Main Beneficiaries

Organisations working with young people between the ages of 10 and 20.

For groups working with disabled people the age range is 10 to 25.

Organisations working to promote social action amongst young people.

#iwill is a UK-wide campaign that aims to make social action part of life for as many 10 to 20 year-olds as possible by the year 2020. Through collaboration and partnership it is spreading the word about the benefits of youth social action.


What is youth social action?

‘Young people taking practical action in the service of others in order to create positive social change that is of benefit to the wider community as well as to the young person themselves.’
Young Foundation

Youth Social Action includes volunteering, fundraising and campaigning, as well as skills and confidence-building projects which work with young people, particularly from less affluent backgrounds, to develop an appetite for this sort of activity.



The programme aims to increase overall participation of young people in meaningful social action from 40% to 60% by 2020, with a particular focus on deprived areas.

Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering and has huge potential to create enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people, and in turn benefit the local people and places.

Step Up To Serve, Big Lottery Fund and the Government Office for Civil Society have invested £2million this year to fund groups delivering youth social action opportunities across the UK. The Community Foundation will match this investment in Staffordshire and Shropshire.

The #iwillFund looks to support activities that create opportunities for young people aged 10-20 to develop their character and their capacity to significantly contribute to their community.

Six principles of social action

Projects must demonstrate how they will apply all six principles of youth social action:

  • Reflective – recognising contributions as well as valuing critical reflection and learning
  • Challenging – stretching and ambitious as well as enjoyable and enabling
  • Youth Led – led, owned and shaped by young people’s needs, ideas and decision making
  • Socially impactful – have a clear and intended benefit to a community, cause or social problem
  • Progressive – sustained, and providing links to other activities and opportunities
  • Embedded – accessible to all, and well-integrated to existing pathways to become a habit for life

More details about the six principles can be found on the #iwill website here


Applying for a grant


  • Grants are between £1,000 and £5,000.
  • Projects can be up to a year in duration.
  • Grants should deliver social action opportunities for young people age 10 to 20 years old, or 25 for disabled people.


  • This fund is open to registered charities, constituted community groups and other charitable organisations including Social Enterprises and CICs in England.
  • National organisations with local branches (with their own management committee and bank account) can apply.
  • New organisations that can demonstrate they are financially robust can apply.



We will prioritise projects that:

  • Seek to increase participation from young people from less affluent social economic groups, hard to reach groups and people who might not usually take part in social action;
  • Are working with young people at the younger end of the spectrum (10-14 years old)
  • Build the appetite of young people to continue with social action; support habit forming behaviour; leave a legacy of behaviour/activity after the funding stops
  • Involve young people in planning, delivery and evaluation.
  • Give young people the opportunity to learn new skills and develop their character and confidence.
  • Give young people the platform to get their voice heard.


This fund aims to develop opportunities rather than fund the provision of existing youth work. We are looking to fund organisations that support young people to thrive and where the involvement of young people in social action will improve the outcomes of the organisation.

Skills development projects, which help young people be ‘social action-ready’ are as valuable as existing project delivery itself.


What Must Be Provided With Your Application
  • A copy of your governing document (e.g. constitution, memorandum & articles or set of rules).
  • A copy of your most recent annual accounts or management accounts if these are unavailable.
  • A copy of a bank statement dated within the last 3 months. The bank account must be in the name of the organisation applying.
  • A copy of your safeguarding policy
  • A copy of your equal opportunities policy
  • A list of the names and addresses of your management committee

If you do not have any of these documents please contact us as we will be able to put you in touch with organisations who can help you to develop them


What we are looking for
  • We are looking to fund projects ranging from traditional social action such as regular youth volunteering at a care home, tnewer 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.
  • We want to fund enjoyable projects that build and share skills and demonstrate positive impact on the wider community.
  • We anticipate that projects will:
    • Increase empathy and understanding of the positive impact young people make.
    • Bring benefits to older people, children, local business, schools and those that supported / tutored the young people.
  • And that positive elements for young people will include:
    • Having fun
    • Making friends
    • Trying new things
    • Taking about things in new ways with new people
    • New skills & Improving CV’s
    • Being invited to help with more activities


Some ideas to show the range of possible activities
  • A drop in where young people teach others new skills such as coding/bike maintenance/nail art (or all three).
  • Bite-size events for young people to train an organisation’s staff on the latest social media.
  • Teaching young people interview and video editing skills and then supporting the young people to interview stakeholders and create a set of voxpop videos for the website of a local organisation.
  • Growing vegetables at the city farm and then selling them (which builds more skills and relationships than painting the farm’s shed).


  • Involve young people in planning, delivery and evaluation – ask young people for advice.
  • Sociable enjoyable activities where young people can be with their friends or make new friends are likely to work well.
  • Opportunities to learn useful skills and demonstrate reliability are valued.
  • Regular activities held at the same time every week may work well, but may not always be the right formula.
  • Flexibility and responsiveness is key to maximum engagement.
  • Email, text and social media mean convenient sessions can be planned and publicised quickly.
  • Bite size events are a good option and help overcome bookings and timings challenges.
  • Consider prioritising warm weather but not exam time. Many people don’t like to go out in the rain, especially in winter.

For the full criteria and guidelines, please click here

How To Apply

Please apply online using our online application form, which can be accessed by clicking the apply button below.