#iwill Fund

*Currently closed for applications*


A definition of youth social action:

‘Young people taking practical action in the service of others in order to create positive social change that is of benefit to the wider community as well as to the young person themselves.’  
Young Foundation

About the #iwill Fund (formerly the Youth Social Action Fund)

Youth social action has huge potential to create enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people, benefitting local people and places.

The aim of this Fund is to raise the level and quality of youth social action. The programme aim is to increase youth social action by 50% by 2020 taking the percentage of young people that volunteer from 40% to 60%.

Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable participants to make a positive difference to their communities.

Social action develops the skills and knowledge of young people that employers look for.

The definition of young people is between 10 and 20, and up to 25 for disabled young people.

Big Lottery Fund and the Office for Civil Society have invested £2million this year to fund groups delivering local youth social action opportunities. Local fundraising is also a key part of the Youth Social Action programme. 

Funding partner for Norfolk:

Grants available

Grants of between £1,000 to £5,000 are available to support projects in Norfolk that engage young people in volunteering and other activities that both benefit their communities and develop their skills.  Grants must be spent within 12 months of being awarded.  

Who can apply
The fund is open to registered charities, constituted community groups and other charitable organisations in Norfolk including Social Enterprises and CICs

Please refer to our FAQs for specific guidance on the types of organisation/ project that are eligible to apply. Please note the specific guidance in the FAQs for Social Enterprises/ CICs.

Types of activity that can be funded:

Organisations must demonstrate that their project can meet the following quality principles of great youth social action:

  • Reflective
  • Challenging
  • Youth-led
  • Socially Impactful
  • Progressive
  • Embedded

More details about the principles can be found at http://www.iwill.org.uk/about-us/principles/

Projects should involve young people aged 10-20 years (or up to 25 for young people with disabilities).

Groups should engage young people in ongoing regular volunteering OR demonstrate how another youth-led method will be as effective at engaging young people in social action. (For example regular ongoing volunteering may not be achievable for the young people you engage).

Core costs are eligible if the other criteria are met, including how the project meets the principles of great youth social action.


  • Projects that engage young people in their local community and local issues
  • Projects that promote citizenship amongst young people for community benefit
  • Activities by youth clubs/ uniformed groups that benefit local people

We will give priority to projects that:

  • Seek to increase participation from young people from lower social economic groups and people who might not usually take part in social action, e.g. engage new volunteers.
  • Embed skills in young people / the wider community while delivering. For example, listening skills, maths and English, cooking, media and communications, evaluation and capturing success.
  • Clearly demonstrate principles of great youth social action. For example: an enjoyable project that enhances young people’s social lives, provides the opportunity to meet new people, positively impacts the wider community and develops longer term connections between volunteers and the wider community.
  • Have a plan to measure and report positive changes made.
  • Demonstrate sustainability beyond the life of this grant.

Types of groups/ activity that cannot be funded:

  • Statutory organisations are not eligible to apply, including schools
  • Individuals are not eligible to apply
  • Capital costs (small sums towards materials, resources, refreshments etc. can be considered)
  • Costs of delivering/ participating in programmes that provide learning/ skills outcomes for the individual only
  • ‘Business as usual’ operational costs of youth groups 

Monitoring requirements
An update will be required at the mid term stage, followed by an end of project report including photographs and case studies where possible.  Templates will be provided when monitoring is due.

Young people participating in funded projects will be required to complete a brief survey after taking part – the survey will be provided. 

When to apply
Deadlines will be published here when the fund is open for applications. 

How to apply
Norfolk Community Foundation has launched a new way to apply online, which enables applicants to complete more of the process entirely online if they wish.  If you have any problems at all using the new system please contact the Grants Team for support. 

If you are using an old version of eg. Internet Explorer you may find it helpful to download a copy of Google Chrome to ensure you have the best experience – this browser is free to download here http://www.google.com/chrome/  

Making an online application:

Step 1 – Complete the online application form by clicking on the link below. The new form enables you to upload various pieces of supporting information to complete your application. You can still send some or all of your supporting information separately by email or by post if you wish.

Step 2 – Ensure that Norfolk Community Foundation receives your online form, and all supporting information, by the deadline date.

By entering your information via our application process you agree to allow Norfolk Community Foundation to retain your personal and organisational data on their database. This information will be used to help review and assess your application in association with the fundholder and/ or their appointed representatives, to administer and monitor any grant awarded, and as part of any publicity or other grant related activity undertaken by Norfolk Community Foundation, the fundholder or their representatives.  Read our full Privacy Notice at www.norfolkfoundation.com/contact

Click here to begin an online application

For Fund enquiries please contact the Grants Team tel 01603 623958 or by email at grants@norfolkfoundation.com 


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