#iwill programme

The #iwill programme is a national initiative that promotes youth social action: volunteering, fundraising and campaigning amongst young people aged between 10 and 20 (25 for disabled people). 

Amounts available: £1,000–£5,000

Group annual income: No limit

Type of cost: Encouraging young people to volunteer, campaign or fundraise

Timescales: Applications should be for a project that lasts up to a year; projects can also be one-off events

Next closing date: 27th April 2018 at midday


Youth social action has huge potential to create enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people, benefitting local people and places. The aim of the #iwill programme is to raise the level and quality of 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. These activities develop the skills and knowledge of young people that employers look for.

For the purposes of this funding, 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 £2 million this year to fund groups delivering local youth social action opportunities. Local fundraising is also a key part of the #iwill programme.

What we're looking for

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 to expect

The first thing you should do before applying is to download and read the #iwill criteria document, which outlines who can apply and any exclusions. You then need to complete a comprehensive online application form, and supply specified documentation showing evidence of good governance, as well as an appropriate referee.

Your application will be assessed by our office-based grants team, and you will receive an acknowledgement shortly after the closing date. Our independent panel of volunteers with sector expertise will then review and prioritise all the applications at their next meeting. Successful grants will be paid within 30 days of notification, and your project cannot commence before the award is made.

Download criteriaApply nowComic ReliefDelivering ImpactGrants overview

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