#iwill Awards

8th October 2018

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to announce the recent grant awards from the #iwill Youth Social Action Fund, in partnership with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey.

#iwill is a UK-wide campaign with the aim to make social action part of life for as many 10 to 20-year-olds by the year 2020. Through collaboration, it is spreading the word about the benefits of youth social action, and here in Surrey, we are proud to partner with this national programme to help improve the lives of young people across the county.

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

The Fund supports activities that create opportunities for young people to develop their character and their capacity to significantly contribute to their community.

We are proud to have awarded £7,642 to Eikon, for the continuation of their Therapy Garden Project which enables young people to develop a safe, outdoors space that improves both mental and physical wellbeing. 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.

Sarah Oliver, Youth Specialist at Eikon said:

King’s College, Guildford is really on its way up having just achieved a Good rating from OFSTED. For a long time, the school has been labelled negatively and the wonderful young people who attend want to be hands on to change the opinions of others.

Support in school, through Eikon, has been put into place due to the high need with many children considered vulnerable. 

The students themselves came up with the idea of starting a gardening club, and so ‘The Therapy Garden Project’ was born and has had great success. 

The project has become inter-generational and we have strengthened local community links when volunteers from the University of Surrey Marketing department came and dug holes with the students to plant trees.

During the summer term it was wonderful to see young people out enjoying the Quad area, which had previously been uninspiring and grey, brightened up with bedding plants and some beans and tomatoes. Staff and visitors all commented on how inviting it looked.

Lots of our young people live in the flats in Park Barn Estate, locally known as ‘Concrete Jungle’ and simply touching seeds, digging soil and weeding has been a new experience for them.

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.

Leatherhead Youth Project (LYP) are another beneficiary of this round of #iwill grant awards. Based in Leatherhead, the charity strives to see positive social transformation amongst teenagers in deprived communities in Surrey.

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

This grant will help the Youth Council to continue to improve connections between young people and the community in which they live.

Oli Bell, General Manager at Leatherhead Youth Project said:

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 group meets regularly to discuss local issues and what they can do to help. Local councillors, business people, housing and other agencies are invited to meet the group and understand the needs, as well as to share important issues. As well as feeding into the local community these young people are learning about politics and governance by visiting the council chambers and making decisions. 

The NLYC also plan and run social action projects for their local community supported by the #iwill grant. By identifying issues, they can support the group then plan activities for local young people every half term and summer. This not only gives young people positive activities to be involved in over the holidays and builds work ethic, but it also helps them feel a care and ownership for their own community.

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

Surrey Heath Youth Council also benefited from the #iwill Funding for the continuation of their Youth Council in 2018.

The charities purpose is to improve the local area for all young people and to bring their views and opinions to the attention of the borough.

A grant of £8,000 has been awarded, to implement their ‘Curriculum to prepare us for life ‘ project, which will help young people prepare for the future, focussing on three key areas of need: Skills for the Future, Personal Wellbeing and Education. These themes will be addressed through workshops for young people, informational videos and by encouraging discussion around each topic.

Jacob Wrenn, Co-Chair at Surrey Heath Youth Council said:

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. We are currently working on Curriculum for Life and are preparing resources to be used within schools, as well as planning an event with talks on relevant topics that young people can attend.

Kate Peters, The Community Foundation for Surrey said:

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. Congratulations to all the groups who did such a great job developing their projects.

Other beneficiaries from the Community Foundation for Surrey’s #iwill grants:

  • Challengers, Guildford
  • East to West, Egham
  • The Matrix Trust, Guildford
  • My Time for Young Carers, Epsom
  • Prospero Theatre, Caterham
  • Surrey Youth Focus, Guildford
  • Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead, Reigate and Banstead
  • Friends Association of Bushy Hill Junior School, Guildford
  • Public Service Broadcasting Trust, Hampshire
  • The Shedding, Byfleet

Please note, this Fund is now closed for applications.

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