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.

Youth social action has huge potential to create enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people, benefiting local people and places. The aim of this scheme is  to raise the level and quality of youth social action. The programme aim is to increase youth social action by 50% by 2020 taking the percentage of young people that volunteer from 40% to 60%.   Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable participants to make a positive difference to their communities.

Social action develops the skills and knowledge of young people that employers look for.

The definition of young people is between 10 and 20, and up to 25 for disabled young people.

Big Lottery Fund and the Office for Civil Society have invested £2million across the country this year to fund groups delivering local youth social action opportunities, and the programme is delivered in Staffordshire by The Community Foundation for Staffordshire, who are providing match funding to increase the amount available to organisations.

How much can groups bid for?

  • The Youth Social Action Fund will provide funding of between £1000 and £5000 for each project.


Organisations That Can Be Funded

  • Community groups
  • Registered Charities
  • Social Enterprises
  • National organisations with local branches managed by a local committee
  • New organisations


Organisations That Cannot Be Funded

  • Local Authorities
  • Statutory organisations


What Can Be Funded?

  • Social action opportunities amongst young people age 10 to 20 years old when the programme begins, or 25 for disabled people.
  • Projects that lasts a maximum of 1 year, but can last less
  • One off events
  • Community groups that can draw in match-funding are encouraged to apply.  However, the presence of match funding will not affect our assessment of your application.
  • Projects can deliver opportunities in a range of contexts and settings:  for example online, extracurricular, in clubs and groups, informally, or as part of structured programmes.
  • Groups should engage young people in ongoing regular volunteering OR demonstrate how another youth-led method will be as effective at engaging young people in social action. (For example regular ongoing volunteering may not be achievable for the young people you engage).
  • Core costs are eligible if the other criteria are met, including how the project meets the principles of great youth social action.
  • Incentives for young people*

*Appropriate incentives for young people can be used if they will genuinely engage people who might not otherwise be engaged. Cash incentives cannot be used (although expenses incurred while volunteering can be paid in cash). Incentives should emphasise social activities when possible. For example those that take part in youth social action would be in with a chance to win vouchers, time credits, tickets to a show, or a social dinner in a restaurant together.

What Cannot Be Funded

  • Activities promoting party political activity
  • Capital costs / equipment
  • Individual sponsorship
  • Activities generating private profit
  • Faith groups are welcome to apply but activities which evangelise or proselytise religious beliefs will not be eligible. Projects that only work with one faith are also not eligible



  • Reflective
  • Challenging
  • Youth-led
  • Socially Impactful
  • Progressive
  • Embedded

More details about the principles can be found on the #iwill website. It is important to read these before applying.

We will prioritise projects that:

  • Seek to increase participation from young people from lower social economic groups and people who might not usually take part in social action, e.g. engage new volunteers.
  • Embed skills in young people / the wider community while delivering. For example, listening skills, maths and English, cooking, media and communications, evaluation and capturing success.
  • Clearly demonstrate principles of great youth social action. For example:  an enjoyable project that enhances young people’s social lives, provides the opportunity to meet new people, positively impacts the wider community and develops longer term connections between volunteers and the wider community.
  • Have a plan to measure and report positive changes made.
  • Demonstrate sustainability beyond the life of this grant.


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).
  • See the case studies below too.



  • 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.


How To Apply

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