Heart of England Community Foundation Youth Action



Heart of England Community Foundation has distributed over £15 million in grants and funding to voluntary and community organisations since 1995. This has benefitting an estimated 1 million people and they continue to support projects, services and activities reaching some of the most deprived communities in our region. 

The Youth Social Action Programme- #iwill is a UK-wide campaign that aims to make social action part of life for as many 10 to 20 year-olds as possible by the year 2020. Through collaboration and partnership it is spreading the word about the benefits of youth social action.

What did the project involve?

The programme aims to increase overall participation of young people in meaningful social action from 40% to 60% by 2020, with a particular focus on deprived areas. Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering and has huge potential to create enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people, and in turn benefit the local people and places. Step Up To Serve, Big Lottery Fund and the Government Office for Civil Society have invested £2million to fund groups delivering youth social action opportunities. Community Foundations will match this investment.

Citizen Coaching and Counselling have worked with 56 local young people in Ladywood to give them positive volunteering opportunities with us. During this time they engaged with over 400 adults and young people in the area, promoting positive mental health and making people aware of the free counselling services available to them at Citizen Coaching and Counselling and from other local partners.

Who was involved?

Martin, Nate, Ed and Katie worked with groups of young people to develop four local mental health campaigns that were taken to the streets of Ladywood and to local events, growing awareness of our services and challenging views on mental health services.

What services were provided?

We worked with small groups of young people to cover mental health training, safeguarding, engaging with the public and safety.

We helped the young people develop their campaign ideas and develop campaign materials and supported them as they took their ideas to our local community. 

What were the outcomes?

Young people completed feedback forms to record their experience and help us improve the programme for the future. 

Outcomes included increased confidence, more likely to engage with other services, wanting to get involved in future volunteering, awareness of services in their area, better understanding of mental health, better well-being.

How could the this project be applied to me or my organisation?

We can help your young people get an experience of mental health and/or social enterprise through a tailor made programme of activities and events.