Youth social action initiative worth £1.7m launches
Monday, August 21, 2017
A £1.7m fund to help young people engage with their local communities has launched.
The #iWill Take Action Fund will support opportunities for 10- to 20-year-olds in the North East of England to volunteer, fundraise and campaign on issues of interest to them.
The initiative, being run by the Virgin Money Foundation, with funding from the Big Lottery Fund will offer grants of between £10,000 to £60,000 over a period of up to two years.
The initiative is part of the UK-wide, government-backed #iwill campaign. The campaign aims to get 60 per cent of 10- to 20-year-olds involved in social action by 2020 and is being co-ordinated by the charity Step Up to Serve.
"As an #iwill match-funder, we will seek to ensure that young people across the North East have a voice and an opportunity to work together and drive positive change in their communities," said Nancy Doyle, executive director of the Virgin Money Foundation.
To coincide with the fund's launch, the first five organisations to receive a share of the money were announced, receiving a total of £743,261 between them.
Among the five are Middlesbrough Football Club (MFC) Foundation, which will use its grant to fund a youth health and well-being project in the Tees Valley, and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, which will spend the funding on helping young people in Gateshead to use art to make social change. Each will receive £150,000 over three years.
"The grant will ensure that we can raise aspirations of local young people and support them to become more active citizens who will make positive changes to the lives of local communities in Teesside," said Helena Bowman, head of foundation at the MFC Foundation.
Other organisations to receive funding are Gateshead-based youth charity The Key, Groundwork North East and Cumbria, and Youth Focus North East.
Groundwork North East and Cumbria, which has been given £148,950 over three years to work on social action projects across the region.