Reaffirming our commitment to young people

This time last year, we signed the #iwill Movement’s Power of Youth Charter alongside Co-op. This charter contains a series of commitments to empower young people and give them a real say in the Foundation’s future. 

This week is #iwill Week 2023 and I’m happy to announce our recommitment to the charter. This recommitment takes into account our current position, a year into our latest strategy, and everything we have worked towards and put in place over the past year. 

All young people should be empowered to make a difference, whether that’s in addressing issues that affect their lives, or those that affect their communities, or wider society as a whole. This charter holds us accountable in making sure that we’re working with young people so that they can create lasting change.  

Our journey so far 

We believe co-operation is at the heart of strong communities and this makes us a different kind of funder. It’s why we asked young people to create the Future Communities Vision for our new ‘Building communities of the future together’ strategy.  

This is why we are also now funding young people directly through our Young Gamechangers Fund partnership with Co-op and the #iwill Fund.  

It’s also why we developed our Future Communities Fund in late 2022, funding organisations supporting young people into leadership positions. 

Young people have been integral to our work this past year, through our Future Communities Collective, our Young Gamechangers Fund steering group and through the partners we have funded through our Future Communities Fund

Our commitments 

We want to build on the commitments we set out in the Power of Youth Charter last year

Our updated commitments include: 

  • Creating opportunities that empower more young people, particularly from underserved communities, to be positive changemakers. This will be driven by our Young Gamechangers Fund which has just opened for applications. Through this, we’re joining a small cohort of organisations supporting young people directly.  
  • Offering opportunities for young people, particularly from underserved communities, to participate in decision-making, leading and shaping both the activities they are involved in and wider organisational decisions. We’ve already worked with our Future Communities Collective and Young Gamechangers steering group. We want to make working with young people on the co-design of our funds standard practice at the Foundation. 
  • Co-operation is a huge part of who we are and what we do. We’re going to continue to partner with other funders who put young people at the heart of their work and and collaborate with them to build communities of the future together.
  • Gathering data and insights about the work that we’re doing and share our learning. By sharing what we’ve learned, both in terms of what went well and what did not, we’re able to make the charity sector a better place for young people.  
  • Using our communications channels to advocate for and celebrate young people who are making positive change. This includes our partners (both young individuals and those working to empower young people), our youth advisory groups and our young trustees. 

What’s next 

By reaffirming our commitment to empowering young people, we’re being the change we want to see within the sector.  

We encourage other funders to sign the charter and join us in co-operating for a fairer world for young people.  

If you want to keep up to date with how we’re working with young people subscribe to our blog

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The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action. The #iwill Fund supports the aims of the #iwill movement – to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities.   

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