About the #iwill campaign

What is the #iwill Campaign?

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. This is particularly the case for young people from low-income communities.

All young people should be supported and empowered to be active citizens. That’s why the #iwill campaign, supported by over 1,000 organisations from across the UK, aims to make participation in social action – such as volunteering, fundraising, mentoring and campaigning – the norm for young people aged 10 to 20.

#iwill Campaign Impact

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 over the last few years.

  • 250 Ambassadors across the UK

  • £64m invested into youth social action through the #iwill Fund

  • 5 Steering Groups in the education, health, environment, youth  sectors and on evidence and data.

  • More schools say youth social action is part of their culture and practice

  • Youth social action embedded into long-term plans of Ofsted, NHS England and Defra

  • Significant growth in body of evidence on the double benefit of youth social action

  • Over 10k young people have shared their perspectives on youth social action through the national youth social action survey

The Power Of Youth Social Action Report

#iwill Campaign Strategy

#iwill partners are working together to deliver a cross-sector campaign strategy that will transform the role and perception of young people in society.

Governance and Funding

Step Up To Serve and its #iwill campaign is led by HRH The Prince of Wales and governed by an independent board comprising leaders from across UK society. There is also annual support from an Advisory Council. We have young people who sit across our Board of Trustees as well as any steering groups and advisory groups that we coordinate.

  • Sir Nick Parker is chair of the board having taken over in 2014.
  • William Nye LVO remains on the board having previously been the Chair before Sir Nick Parker.
  • Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO, CBE (co-founder) continues to guide the campaign, leading the Education Steering Group.
  • Matt Hyde CEO of the Scouts, heads up the Scale and Reach Steering Group
  • Steve Holliday, former CEO of National Grid and Ann Pickering, CHRO and Chief of Staff  at O2 are helping to embed youth social action within the employment sector.
  • Sian Jarvis CB leads the Health & Social Care Steering Group.
  • Saeed Atcha MBE, formally one of our young Trustees has stayed on the Board now in his role as Government Social Mobility Commissioner.
  • We have three young Trustees all under the age of 23: Naomi Lea, Ceylon Hickman and Thomas McEachan. They use the skills and knowledge gained from their own journey to influence the campaign and represent the views of young people. They are all very active in local and national social action projects.

We have 5 Steering Groups that drive the work of the #iwill campaign in their sector:

  • We have an Education Summit, currently co- chaired by trustee Dame Julia Cleverdon, and #iwill Ambassador Adam Ramgoolie.
  • We have a Health and Social Care Steering Group, currently co-chaired by trustee Sian Jarvis, and #iwill Ambassador Susie Williams.
  • We have a Data & Quality Assurance Group, currently chaired by #iwill Ambassador Stephen Tutin.
  • We have an Environment Steering Group, currently chaired by Step Up To Serve’s Charlotte Hill.
  • We have a Communications Forum currently co-chaired by Ndidi Okezie and rotating young Trustees.

Step Up To Serve is fortunate to be funded through a blend of businesses, philanthropists, trusts & foundations and Central Government.

Currently our core funding comes from the below funders. For anything relating to the #iwill Fund, please see details here.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – The government department supporting the Prime Minister, covering Arts, Culture, the Creative Industries, Sport, Tourism, Heritage, Gambling, boosted by responsibility for civil society, charities, volunteering and innovative financing to create an inclusive economy.

Pears Foundation – A founding partner and funder of Step Up To Serve since it launched in 2013. They support unrestricted core costs.

Garfield Weston – Supporting unrestricted core costs for Step Up To Serve.

Comic Relief – Funding to support the education strand of work for the #iwill campaign.

Ormiston Trust – Supporting unrestricted core costs at Step Up To Serve.

The Rumi Foundation and WE Foundation –  Supporting unrestricted core costs at Step Up To Serve.

We are also lucky to be supported by businesses who make vital contributions, either financially, or in-kind. These include National Grid, EDF Energy, Heathrow, Linklaters, PwC, O2, Forest Holidays and DAC Beachcroft.

In addition we have had support form the Civil Service and Defra with secondments and receive separate backing for specific projects such as our work with #iwill Ambassadors supported by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at Birmingham University and the Horizon online mapping tool which is funded by Zing and Centrica British Gas.

We would like to thank all our donors for their continued commitment to our work as we strive to enable all young people to take part in social action.

Frequently Asked Questions

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. This is particularly the case for young people from low-income communities.

All young people should be supported and empowered to be active citizens. That’s why the #iwill campaign, supported by over 1,000 organisations from across the UK, aims to make participation in social action – such as volunteering, fundraising, mentoring and campaigning – the norm for young people aged 10 to 20.

Step Up To Serve is the time-limited charity that coordinates the #iwill campaign. It does so by connecting campaign partners, communicating data and evidence about the benefits of youth social action and challenging organisations to do more.

Read more about our governance and funding here.

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 the #will campaign that is being coordinated by the charity Step Up To Serve.

The campaign is represented by 250 young #iwill Ambassadors – 50 from each year of the campaign so far. 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. We work with our Ambassadors in various ways. They help to shape the campaign’s strategy, spread the message about youth social action and encourage organisations to get involved.