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#iwill Programme

The #iwill Programme aims to increase youth volunteering and social action by 50% by 2020 and is being delivered by community foundations across England. 

Local groups can apply for grants between £1,000 and £5,000 for youth social action projects which last up to a year (they can be one-off events). Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable participants to make a positive difference to their communities. Social action develops the skills and knowledge of young people that employers look for and benefits the local community. The definition of young people is between 10 and 20, and up to 25 for disabled young people.

Projects (they don’t have to necessarily be led by a youth group) can deliver opportunities in a range of contexts and settings: for example online, extracurricular, in clubs and groups, informally, or as part of structured programmes. Groups should engage young people in ongoing regular volunteering OR demonstrate how another youth-led method will be as effective at engaging young people in social action (for example regular ongoing volunteering may not be achievable for the young people you engage).

Core costs are eligible if the other criteria are met, including how the project meets the principles of great youth social action. Groups must demonstrate that their programme can meet the following quality principles of great youth social action: reflective, challenging, youth-led, socially impactful, progressive, embedded.

We will prioritise projects that:
  • Seek to increase participation from young people from lower social economic groups and people who might not usually take part in social action, e.g. engage new volunteers.
  • Embed skills in young people / the wider community while delivering. For example, listening skills, maths and English, cooking, media and communications, evaluation and capturing success.
  • Clearly demonstrate principles of great youth social action. For example: an enjoyable project that enhances young people’s social lives, provides the opportunity to meet new people, positively impacts the wider community and develops longer term connections between volunteers and the wider community.
  • Have a plan to measure and report positive changes made.
  • Demonstrate sustainability beyond the life of this grant.
We will not fund:
  • Statutory services – statutory organisations cannot bid for the fund.
  • Activities promoting party political activity.
  • Capital costs / equipment. (Purchase of refreshments for volunteers is okay)
  • Individual sponsorship.
  • Activities generating private profit.
  • Faith groups are welcome to apply but activities which evangelise or proselytise religious beliefs will not be eligible. Projects that only work with one faith are also not eligible.
We are looking to fund projects ranging:
  • From traditional social action such as regular youth volunteering at a care home.
  • To newer ways to create positive social impact such as micro-volunteering activities where individual young people decide what they want to do. For example, a group of friends might create a social media campaign promoting positive body image.
  • Involve young people in planning, delivery and evaluation.
  • Sociable enjoyable activities work well.
  • Opportunities to learn useful skills and demonstrate reliability are valued.
  • Flexibility and responsiveness is key.
  • Bite size events are a good option.
How to apply?

This fund is now closed.