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27 May 2020

London Youth Microgrants provide up to £400 funding to encourage young people to create a project that promotes or raises awareness of positive mental health and wellbeing in their community. So far this year, 33 pots of funding have been awarded, with 15 pots still available to our members.  

In the lead up to our fourth round of funding in June 2020, I wanted to take some time to highlight and celebrate some of the brilliant projects young people throughout our membership and on our youth board have used the funding for thus far. Some of these projects were completed earlier in the year, but some had to put their resilience and creativity to the test to adapt their project to fit into guidelines around social distancing 

As there are so many great projects, I’ll be covering these in two blogs – starting with some of the fantastic projects led by young people on Dare London, our youth board. Later this month we’ll turn the spotlight onto projects lead by young people in our membership. We’ll launch the fourth round of recruitment for young people interested in running Microgrants projects on Friday 5th June.  

To kick us off, here’s a snippet of the Microgrants projects delivered by young people on our youth boardDare London  

1. “30 days on how to have fun at home” is the theme of a series of videos and resources being created by Athena. This has been adapted from her original idea to fit in with social distancing advice and working from home.

“People are struggling to stay in their house and enjoy themselves, I want to show people ways they can have fun at home, with their families and by themselves”.  

2. Jaykoda ran an entirely youth-led theatre production on mental health and had his first showcase in December. This included young people leading on script writing, directing, acting, lighting and photography. He now wants to take the production on tour to other youth clubs in London.  

 “By doing a project on mental health, it opens your eyes on how it effects different people. It can be one small thing that has a ripple effect on other things. We don’t often enough get to go deep down and see how it affects people I’ve probably spoken to more people about this project than I have spoken to people on a normal day. It helped me to go out in the real world and speak to people a bit more and share my opinion as much as possible”.

3. Jasmin led a creative workshop for young people who struggle with their mental health with hopes to help them learn how to better express themselves through art 

“Everyone who came seemed to enjoy the event. There was a good age group of young people between 13-15 years old which is who I was aiming for and in the end the event was well executed. It’s a great experience to organise events. You gain a lot from it and other gain a lot from it too. It’s a win/win for everyone.”

4. Kalliyah is creating YouTube videos on mental health, spirituality and other topics to help young people engage in discussion around topics that affect them  

“My channel will be stronger because young people can relate to other young people. I’ve experienced challenges with mental health myself, so I can give advice from my perspective.”

5. Shanelle is providing gardening kits to young people who don’t have access to green spaces whilst in quarantine. She also wants to encourage young people to grow their own food.  

“I want the packages to be culturally inclusive, increase the things that people can do with their families, and boost morale within households.” 

6. Elena is creating resources for schools and youth clubs about interacting with the police and knowing your rights.

“This makes young people feel assured in the communities that they live in, and that they feel safe within the laws that are set out in London. We can create a lot of the resources when we’re at home and it’ll give us something positive to do with our extra time”.  

These young people have made it clear that social action is just as achievable and impactful at home as it is anywhere else. London Youth Microgrants offers a range of support including flexible applications and training in order to ensure any young person who is awarded the grant feels confident and comfortable being a leader – even while social distancing. There is also guidance and £250 funding on offer for the youth organisation that supports the project.  

This round of the London Youth Microgrants, we’re particularly interested in funding young people who identify as male, have a disability or who have never led a social action project before. You can get involved in the next round of the London Youth Microgrants by applying here.

– Kadisha, Youth Action Delivery Officer


Click here to read more news, blogs and policy updates from the London Youth team.