#iwill Youth Social Action Fund Now Open

#iwill Youth Social Action Fund Now Open

Somerset Community Foundation is encouraging charities and community groups working across Somerset to apply for funding for projects that encourage young people to take action on issues that matter to them.

Groups that engage young people aged 10-20 in activities such as campaigning, fundraising or volunteering should apply to the #iwill Fund. The Fund is open to applications on Monday 16 September and the closing date is Friday 25 October. Successful applicants should expect their grants to be awarded by the end of the year.

Andy Ridgewell, Programmes Manager at Somerset Community Foundation said: “We’re excited to receive applications from groups working with young people who are keen to make a difference in their communities. Young people have enormous potential make a positive change and we’re proud to support local groups working with the next generation of volunteers, campaigners and activists. When making your application we would also like you to consider the Somerset Youth Parliament’s local priority concerns for 2019-21, which are: the environment, youth voice, and youth safety and empowerment.”

Grant funding ranging between £1,000 and £5,000 is available to groups including registered charities, community groups, social enterprises and CICs and are being awarded in partnership with the Somerset Youth Parliament and Somerset County Council, which is providing match funding.

Councillor Frances Nicholson, the County Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Somerset’s Youth Parliament clearly demonstrates how passionate young people are in our County about issues that affect them and the wider community.

“It’s fantastic that children and young people will have the chance to take part in campaigns and projects or volunteer to help improve the lives of others, thanks to this initiative.”

Langport and Huish Episcopi Youth Group were awarded an #iwill grant in 2018. Their project delivered cooking and baking sessions for young people, many of whom were from lower income households and unable to cook.

Senior youth worker Annie Shillabeer explained: “Not only did the young people learn valuable new cookery skills, the project also broke down barriers between generations: A local baker taught them how to bake bread, and they also learnt how to make simple soups. The group then cooked and shared their food with a group of younger children and also the local lunch club for older people in the village. Seven of our young people have since taken their Basic Food Hygiene Certificate and are progressing to Level 2. The project really was a great success and I’m absolutely delighted with the outcome. We have been able to make plans for the future and are now running regular cookery lessons.  It’s a real pleasure to see our young people learning and using new skills.”

The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport are each investing £20 million seed funding over four years to create the #iwill Fund.

If you would like to find out more about grant funding for projects that encourage young people to take social action in their communities, please call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949 or visit www.somersetcf.org.uk

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