A new social action programme to promote leadership, active living and a culture of volunteering

ActiveLeads is a new social action programme bringing together London Youth’s expertise in sports development and youth social action. Over three years we will engage 18 member organisations and 450 young people in 18 girls-led, sports-focused social action projects.

Our aim is to show how opportunities developed through community youth organisations, designed by young women themselves, are a replicable and scalable way to engage a more diverse range of young people in regular sports volunteering.

We will also be working alongside youth workers at participating members to build their capacity to develop new and sustainable volunteering opportunities for young people.

We are very grateful to Sport England, #iwill and DCMS for funding this programme.

Active leads funder logos: DCMS, Iwill, National Lottery Community fund

How does it work?

Each year ActiveLeads will work with three groups of young people:

  • Leaders: 30 young women from six community youth organisations aged 14-18 who will be the driving force behind the sports-based projects
  • Champions: A further 30 young women aged 10-14 who will support the leaders in developing and delivering their projects
  • Potentials: 90 young people (boys and girls, aged 10-14) who will get involved in the sporting social action projects.

Firstly, we’ll take the 30 Leaders and their workers on a residential weekend. As well as including activities to boost their confidence, the residential will provide an opportunity for each team to discuss their sporting social action project ideas and develop stronger relationships with the other groups.

Back in their youth organisations we’ll support the young people engage the Champions and plan their social action projects. The projects will focus on supporting a wider group of their peers to get involved in a sporting social action project, and we’ll encourage the young people to partner with another organisation to deliver the project. We’ll also work with them to explore the concept of community integration and how their project can contribute towards it.

The Leaders and Champions will then pitch their project idea, budget and community benefit to a panel including London Youth staff and community leaders. This will encourage the young women to make sure their projects are planned and costed and improve their confidence and communication skills.

We’ll then support each team to deliver their projects – engaging at least 120 more young people to take part in activities, promoting healthy living and an ongoing culture of volunteering. Leaders and Champions will also have the chance to gain a Sports Leaders UK Young Leaders Award.

Each year Active Leads will end with a second residential with the 30 Leaders to review their learning, celebrate their achievements and complete a youth leadership accreditation (validated by OCN London). We’ll also work with them to develop their plans for their continued participation in social action beyond the end of the project.

Alongside this activity, we’ll work with youth workers to build their capacity to develop and support new and sustainable volunteering opportunities for young people. The aim is to ensure as many Potentials (as well as Leaders and Champions) can continue to volunteer once the projects have been completed.