Last year 42% of 10-20 year olds took part in meaningful youth social action like campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, in communities across the UK. Taking part in youth social action creates opportunities to learn, be recognised for their contributions, and improve networks between peers and communities. Evidence shows that it may help with employability of young people. Yet there is still a gap in the level of youth social action undertaken by young people from less affluent backgrounds.
Comic Relief has partnered with the #iwill campaign, to create a £2.4 million fund to target young people from less affluent backgrounds. #iwill is a UK-wide campaign aiming to get six out of 10 young people involved in social action by 2020. Big Lottery Fund and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have each invested £20 million to support young people access high quality social action opportunities.
Co-produced with young people, and championing peer to peer engagement and the importance of trust building, this initiative will fund projects to seek out young people, and encourage those from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in and lead youth social action.
The criteria for the grants will be:
- Ability to demonstrate effective ways to build relationships with ‘reluctant’ young people in their own community
- Ability to demonstrate how they will engage those young people in creative, innovative and meaningful social action
Activity funded under this programme will need to reflect the Step Up To Serve Six Shared Principles of quality social action:
- socially impactful
Youth social action can include any activities around campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which can create a double benefit for communities and the young person themselves.
Comic Relief is keen to fund projects that will work with young people in areas of high need and deprivation, and where there are minimal services or activities available for young people. They would expect applicants to demonstrate the need of the young people they will work with, based on indices of deprivation, unemployment and other measures as they see fit.
Funding is available for grants of between £20,000 to £50,000 per year for up to three years (with a maximum of £150,000 in total). Of the total amount available, £400,000 is available for grants in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
More information about this grant here.