London Youth takes action to get young women active in the capital

Dancing at London Youth Awards

London Youth’s ActiveLeads programme to be delivered throughout London has been given £145,036 over three years from Sport England and the #iwill Fund to help young people use sport to make a positive difference in their communities – all thanks to funding from the National Lottery.

Sport England and the #iwill Fund are creating more opportunities for 10-20 year-olds to get involved in social action and use sport and physical activity as a way to benefit others in their local area. The #iwill fund is made possible thanks to joint funding from the government, and Big Lottery Fund using money raised by National Lottery players.

 #iwill Week 2017, which runs from November 20-24, celebrates young people who lead social action and their capacity for bringing others together.  The week marks the fourth anniversary of the campaign and is all about shining a light on the impact that young people are having, as well as the great work of the 700+ #iwill partners who’ve pledged to create more social action opportunities.

Currently 4 in 10 young people get involved in activities that make a positive difference. However, research indicates many more have an appetite to be involved but cite a lack information and opportunities as key barriers.[1]

[1] Source: Youth Social Action in the UK – 2015: a face to face survey of 10-20 year-olds in the UK, conducted by Ipsos MORI.

Sport attracts many young people and can provide a springboard to social action. Just over half of young people say they prefer sport to any other volunteering pastimes. The Sport England Potentials Fund aims to unlock the potential that young people have whilst also developing the skills and experience they need for their own future.

ActiveLeads is a new social action programme bringing together London Youth’s expertise in sports development and youth social action with the aim of boosting girls involvement in sport and the projects will be led by girls.

The project will also show how opportunities developed through community youth organisations, designed by young women themselves, can engage a more diverse range of young people in regular volunteering in sports which can be easily taken up by other organisations.

The programme will run over three years and London Youth will work in partnership with 18 community youth organisation to create meaningful sports-focused volunteering and social action opportunities for 450 young people in the communities where they live.

The boroughs taking part are Lambeth, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Kensington & Chelsea.

London Youth is also working alongside youth workers at organisations that are taking part to help them develop new and sustainable volunteering opportunities for young people.

Terry Boyce, Head of Youth Action at London Youth, said:
“ActiveLeads is a fantastic addition to our portfolio of programmes, bringing together our sports development and youth social action work. We’re excited to be working alongside 18 member organisations to deliver projects that will have a positive effect on communities, and create volunteering opportunities for young people now and into the future.”

Phillip Kerry, Director of Programmes and Development at London Youth, said:

“Our research work with girls and young women show that they are lacking role models in sports volunteering and sports coaching. ActiveLeads will ensure that we are providing quality opportunities, both in the short and long term, for young women to grow into the community leaders of the future.

“We are grateful to Sport England, the #iwill Fund and Step Up To Serve, the Big Lottery Fund and people that play the National Lottery, for funding this.”

Sport England’s Director of Sport Phil Smith said:

“Through social action young people can help others get active and benefit themselves in lots of ways; social action can do wonders for job and career prospects, mental health and making friends.

“That’s why volunteering and social action is a key part of Sport England’s new strategy, Towards an Active Nation. We’re delighted to be helping ActiveLeads enable more young people to be the catalysts for change in their neighbourhood.

“It’s one of 32 projects in which Sport England is investing over £4 million to support volunteering projects and opportunities between now and 2021. These projects will test various different approaches, with the ultimate aim being a larger number and more diverse volunteers. We are targeting people who are currently less likely to volunteer in sport, such as women, disabled people, people from BAME groups and people on a low income.”

The #iwill campaign is run by the charity Step Up To Serve. Its Chief Executive, Dr Rania Marandos, said:

“Young people across the country often start their social action journey through community sport. Sport has the potential to enable even more young people to make a contribution to their communities whilst developing their own skills and wellbeing. It is fantastic to see such a range of projects receive funding through the #iwill campaign’s partnership with Sport England in support of our collective aim of making meaningful social action part of life for more 10 to 20-year-olds.”

[1] Source: Youth Social Action in the UK – 2015: a face to face survey of 10-20 year-olds in the UK, conducted by Ipsos MORI.

With thanks to our funders:

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