Proudly Supporting Youth Social Action

16th November 2018

This #iwillWeek has been an opportunity to come together and celebrate the positive impact young people are having on their communities. As part of a national network of 46 Community Foundations, together we have collectively funded 1,158 projects, resulting in 127,645 beneficiaries having been supported from this national programme.

This UK-wide campaign aims to make social action part of life for as many 10 to 20-year-olds as possible by the year 2020. Youth Social Action is about empowering young people to make a difference in their communities, by giving them the tools and the confidence to deliver local projects and raise awareness of issues which matter to them.  We’re proud to be working with national partners to deliver the #iWill programme in Surrey.

Step Up To Serve, Big Lottery Fund and the Government Office for Civil Society have invested £2 million this year to fund groups delivering youth social action opportunities, with Community Foundations across the UK matching this investment. We are also incredibly grateful to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey for generously supporting the Fund locally.

The #IWill Fund has supported activities that create opportunities for young people to develop their character and their capacity to significantly contribute to their community. We believe these opportunities are life changing for young people, and will shape the way they interact with their local community for the long term.


Who were the beneficiaries?

Eikon received £7,642 for the continuation of their Therapy Garden Project which enables young people to develop a safe, outdoors space that improves both mental and physical well-being. The grant has supported much needed gardening equipment for the project to continue to run safely and effectively, and has the wider benefit of reducing stress, encouraging healthy eating, as well as raising awareness for the environment across the younger generation.

Eikon have been providing long-term support to some of the county’s most vulnerable young people for over two decades. Based in Surrey, the charity’s vision is to develop happy, thriving and resilient young adults who make a positive contribution to society.

“The project has become inter-generational and we now have 25 young people who have accessed the sessions. Their vision is to create an attractive area, grow fruit and vegetables that we can use to eat, whilst learning about horticulture and enjoying its therapeutic benefits. 

The Therapy Garden Project is already making a difference in so many young lives and the CFS #iwill Funding is a wonderful opportunity for us to continue this club.”

Sarah Oliver, Youth Specialist, Eikon


Leatherhead Youth Project received £4,460 for a second year of their North Leatherhead Youth Council (NLYC) which is working to reduce anti-social behaviour, exclusion and disadvantage, as well as offer a workable model that benefits the individual participants and the wider community. To date the project has implemented local litter picks, anti-bullying assemblies at school and support of AllSaints Coffee Shop.

Based in Leatherhead, the charity strives to see positive social transformation amongst teenagers in deprived communities in Surrey. This grant will help the Youth Council to continue to improve connections between young people and the community in which they live.

“Young people have a powerful voice that can shape their culture and create positive change for all. Sometimes however, young people lack the opportunities or accessibility to have that voice heard. The #iwill grant is making this change in Leatherhead with LYP able to continue the North Leatherhead Youth Council. This is a group of local young people who, along with the support of youth workers, give their voice to local issues and provide energy and support to making these changes.

The #iwill grant supports local young people to make a real difference to their lives and to their community.”

Oli Bell, General Manager, Leatherhead Youth Project


Surrey Heath Youth Council received £8,000 – for the continuation of their Youth Council that will improve the local area for all young people and to bring their views and opinions to the attention of the borough.

The grant has been awarded to implement the charities ‘Curriculum to prepare us for life’ project, which will help young people prepare for the future, focusing on three key areas of need: Skills for the Future, Personal Well-being and Education. These themes will be addressed through workshops for young people, informational videos and by encouraging discussion around each topic.

“The Surrey Heath Youth Council is a youth-led organisation, consisting of young people aged 11-18, dedicated to improving the local area for all young people and bringing attention to their views and opinions. We have consulted young people in Surrey Heath to identify their top five issues and put together our manifesto for 2018/19 which includes topics such as Curriculum for Life and Safety at Night.”

Jacob Wrenn, Co-Chair, Surrey Heath Youth Council

We are delighted to have been able to partner with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to award these grants which will empower young people to make a difference in their communities.

To see other national programmes we are working in partnership with, please take a look around our website.

To see other local groups we have supported, please visit our Who we Support page.