This week, Comic Relief is delighted to be supporting #iwillweek, a week-long celebration of young people who lead social change in their community.
Young people all over the UK are doing incredible things to change their communities and the lives of the people who live there for the better. Communities need young people to participate, and young people need opportunities to grow, develop and learn new skills – creating opportunities for social action helps to meet both these needs.
Unfortunately, only 4 in 10 young people in the UK take part in social action, meaning millions of young people aren’t getting the chance to channel their energy and talent in a way that benefits them and their community. Research also shows us that the less affluent young people are, the less likely they are to take part in social action. Comic Reliefs partnership with #iWill aims to bridge this gap and to provide more exciting opportunities for young people, educate them on the benefits of social action and inspire more young people to get involved.
As part of the activity, Comic Relief is sharing insights from a successful pilot of a new grants programme designed with a panel of young people, for young people, as part of this new partnership with the #iwill fund.
Venetia Boon, Comic Relief UK Grants Manager said: "The new grants will create more opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get involved with social action, which is important and very exciting. Social action is hugely beneficial for young people as it can help them learn new skills and develop their confidence through volunteering, fundraising and campaigning whilst benefiting the local community.”
Panelist Fran Barrett, aged 22 from Manchester, said: "Volunteering on projects like this has allowed me to build my confidence and learn new skills that I know will help me in the future. It's been so rewarding knowing that I've helped provide funding to these amazing organisations. They're creating nurturing environments where young people, who may have had similar experiences to me, can use their creativity to inspire positive change in their community."
The #iwill fund is an integral part of the work by the #iwill campaign and brings together £40m of seed funding from Government and Big Lottery Fund to create a central investment pot.