas 1 – 3, and those facing additional challenges (including SEND). It will provide funded places to individuals, while also supporting delivery of the DofE Award in youth centres in the target areas. Open from 24 August 2021 to 31 March 2022, the Fund is time-limited and funds are restricted per Region.

BBC Children in Need (CIN) In December 2020 the #iwill Fund Leadership Board awarded BBC Children in Need a further £1,757,575, which CiN are matching with £1,727,575 of their funds.

This further funding incorporates four distinct areas of work, including:

  • Youth Social Action Fund - Additional #iwill Fund monies will enable CiN to double the scale and impact of this funding programme.
  • Through a partnership with the Trussell Trust, CiN will 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.
  • Violence Affecting Young People - the youth social action aspect of this strand of work involves young people working together to affect change in regard to solutions for youth violence
  • The Young Black Lives programme covered the following areas of work:

    o Investing in, supporting and celebrating young people’s ideas to enhance their local communities

    o Supporting and providing access to resources to develop young leaders, and promote youth leadership and talent

The work supporting young people to tell their stories and provide opportunities to influence change.

All these areas of work are currently in development and details of how to apply for grants will be available on their website when ready https://www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/grants/

The Dulverton Trust have been funded to deliver a 2 year grants programme which seeks to promote youth voice. The programme will fund charities in sectors which historically have not implemented youth voice or delivered youth social action projects. These are rural communities and the heritage sector, with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic representing an opportunity to change the way organisations in this sector work with and listen to young people. The Dulverton Trust will also design structures to embed youth voice into their own grant making and decision making. An external consultant with expertise in developing good quality and meaningful participative approaches will help to develop a strategy ensuring young people’s involvement in the programme is developed in a meaningful way. There will be four rounds of grant funding delivered as part of Dulverton Trust’s youth opportunities funding category. The first of these rounds awarded grants at the end of September 2021.

The National Deaf Children’s Society were awarded £680,135 in August 2021, matched with £693,478 of their own funds for a 30 month project which will:

  • 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. https://www.ndcs.org.uk/our-services/services-for-families/apply-for-a-grant/make-a-change-fund/
  • 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 deaf role models. https://buzz.org.uk/
  • Significantly expand the Deaf Works Everywhere campaign's reach.
  • Continue additional rounds of the Pen Pals and Mentors programmes.

More information about their work and all of the above initiatives can be found on their website https://www.ndcs.org.uk/

The Diana Award were awarded a grant from the #iwill Fund of £689,000 for a two year Anti-Racism and Anti-Sexual Bullying project. Diana Award will match this with £689,000. The project will span over two years, ending in late 2023.

The project will explore in depth the issues of anti-racism and sexual bullying via the Anti-Bullying Ambassador programme. Young people and school staff will 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. #iwill funding will allow for the introduction of brand new anti-racism and sexual bullying social action strands of the Anti-Bullying Ambassador programme. The youth-led, peer to peer model uses the power of peers to shape attitudes and change behaviours, with young people leading social action to make this happen

Opportunities for Young people to get involved

The Peer Action Collective (PAC) is a £5.2 million programme, which aims 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 is here to support young people to take the lead. It’s a ground-breaking network of peer researchers. That means that young people will be in charge of asking questions and finding out what needs to happen to make their area a better place to live. But it’s about more than learning about what needs to change. Being part of the PAC means young people will get 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’ll create opportunities that will make their communities safer, fairer places.

YEF have appointed Delivery Partners in each region of England (applications to be a Delivery Partner are now closed). These partners will support young people who have been or who are 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 has also 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 will be collected and analysed through the Fatima App created by their Technology Partner (HereIAm).

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 https://youthendowmentfund.org.uk/

Youth-Led Peer Research Network to focus on young people’s experiences - Up to 60 young people across England are set to lead and conduct research into the experiences and priorities of their peers. The new Youth-Led Peer Research Network is now open to applicants across England, and will bring young people with diverse backgrounds and experiences together. The researchers will speak to 300 16- to 20-year-olds, documenting their ideas and experiences, sharing them across the youth sector, and enabling funders to better understand youth priorities. The new Youth-Led Network is driven by a £150,000 investment from The National Lottery Community Fund. https://www.youngfoundation.org/?press_releases=new-youth-led-peer-research-network-to-focus-on-young-peoples-experiences

Join the #iwill movement - The #iwill movement is building a society that understands and champions the power of youth- where all young people are equipped and enabled to shape and lead change in their own lives and communities. We know that young people up and down the UK are involved in social action- activities that bring about a positive benefit to others, no matter how small. This might be activity delivered through a funded programme or a formal scheme, right through to activity young people are leading themselves in their neighbourhoods or online.

Are you involved in social action? Or are you already a young leader? Join the #iwill movement through signing up to be an #iwill Champion- a network connecting young people engaged in social action, from the grassroots to a national level, all across the UK.

https://www.iwill.org.uk/young-people#ambassadors-opportunities