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Grants available to engage young people in social action

Local charities or voluntary organisations that provide young people with the opportunity to build skills, grow their confidence and contribute to their community can now apply for funding to support their work.

Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available from the #iwill Fund for projects that engage young people aged 10-20, or up to 25 for disabled young people, in activities such as campaigning, fundraising or volunteering.

The #iwill Fund is a joint £40 million investment from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Essex Community Foundation, in conjunction with the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, are acting as match-funders and awarding the grants locally.

Projects that received funding in the last round include:


  • Yellow Door (Canvey Island): £5,000 to enable young volunteers to plan and run a “Bridging the Gap” inter-generational project held once a week in the café.
  • Essex Youthbuild: £4,900 for young people undertaking construction skills training to select, plan and work on community building projects as a way of giving back and gaining valuable experience.
  • PARC: £5,000 to run a mentoring project in a charity outlet shop in Braintree for young people with additional needs and disabilities, giving them retail experience and building life skills. (Pictured right)

Emma Frearson, PARC Charity Outlet Manager, said: “The funding boost has enabled us to mentor a group of young adults that have disabilities to experience what it is like to have a retail job. The time spend in our Braintree shop helps them to grow their confidence, understand the responsibility of being an employee and develop skills they may use for possible future employment. Their invaluable contributions not only provide a resource for the community, but it gives them the opportunity to interact with others and gain life skills that will give them the ability to be a more active member of the community.”

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of Essex Community Foundation, said, “Young people have enormous potential to make a positive change in their communities. We delighted to have secured further funding to continue this programme, thanks to the match-funding provided by the the OPFCC. We are particularly keen to hear from organisations that are encouraging young people to learn about their local community, improve their understanding of local issues and interact with people of different ages and cultures.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said, “We are proud to be continuing our relationship with Essex Community Foundation on the #iwill Fund for a third year.  We have seen encouraging case studies from the projects supported to date, demonstrating the value of investing in young people and empowering them to make a difference in their local communities.”

For more information and to apply, please click here.

All potential applicants are encouraged to call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018 in advance of submission. The deadline is 5pm on 26 July 2019.

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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

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