Youth Social Action Fund

Emily Jones avatar

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£3 million in funding, provided by BBC Children in Need, the #iwill Fund, and The Hunter Foundation, aims to support youth social action throughout the UK. This funding will empower children and young people, helping them develop the necessary skills and confidence to tackle issues that affect their lives and communities.

The #iwill Fund, a collaboration between The National Lottery Community Fund and The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has invested £54 million in this initiative.

The funding is open to organizations focused on addressing the disadvantages faced by children and young people. It encourages participation from those who already have some experience with social action and want to further develop their skills, as well as those who are new to these activities but are interested in learning more.

There are two programs being introduced as part of this initiative: the Youth Social Action Fund and the We Move Youth Social Action Fund. The latter is specifically targeted at Black-led organizations and those working with Black children and young people. Additional information about the fund can be found on our website.

The Youth Social Action Fund is aimed at individuals aged 18 and younger. While most youth social action projects cater to older age groups within this range, we welcome applications from organizations working with or planning to work with younger children (e.g., those aged 15 and under).

Since the beginning, young people have been involved in the design of this fund. It is crucial to us that the program embodies the values of youth social action. Throughout the assessment and decision-making process, we will actively seek their input to ensure their voices are heard, and the issues that matter to them are addressed.

What exactly is social action? It encompasses the activities undertaken by children and young people to make a positive difference and drive change in their communities and the larger world. In their pursuit of social action, children and young people can use their voices and lived experiences to tackle subjects that are important to them.

Through social action, we hope to empower children and young people to develop their own solutions to the issues faced by themselves and their communities. We aim to fund projects that adhere to the following principles:

  • Led by children and young people, focusing on the social change they want to see
  • Providing participants with developmental opportunities and reciprocation
  • Prioritizing the well-being of children and young people at all times
  • Inclusivity across all age ranges
  • Valuing lived experiences
  • Allowing sufficient time and space to cultivate project ideas through an initial development phase, enabling participants to build their capacity and organization to grow

About the Fund:

This funding is available to non-profit organizations that focus on addressing the disadvantages children and young people experience. It seeks to motivate these individuals to engage in youth social action.

How much funding can organizations apply for? Unregistered groups can seek up to £15,000, while registered entities are eligible for up to £50,000. It is important to review the details provided to determine the specific requirements for each category.

Who is eligible to apply? The Youth Social Action Fund welcomes applications from the following:

  • Charitable incorporated organizations and Scottish charitable incorporated organizations
  • Community interest companies (CIC) limited by guarantee
  • Companies limited by guarantee, with a governing document clause prohibiting profit distribution
  • Housing associations
  • Industrial and provident community benefit societies
  • Registered charities
  • Religious institutions
  • Special schools catering to children with learning difficulties or disabilities not supported by mainstream settings
  • Unregistered organizations (If not registered with the appropriate regulatory body, such as the Charity Commission for England and Wales, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, and OSCR)

Which types of projects are not funded? While we designed this fund to be as flexible as possible, there are some limitations. We are unable to consider funding applications for the following:

  • Projects with a duration of up to 18 months
  • Incorporation of an initial development phase, allowing organizations to plan and prepare according to the choices of participating children and young people
  • The selection and finalization of successful grants are planned for August. All project deliveries should be completed by mid-March 2024.
  • Successful organizations are expected to undergo a self-directed development stage for up to six months at the start of their grant period. This stage provides ample time for detailed project planning, capacity-building of children and young people, and organizational preparedness. The content and length of this stage will be tailored to suit the project and organization’s needs. During the development stage, organizations may allocate up to 10% of their budget for additional support. Our team will also provide capacity-building support for both the organization and the participating children and young people. Details about this stage will be discussed in the information session. Additionally, the development phase can be used to:
  • Develop project plans and refine the budget
  • Enhance the capacity for children and young people to lead the project
  • Strengthen the organization’s ability to implement a successful project
  • Following the funded development phase, organizations have until mid-March 2024 to deliver and evaluate their social action projects.

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