Last week marked #iwill week, which celebrates the role young people play in their local communities, and encourages more young people to take part in social action.
There has been renewed interest in social action over recent years, but the valuable role young people play in society is nothing new. There are countless examples of young people who have come together to work for change. From the Scouts and Guides to the incredible Peace Corps, across the globe there is a long history of young social activists engaging with society and making it a better place for those around them.
One such example is the youth-led movement, Restless Development, whose training programmes seek to build a new generation of leaders to lead development and change around the world.
At the Virgin Money Foundation we believe that every great movement starts with a tiny group of people who refuse to accept a situation, and instead work for change.
We want young people to be at the centre of change, using their voices, talents and time to transform the community and society in which they live. For this to happen young people need opportunities and support. In August 2017 we launched the #iwill Take Action Fund to enable local youth organisations to provide exactly this. The fund is open and, through it, we have distributed over £700,000 so far to organisations that are providing ways for young people to engage with or lead environmental, cultural or health related social action projects.
To hear why social action makes a real difference to the lives of young people in the North East, listen to Faye’s story. Faye is one of the young people helping to shape the #iwill Take Action Fund.
Nancy Doyle-Hall, Executive Director