The #iwill campaign aims to ensure that 60% of 10 to 20 year-olds across the UK are taking part in meaningful social action by 2020. The provision of high quality opportunities, available to all, will enable social action to become a part of life for young people and, it is hoped, form a lifelong habit of community engagement.
The #iwill fund is an integral part of this work and brings together £40m of seed funding from Government and Big Lottery Fund to create a central investment pot. This investment will be overseen by a Leadership Board, made up of representatives from Government, Big Lottery Fund and Step Up To Serve (the charity coordinating the #iwill campaign), as well as three young people.
Throughout the life of the #iwill Fund we will be releasing different waves of funding, delivered and distributed through match funders, who will also be investing in this work.
The first match funders we are working with are:
- Pears Foundation who will be supporting activity within education, health and social care as well as scaling and supporting successful models to grow or sustain. More information here: http://www.pearsfoundation.org.uk/partner/the-iwill-fund
- UK Community Foundations will create small grants for local social action opportunities through their network of 43 Community Foundations across England. More information here: http://www.ukcommunityfoundations.org/our-programmes/youth-social-action
- Comic Relief will develop opportunities for young people from areas and backgrounds currently least likely to participate; working in co-production with young people over the next few months to design the initiative to launch in Spring 2017. More information here: https://www.comicrelief.com/news/comic-relief-announces-partnership-to-support-iwill-campaign
- Sport England joined the #iwill Fund with a £3 million partnership in March 2017. They will support projects which create opportunities for 10-20 year-olds to use sport as a way to do ‘social action’. More information here: https://www.sportengland.org/funding/funding-for-volunteering/potentials-fund/
In launching the #iwill Fund:
Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson said: “The #iwill Fund will give more young people the opportunity to take part in exciting and innovative youth social action projects, developing their skills for work and life. It’s great news that this fund is attracting more investment and demonstrates our commitment to creating an environment where individuals and communities can thrive.”
Gemma Bull, Big Lottery Fund England Portfolio Development Director, said: “With this new partnership of funders we have a huge opportunity to support young people to develop their skills and confidence. Through social action the #iwill Fund will be an important tool to put young people from a variety of backgrounds in the lead and open up opportunities. In turn, these skills will benefit their local community and people of all ages. We look forward to seeing the impact it will have.”
Charlotte Hill, Step Up To Serve Chief Executive, said: “Increasing the opportunities for youth social action is of vital importance in today’s society. Helping more young people to make a difference in their communities will have the added benefit of increased social cohesion and social mobility, whilst helping young people develop skills to meet the challenges that they face today. This support for youth social action will undoubtedly bring us closer to the campaign goal, and we welcome wider investment to this sector.”
On announcing the funding in September Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I want Britain to be the great meritocracy of the world and a fundamental part of this is ensuring all young people get the best possible start in life. This new funding demonstrates our commitment, and will be a huge boost for youth groups across the country – giving young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunity to gain the experiences and skills they need to succeed in life. This is all part of our determination to build a country that works for everyone– and ensure that young people can go as far as their talents allow, regardless of their backgrounds.”
For more information the #iwill Fund see our Frequently Asked Questions.
If you’re a funder and interested in knowing more about how you could collaborate with us, or for more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and mark your enquiry #iwill Fund.