A recent Sutton Trust study found a significant socio-economic gap in access to extra-curricular activities, including volunteering. Young people from less affluent backgrounds are much more likely to be missing out on the double benefit of social action.
In a bid to make social action a part of life for 10 to 20-year-olds growing up in the UK, Community Foundations in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund and Department of Culture, Media & Sport are supporting projects offering meaningful social action from the #Iwill Fund.
The funding programme aims to increase overall participation of young people in meaningful social action from 40% to 60% by 2020, with a particular focus on deprived areas.
Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering and has huge potential to create enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people, and in turn, benefit the local people and places.
Assistant Director of the Community Foundation for Calderdale Emma Woods-Bolger says: “This is the second year of the #Iwill fund and we have discovered some brilliant projects which are being shaped by young peoples ideas and needs, and crucially they are getting to make decisions about the world around them”.
She continued “One of the projects we have funded most recently is the Space at Field Lane Estate. The estate has 2,500 people in 818 homes, with 550 social housing properties, and is within the highest 20% deprivation in the UK, with employment at 12.45% in the Index of Multiple Deprivation.
A group of young people who live on the Filed Lane Estate have been working with the trustees to help rejuvenate The Field Lane Community Centre, which was closed in 2011. Our funding is enabling young people from the estate to increase their participation, to act as engagement leads, promote the activities of their group and The Space renovation, fundraise towards the costs and be involved in the strategy of the whole organisation”.
The young people who take part will gain an ASDAN qualification. ASDAN is an education charity and awarding organisation; their qualifications are designed to help young people develop skills for learning, work and life.
The grant funding includes monies for an event which the young people themselves are organising on 5th May from 1-4 pm on the play area at Burnsall Road and Arncliffe Crescent on the estate.
There will be a range of activities for children and young people: face painting, bouncy castle, assault course, BBQ and so on. Refreshments will also be available in the Arncliffe Centre.
Once the renovations are completed the young people who lead this project will run the new youth club which will operate inside the renovated ‘Space’. Some of them will train as volunteer youth leaders, and others will make this their career.
The Space Young Leaders will remain involved in the running of the Space generally and specifically will continue to run and direct the strategy for the sessions and events run at the Space for young people.
Emma Woods-Bolger commented, “Funding from the #Iwill Fund will enable the group and more importantly the young people themselves to make a real difference to their community and themselves”.