The Wiltshire Community Foundation has an opportunity to enhance the lives of young people – and the communities they live in with a youth programme called #iwill.
The aim of the programme, formerly known as Youth Social Action, is to fund initiatives that inspire young people to take part in activities that benefit the place they live in, particularly those in deprived areas. It seeks to increase social action – campaigning, volunteering and fundraising – among young people aged 10 to 20 (or 25 for those with disabilities) from 40 per cent to 60 per cent by 2020. Successful applications will be for projects that are shaped by young peoples’ ideas and have a positive impact on their community or an issue that concerns them. They could also lead to volunteering or other involvement in community groups and have a bearing on future career paths. Among the programmes that were successful last year is the Platform Project in Swindon which was given a grant to write, develop and produce documentary films. Its first, on homelessness, shines a light on a real social issue but the real benefit to the young filmmakers has been the increase in confidence it has given them, as well as the taste of skills that could lead them to employment in the future. Director Sadie Sharp said: “They also became aware of the amount of volunteers supporting the charities they met and some of them are now looking into volunteering themselves.” Fiona Oliver, the foundations director of development and marketing, said: “We are able to match up to £28,750 for all donations received for the #iwill programme. Every £1 donated to #iwill will be matched with £1.25 (this includes gift aid where applicable, less 10% contribution to the running costs of the programme). “We are always very thankful for every donation we receive and it’s wonderful to be able to offer you an opportunity to double your funding and provide much needed support to young people across our county.” To find out more about #iwill and the match funding opportunities, go to wiltshirecf.org.uk or call 01380 729284.