British government and foundations team up to promote volunteering


Alliance magazine


The UK government and British foundations have today announced a £49.6 million investment to increase the number of young people taking part in social action, as part of the ‘#iwill’ campaign.

The ‘#iwill Fund’ is a £40 million joint commitment of seed funding by Government and the Big Lottery Fund, supported by an additional £9.6 million of match-funding from Comic Relief, Pears Foundation and UK Community Foundations.

The ‘#iwill Fund’ claims that currently four in ten young people regularly take part in social action, which includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering. The aim of the campaign is to have at least six in ten 10-20 year olds taking part by the year 2020.

This news follows research from the University of Kent which highlighted substantial differences in how voluntary action is distributed across areas of advantage versus those of disadvantage. Schools situated in wealthier areas are more likely to have access to additional resources than those in poorer areas.

This first group of match-funders will be targeting their investment to reach a range of young people. For example, Comic Relief will develop opportunities for young people from areas and backgrounds currently least likely to participate, focusing on areas within education, health and social care.

Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up To Serve, the charity coordinating the #iwill campaign said:

‘A Childwise survey revealed recently that children spend an average of 3 hours a day online and 2.1 hours in front of the television; that’s over 35 hours a week of screen time. If we could get more young people to dedicate just 1 hour a month to social action, then everyone benefits. That’s why I am calling on people across the country to get involved in our campaign – this new fund is a key piece of our work to enable more young people to lead positive change.’

Find out more on the ‘#iwill’ campaign’s website.

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