Youth Social Action Fund – CLOSED

Status:  Closed
Closing Date:  
28th May 2017


Big Lottery Fund and Department of Culture, Media & Sport are each investing £20 million seed funding over four years to create the #iwill fund.  Nottinghamshire Community Foundation are acting as match funders and are awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill fund.

Nottingham Community Foundation are supported by Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service and Nottingham Police and Crime Commissioner.

Supporter Logos

  • #iwill is a UK-wide campaign aiming to get 6 out of 10 young people involved in social action by 2020
  • The Big Lottery Fund and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport have invested £20  million each to the #iwill fund to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities
  • Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable participants to make a positive difference to their communities
  • Social action develops the skills and knowledge of young people that employers look for



Youth social action has huge potential to create enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people, benefitting local people and places.

The aim of this grant is to raise the level and quality of youth social action. The programme aim is to increase youth social action by 50% by 2020 taking the percentage of young people that volunteer from 40% to 60%.

Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable participants to make a positive difference to their communities.

Social action develops the skills and knowledge of young people that employers look for.

The definition of young people is between 10 and 20, and up to 25 for disabled young people.

Big Lottery Fund and the Office for Civil Society have invested £2million this year to fund groups delivering local youth social action opportunities. Local fundraising is also a key part of the Youth Social Action programme.

The Youth Social Action Fund will provide funding of between £1000 and £5000 for each project.


Who is eligible for a grant?

  • The funding is for community groups working in England.
  • This fund is open to registered charities, constituted community groups and other charitable organisations including Social Enterprises and CICs.
  • National organisations with local branches (with their own management committee and bank account) can apply.
  • New groups that fulfil all the other criteria are welcome to apply.
  • Projects do not have to be led by a youth group.
  • The fund is to deliver social action opportunities amongst young people age 10 to 20 years old when the programme begins, or 25 for disabled people.
  • Applications should be for a project that lasts up to a year.
  • Projects do not have to last a year, e.g. they can be one-off events
  • Repeat funding is a possibility.
  • Community groups that can draw in match-funding are encouraged to apply. The presence of match funding will not affect our assessment of your application.
  • Projects can deliver opportunities in a range of contexts and settings: for example online, extracurricular, in clubs and groups, informally, or as part of structured programmes.
  • Groups should engage young people in ongoing regular volunteering OR demonstrate how another youth-led method will be as effective at engaging young people in social action. (For example regular ongoing volunteering may not be achievable for the young people you engage).
  • Core costs are eligible if the other criteria are met, including how the project meets the principles of great youth social action.

We will ask for the following documents. If you do not have the required documents we will still consider your application. (When you apply please upload a note explaining what you need support with.)

  • A copy of your governing document (e.g. constitution, memorandum & articles or set of rules).
  • A copy of your most recent annual accounts or management accounts if these are unavailable.
  • A photocopy of a bank statement no more than 3 months old. The bank account must be in the name of the organisation applying.
  • Copies of your safeguarding and equal opportunities policies, if you need support with safeguarding we suggest seeking guidance from the Safe Network.
  • A list of the names and addresses of your management committee. You need a minimum of three unrelated management committee members to be eligible for the grant.


What can a grant be used for?

We are looking to fund projects to create a positive social impact and improve community safety such as micro-volunteering activities where young people decide what they want to do.

We want to fund enjoyable projects that build and share skills, demonstrate positive impact on the wider community to include improving social cohesion and crime prevention.

We anticipate that projects will:

  • Increase empathy and understanding of the positive impact young people make.
  • Bring benefits to older people, children, local business, schools and those that supported / tutored the young people.

And that positive elements for young people will include:

  • Having fun
  • Making friends
  • Trying new things
  • Taking about things in new ways with new people
  • New skills & Improving CV’s
  • Being invited to help with more activities

Grants will not be awarded to:

  • Statutory services – statutory organisations cannot bid for the fund.
  • Activities promoting party political activity.
  • Capital costs / equipment. (Purchase of refreshments for volunteers is okay).
  • Individual sponsorship.
  • Activities generating private profit.
  • Faith groups are welcome to apply but activities which evangelise or proselytise religious beliefs will not be eligible. Projects that only work with one faith are also not eligible.


Amount Available and Rounds

The Youth Social Action Fund will provide funding of between £1000 and £5000 for each project.

The fund will open for applications on 3rd April 2017 and close on 28th May 2017.

The grants panel will make decisions on applications in June and release funds for spend w/c 3rd July 2017.

For more information please contact us on 01623 620202 or email

Click here to apply to the Youth Social Action Fund

For full fund criteria and guidance for applications click here