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Author Nikki Adebiyi
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Spirit partnership with #iwill campaign creates £2m fund to empower girls and young women

two women standing together

Spirit partnership with #iwill campaign creates £2m fund to empower girls and young women

Spirit of 2012 has partnered with the #iwill fund to create a £2 million partnership that will enable girls and young women to change their communities through social action for the benefit of other girls and the wider community. 

Please note: the #iwill Fund is currently only available for activities in England.

The investment supports the aims of the #iwill campaign to increase the number of young people taking part in social action, through activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering. All of which make a positive difference to communities while developing young people’s skills. The #iwill fund is made possible thanks to £40 million joint investment from the National Lottery and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to support young people’s access high-quality social action opportunities. Spirit of 2012 has committed £1m to the opportunity as a match funder and is managing the grant on behalf of the partnership.

Interested organisations are invited to express their interest in the opportunity by completing the eligibility criteria at the link below. 

This project is part of Spirit’s commitment to mark the 2018 anniversary of women’s suffrage by funding a number of projects which address the challenges affecting women and girls today and address the worryingly low levels of wellbeing amongst young women and girls in the UK. 

Debbie Lye, Spirit of 2012 Chief Executive, said: “As we approach the centenary of women getting the right to vote, we know only too well that women and girls in England still face many formidable challenges. We’re delighted that Spirit is able to invest £1 million as match-funding alongside the #iwill fund to enable young women to take the lead in addressing some of these challenges in their own communities.”

Gemma Bull, England Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “This new partnership with Spirit of 2012, as part of the #iwill fund, provides an exciting opportunity to support young people to develop their skills and confidence. Working with partners and their networks we can reach more young people, enabling them to take the lead in creating new social action opportunities that benefit themselves and their local communities.”

At this stage, the partnership is keen to hear from interested organisations who can demonstrate their eligibility to deliver an effective project benefitting girls and young women in local communities. Interested organisations should download the Information Pack and Eligibility Criteria to find out more. 

Download the Information Pack
Download the Eligibility Criteria

Prospective applicants will need to complete the Eligibility Check by Friday 15 September at 5pm. There will also be a workshop held in London on Thursday 14 September for interested organisations to find out more about the grant and contribute their ideas. 

The outcomes the grant will address should include:

Providing a cohort of girls and young women with positive and meaningful social action opportunities to bring about change for other girls in their community, and the wider community as a whole
Enabling girls and young women to have a voice and understand how they can change and influence things in their community
Empowering girls to engage in activities in inclusive environment that fosters feelings of competence, confidence and connectedness to others.

Further information:

Spirit of 2012

Spirit of 2012 is a funding charity, established with a £47m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund.  We fund partners across the UK that provide opportunities in sports, physical activity, arts and culture, volunteering and social action. Spirit was founded to continue and recreate the spirit of pride, positivity and social connectedness that people experienced during the London 2012 Games.  We invest to create good outcomes for people and communities.

www.spiritof2012trust.org.uk  / @Spiritof2012trust

#iwill fund 

The Government (DCMS) and Big Lottery Fund have each invested £20 million in to the #iwill Fund which will help to transform the culture of community engagement by getting young people involved in greater social action opportunities. Over four years the fund will be developed through investment and match funding from Trusts and Foundations, businesses and philanthropists. This innovative fund, bringing together a coalition of investors, aims to create the conditions to embed meaningful social action into the lives of every young person. 

#iwill campaign

The #iwill campaign is being coordinated by the charity Step Up To Serve (Charity No.1154588). It was launched in 2013 after Government research into how the business, education, public and voluntary sectors could support young people to engage in social action (campaigning, fundraising and volunteering) between the ages of 10 and 20. HRH The Prince of Wales is Patron of Step Up To Serve and the #iwill campaign. To date more than 600 organisations from across UK society have pledged to support the campaign goal of enabling more than 60% of 10-20 year-olds to participate in social action.

www.iwill.org.uk / @iwill_campaign

Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. We put people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. In 2016/17 we awarded £712.7 million and supported more than 13,814 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes. Since June 2004 we have awarded £8.5 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.


Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Email: enquiries@culture.gov.uk  

Tel: 020 7211 6000  

Media enquiries: (journalists only) 020 7211 2210   

Out of hours telephone pager:  07699 751 153.