Group of children taking part in an activity

Nearly £110k awarded to youth social action projects

Thirteen youth-focused organisations working in Sovereign Housing Association communities are celebrating thanks to funding from the Sovereign #iwill Fund. In July this year, we invited applications for the first round of the Sovereign #iwill Fund. Applications were invited from organisations delivering projects which offer new opportunities for young people aged 10-20-years-old to get involved in youth social action in Sovereign communities across the South and South West of England.

We received 34 applications, of which 23 were eligible and went straight through to scoring.

Sovereign’s Youth Panel, made up of 18-25-year-old residents, had a key role too – helping to score the entries and decide which projects should be awarded up to £10,000 in funding.  

Each project will be delivered by the end of May 2023, except for JIGSAW Thornbury’s project which will finish at the end of the school year in July 2023. The grants awarded to each of the organisations range from £1,800 to the full £10,000.

Owing to the quality and number of applications received, Sovereign has decided to increase the budget this time around to just under £110,000 – which is £10,000 above its forecast. When the next round of applications is invited, there will be £90,000 awarded to different youth social action projects.  

The #iwill Fund is all made possible thanks to a £54 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. Sovereign is acting as an #iwill Fund match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund.

The 13 winning projects which have received funding are:

  • Solent Youth Action has received £8,412 which will be used to support young people aged 10-20 to develop an outdoor community kitchen at their new skills centre, The Routes in Eastleigh.
  • Mayfield Nurseries was awarded £9,144 which will be spent supporting young people aged 10-20 in Southampton to learn about horticulture, sustainability, environmental issues and mental health, and to become ‘Change Champions’.
  • Shine Pinehurst has received £10,000 which will be used to support 11-15-year-olds in Swindon to develop and lead a pizza oven project, which will include making and delivering pizzas to local residents.
  • Youthline has been awarded £2,300 to set up a new ‘Youth Ambassador Scheme’ in Bracknell for 14-18-year-olds which will give them the skills, knowledge and confidence to act as peer mentors.
  • Clean our Patch CIC has received a grant of £10,000 to extend their school programme to 12 new schools across Plymouth, engaging 250 young people aged 10-20 in social action through litter picking. Workshops will be delivered in schools to upskill young people who will then lead on developing litter picking initiatives across the city.
  • Berkshire Youth has been awarded £9,815.86 to engage young people aged 10-15 and encouraging them to be involved with, and lead youth social action projects in Newbury. They’ll be supported throughout the project to help them develop skills and competencies, as well as the opportunity to complete a range of accredited training including Youth Achievement Awards and Level 1 Youth Leadership Qualifications.
  • APE Project CIC has received a grant of £9,935 which will be used to educate young people from ethnic minority backgrounds about youth social action and upskill them to deliver a youth social action project of their choice in Bristol.
  • Koala Community Hub was awarded £9,752.32 to work alongside neurodivergent people aged 10-20 and give them opportunity to lead social action projects within the Test Valley and  Hampshire area.
  • Cianna’s Smile received £7,950 to go towards a new ‘Youth Advocacy Programme’  for 10-18-year-olds in Thames Valley which will focus on promoting awareness of Sickle cell disease and will upskill young people to launch effective campaigns in support of those living with the condition.
  • Reverse The Trend Foundation received £10,000 to help young people aged 10-14 living in Bristol to campaign to get mental health learning and resources added to the school curriculum.
  • Jigsaw Thornbury has received £10,000 to set up a volunteer scheme and a youth club in partnership with Krunch South West which will enable youth people to build their skills and confidence - and engage in campaigning and fundraising events  in and around Bristol.
  • Abingdon’s DAMASCUS Youth Project was awarded £10,000 to support young people aged 10-13 to host intergenerational events across the South and Vale in Oxfordshire, which will work towards creating more inclusive communities.
  • YES! Brixham was given grant funding of £1,835 to support young people to lead on organising, building and delivering its annual Christmas Grotto which will be available to anyone and will offer children the chance to see Santa and receive a present.

Daisy Mummery, Sovereign’s #iwill Fund Project Manager, said: “We are looking forward to working with our first round of grant holders and can’t wait to see the incredible impact that the #iwill Fund will have on young people living in Sovereign communities, making them feel empowered to take an active role in helping their communities to prosper and thrive.”

Jack Dunn, a member of Sovereign’s Youth Panel, said: “Thanks to Sovereign and the Youth Panel for giving me the opportunity and the trust to give money to many communities which will make a huge difference to a lot of people.”

Emily Morris, a Sovereign Youth Panel member, said: “I'm proud to be part of the #iwill Fund allocation process as a Sovereign Youth Panellist. This funding will make such an impactful difference that truly counts towards improving lives of young people all over south England and empower them to get involved with youth social action opportunities”.

The Sovereign #iwill Fund will go live for the next round of funding and will be inviting applications from early 2023. 

Further information can be found here.

Notes to editors

  • The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £54 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.
  • The #iwill Fund brings together a group of organisations who all contribute funding to embed meaningful social action into the lives of young people.
  • The #iwill Fund supports the aims of the #iwill campaign - to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities.
  • By bringing together funders from across different sectors and by making sure that young people have a say in where the funding goes – the #iwill Fund is taking a collaborative approach.

The #iwill movement

  • The #iwill movement is a collaboration of over 1000 organisations and 300 young #iwill Ambassadors from across the UK. They are united by a shared belief that all children and young people should be supported and empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society.
  • #iwill was launched in November 2013 after an independent review into how different sectors could help more young people to make a positive difference. 
  • The #iwill movement is supported by an independent coordination hub, hosted by Volunteering Matters & UK Youth.
  • Take the lead by signing up to the Power of Youth Charter at or follow us @iwill_campaign on twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we support people and communities to prosper and thrive.

We’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to work closely with Government to distribute vital grants and funding from key Government programmes and initiatives.

Our funding has a positive impact and makes a difference to people’s lives. We support projects focused on things that matter, including economic prosperity, employment, young people, mental health, loneliness and helping the UK reach net zero by 2050.

Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.  

National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £43 billion has been raised for good causes. National Lottery funding has been used to support over 635,000 projects - 255 projects per postcode area.


Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

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Match-funders and grant-holders will promote the #iwill Fund and share news, stories and other content across their social media channels, turning stories in to blogs, case studies and/or films and audio that can be shared externally.

When communicating about the fund, the hashtag #iwillFund should be used. It is the responsibility of the match-funders to ensure that the grant holders are using these hashtags.

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