TwentyTwenty: Not just life changing, lifesaving

Our #iwill Fund supports young people to build their confidence, skills, relationships and sense of community through youth social action projects that have the double benefit of helping their peers.

TwentyTwenty is one of our longest-serving partners and our grants support them to use youth social action as a way to tackle loneliness. When lockdown hit in March 2020, our commitment to flexibility  meant they could adapt their funded Love4Life programme quickly to best support their service users. But this didn’t just mean maintaining their work. They also learned and expanded, as CEO Aimi McCaffery explains… 

#iwill funding from Co-op Foundation helps to deliver our Love4Life programme to address youth loneliness and low self-worth among vulnerable teenage girls in Loughborough, Leicester and Derby.  

We do this through one-to-one support, girls’ groups and in-school sessions. We believe that when young people feel good about themselves, they will make positive choices for their health, relationships and education.  

Quick reactions to save trust 

Love4Life is very much based around face-to-face relationships – going into schools, working in the community, and pastoral one-to-one sessions.  

So, when the pandemic hit, we didn’t want to lose the trust we’d built up with our young people, so we took steps to provide our support via video and telephone calls.    

We were also aware that we needed to react in other ways, to deliver our services for those young people who were more difficult to reach.  

Our team came up with the idea of creating care packages and developed parcels that we could send out to people to maintain contact and remind them that they weren’t alone. Packages included printouts of activities covering themes connected to COVID-19, like mindfulness, mental wellbeing, confidence, and resilience, as well as links to video tutorials for those who could access YouTube. 

Alongside this, we developed our online communications – particularly through Facebook and Instagram. The team put together daily videos for our social channels and shared messages around activities for mental and physical wellbeing.  

The social media posts have been really well received and it’s been great for growing our online presence.  

The work that we’ve done isn’t just life-changing, it’s lifesaving. 

Furthering our reach to more vulnerable young people  

When we saw the impact of the care packages on the young people in our programme, we embraced an opportunity to further our reach. 

We contacted schools to see if they’d benefit from the care packages and had requests from 33 secondary schools. The care packages, which are gender neutral, have also been used by other organisations such as local children’s homes and Girl Guides. We estimate that more than 300 young people have accessed our care packages across the East Midlands during the pandemic. They’ve truly reached far and wide, supporting those with increased anxiety and isolation during lockdown.

It’s important to celebrate the way that charities have innovated and adapted to a very difficult year. We’re so thankful to Co-op Foundation for all the support we’ve been given over the past three years, especially the flexibility with our funding in 2020. Without funders like Co-op Foundation, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we’ve done.

In numbers  

  • 80 young people took part in TwentyTwenty’s youth social action activities last year, including Love4Life  
  • 12 young people engaged in TwentyTwenty’s Youth Advisory Board in 2020 to champion the voices of the most vulnerable young people in Derby, while also building their own self-worth and greater awareness of others’ needs. 

Head to our Impact Report to read more about what we achieved and learned with partners in 2020. 

About the #iwill Fund 

The #iwill Fund is a £50 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, using National Lottery funding, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. We act as a match funder. 

Since, 2017 we’ve awarded more than £4m in grants to 90 projects to tackle loneliness, improve spaces and help young people support each other through bereavement and moving schools. 

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