We’re excited to announce that we’ve recently been awarded a grant from the Pears Foundation, a match funder awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund, to expand the number of schools taking part in our Make a Difference Challenge social action project.

The Young Citizens’ Make a Difference Challenge has been helping primary aged pupils play a positive role in their communities through campaigning, fundraising and volunteering since 2008, developing their own knowledge and skills in the process.

Until now however, we’ve only been able to work with schools in a small number of areas where we’ve delivered face-to-face training for teachers participating in the project and organised events for pupils’ to showcase their achievements. This additional #iwill funding will be used to develop an online course to allow teachers from anywhere in the country to access our teacher training and structured learning materials designed to support children with developing their social action projects.

We will also be building on the work started as part of the Generation Change Impact Accelerator scheme by investing in high-quality monitoring and evaluation to explore the impact of the programme on teachers, pupils and the wider community. As we are introducing a new programme model, where schools access online training, we will be comparing and contrasting the two models for effectiveness to establish which provides better value for money, and how we can make improvements to both models.

The #iwill Fund brings together a group of organisations which all contribute funding to embed meaningful social action into the lives of young people. The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £40 million joint investment from the Big Lottery Fund, using National Lottery funding, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high-quality social action opportunities.

The #iwill Fund supports the aims of the #iwill campaign - to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities.

Yvonne Richards, Director of Programmes and Learning, commented, “We’re really excited by the opportunities which this grant from Pears and the iWill Fund give us to expand Make a Difference Challenge to any primary school in the country which would like to take part. We know that when children start social action at an early age, at primary school, it has ‘stickability’ – it’s far more likely that they will develop a social action habit that will last a lifetime.”

If you are a teacher or governor and you are interested in registering your school to become a development partner for this new social acton e-learning course then hit the button below.

Register your school's interest here →