Event photos by Barima Owusu-Nyantekyi. Additional photos by James Sanderson and Freya Trevor-Harris.

#iwill campaign hosts ‘Future of #iwill’ event to celebrate new Ambassadors and bring together partners

At the beginning of October, more than 200 guests, made up of #iwill Ambassadors old and new, four school groups, and partner organisations from across the UK, came together at the Great Hall in the University of Birmingham to explore the future of #iwill. 

It was great to see organisations and ambassadors working together to give young people a voice on the issues that they care about”

Baroness Barran, Minister for Civil Society

Without young people being involved in the decision making around the key issues that impact us, there is no possible way that a positive change will be made.

Patrick Ntiamoah, #iwill Ambassador

The event, kindly hosted by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues  based at the University of Birmingham, aimed to celebrate the achievements of the campaign’s 50 new #iwill Ambassadors as volunteers, leaders and activists in their own communities.

In addition to collaborative workshops, we heard from a number of compelling speakers, young and not-so-young. Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Diana Barran, spoke about the Government’s commitment to young people, alongside #iwill Ambassador and DCMS Youth Steering Group member Lamide Odanye.

Baroness Barran said:

“It was a privilege to speak at the ‘Future of #iwill’ event, to meet the inspiring #Iwill ambassadors and hear all about the fantastic work of the campaign.

It was great to see organisations and ambassadors working together to give young people a voice on the issues that they care about.”

#iwill Ambassador Guy Willcock, a 16 year old conservationist from Bath, said:

 “I was struck by the wide-ranging remit of #iwill, with such a diverse and inclusive group of people. It was heartening to see adults in positions of power listening carefully to young peoples’ views.

Each of them seemed to get that we had opinions that will affect our futures and that we can really make a difference, that our voice matters precisely because we are young.”

Patrick Ntiamoah, 17, #iwill Ambassador from Peckham, said:

 “Without young people being involved in the decision making around the key issues that impact us, there is no possible way that a positive change will be made.

We would be following a common pattern of the same people doing the same things therefore getting the same results.”

The Step Up To Serve team will work closely with #iwill campaign partners and #iwill Ambassadors over the coming months to co-produce plans to help identify how we will continue to take forward the ambitions of the #iwill campaign beyond 2020. 

You can be involved in continuing conversations about the role of young people, and how you can lead the in driving this forward during #iwill Week – 18th-24th November. 

The individual stories of the 50 new Ambassadors are collected here. You can chart the progress of our #iwill Ambassadors as they shape the campaign over the next year, by following our Ambassador news page and the hashtag  #iwillAmbassador on social media.

Portraits by Charisse Kenion.