About #iwill

Young people aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow. They have the energy, skills and ideas to change society and the environment for the better today. Yet society often fails to listen to young people’s views or recognise their ability to make a positive difference.

That’s why organisation leaders and young people are working together as the #iwill movement to achieve their shared vision: ‘all children and young people should be supported and empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society’

Vision and Values

Uniting the #iwill movement is a shared belief that

all children and young people should be supported and empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society.

All organisations and young people supporting the movement share these values:

  • Empowering: Young people are treated as equal partners in tackling common challenges. We listen to them, work with them and give them the space to create and lead change.
  • Collaborative: To achieve our shared vision and goals, we need to work together. #iwill stimulates collective action by connecting organisations, policymakers and young people to collaborate and create change.
  • Challenging: We push for meaningful change to culture, policy and practice so that more young people, particularly from low income and ethnic minority backgrounds, are supported and empowered to make a positive difference.
  • Inclusive: We embrace, champion and celebrate young people, individuals and organisations from a diverse range of backgrounds and beliefs to co-create solutions and access benefits of youth social action. We stand united against all forms of discrimination based on an individual’s race, ethnicity, class, beliefs, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, health or any other status.
  • Independent: #iwill belongs to everybody. It remains independent of the interests of any single organisation, political party, funding source, form of youth social action or cause.

Impact Goals

The organisations and young people that make up the movement are collaborating to achieve this vision, and drive progress towards four impact goals:

  1. More children and young people, especially from low income and ethnic minority backgrounds, take social action that embodies the six quality principles
  2. More children and young people, especially from low income and ethnic minority backgrounds, shape decisions in the public, private and voluntary sectors 
  3. More organisations and institutions demonstrably take action to grow the power of youth
  4. There is a shift in public perception on the role children and young people can play in society

The Stories of #iwill

The Growth of a Movement

When the campaign launched in late 2013, with 50 partners and 50 young people, we never imagined #iwill would bring together the depth, diversity and scale of partnerships. From primary schools and a Clinical Commissioning Group in Barrow-in-Furness to FTSE companies and Government departments, the #iwill movement has gone from strength to strength.

However, challenges lie ahead. Poverty, the climate emergency, worsening mental health and wellbeing, social and economic inequalities, racial injustice. Challenges that existed before the Covid-19 crisis have been further exacerbated by the global pandemic – and the future has never felt more uncertain.

Realising the Power of Youth Together  let’s you explore the journey of #iwill since it’s origin in 2013. It looks back at #iwill’s successes and sets out why we must do more to empower young people to lead change, if we are to tackle the biggest issues we face as a society.

How #iwill Works

The Power of Youth Charter
Driving progress towards the #iwill movement’s share vision is The Power of Youth Charter. The Charter provides a framework for organisations to empower more young people to shape decisions, take social action and make a positive difference.

Signing-up to the Power of Youth Charter has to be more than a token gesture. Organisations make a public commitment and take meaningful action to support more children and young people to be active citizens. Charter signatories outline specific actions that they will take in order to deliver on the five key commitments within the Charter.

The #iwill Partnership

The #iwill movement’s collective efforts will be guided by groups of committed leaders from different sectors and nations. These sector and devolved nation groups have been running since 2014 and will continue to drive the power of youth. Their purpose was renewed in 2020 and their commitment to sharing the seats of power equally with young people demonstrated by their change in membership – now 50% young people, with a co-chair aged 25 or under.

The co-chairs of these sector and devolved nation groups will come together to form the #iwill Partnership – a new, UK-wide, cross-sector group, co-chaired by an influential leader and young person. The #iwill Partnership will ensure the whole movement collaboratively drives progress on the 4 #iwill impact goals, upholds the values of #iwill and supports collaboration to achieve our shared vision.

Frequently Asked Questions

#iwill is a movement comprised of over 1000 organisations and 700 young #iwill Ambassadors & Champions from across the UK. They are united by a shared belief that all children and young people should be supported and empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society.

#iwill is empowering, challenging, independent, collaborative and inclusive – it belongs to everybody.

The #iwill movement is powered by young people and organisations. 

The #iwill Ambassadors and #iwill Champions, alongside organisations who sign up to the Power of Youth Charter, help ensure meaningful action is taken to support more children and young people to be active citizens.

The #iwill Partnership is made up of leaders of collective action groups working within and across sections and nations of the UK to guide the #iwill movement.

The independent #iwill Coordination Hub, hosted by Volunteering Matters and UK Youth, supports the #iwill Partnership, #iwill Ambassadors and broader #iwill movement.

In 2012, the Prime Minister asked Dame Julia Cleverdon and Amanda Jordan OBE to review how to increase the quality and quantity of youth social action. After a wide-ranging consultation their report highlighted the barriers to youth social action and produced a set of recommendations.

Barriers included a shortage of activities in education from 10 upwards; confusion in the education and business sectors about the kind of initiatives they could support; failure to promote and inspire young people to take part; and an absence of a coherent vision to promote a culture of youth social action.

The recommendations were to create an easy to navigate “service journey” for young people; scale up programmes to fill gaps in provision; embed social action in young people’s educational experience (school, further and higher education); develop a culture of promoting and celebrating youth social action comparable to effective programmes run in other countries around the world.

The review concluded that an initiative uniting organisations and the public should be set up to increase opportunities for young people. This initiative should be time limited, add to existing activity, and be a research and advocacy body, not one running programmes itself.

This initiative is #iwill, it has cross-party support and comprises over 1000 organisations and 700 young people.

It was coordinated by the charity Step Up To Serve between 2013 and 2020. It has now grown into a self-organising movement and from 2021 key support functions are delivered by Volunteering Matters and UK Youth. Find out more about this transition and how it happened.

The #iwill movement’s collective action is guided by the #iwill Partnership – a cross-sector, UK-wide collaborative group made up of funders, young people and the co-chairs of nation and sector groups that meets quarterly.

Sectors and nations within the UK have established self-organising groups that meeting regularly and exist to drive progress toward the #iwill vision within their respective nations/ sectors. The Co-Chairs of each of these groups (one young person, one organisation representative) also hold a seat on the #iwill Partnership.

The key support functions for #iwill, such as the communications and the running of the #iwill Ambassador and Champion network are delivered by a consortium made up of two UK charities: Volunteering Matters and UK Youth. The consortium is supported by the Centre for Youth Impact who will deliver the collation of key evidence and insights to support the wider #iwill movement.

These charities were chosen following a 3-month competitive process in 2020, after Step Up To Serve – the charity that originally coordinated the #iwill campaign – closed down as planned at the end of 2020.

The campaign is represented by 300 young #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.They have played a powerful role in championing youth social action and shaping the direction and activities of #iwill. #iwill Champions were launched in autumn 2019, in order to give a wider cohort of young people who are passionate about youth social action ways to support #iwill.

We work with our #iwill Ambassadors and Champions in various ways. They help to shape the campaign’s strategy, spread the message about youth social action and encourage organisations to get involved.

Progress towards the #iwill vision is resourced by the organisations that are a part of the movement at their own discretion. A number of youth social action projects are also funded by the #iwill Fund in partnership with 25 Match Funders.

Volunteering Matters and UK Youth host an independent #iwill Coordination Hub. You can find out how Volunteering Matters and UK Youth are funded on their respective websites or through the Charity Commission.

Get in touch via the #iwill social media channels: @iwill_campaign or by emailing iwill@volunteeringmatter.org.uk. If you are an #iwill Ambassador or Champion you can speak directly to the team supporting this network at iwill@ukyouth.org