‘Young London Inspired’ – improving the lives and mental health of young Londoners by helping them to volunteer

21 November 2017

Too many young people in the capital are unaware of the benefits of volunteering, or don’t know how to get involved. The Young London Inspired programme will break down some of these barriers and make it possible for even more young Londoners to volunteer, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds who are disproportionately affected by mental health issues.

The #iwill Fund supports the aims of the UK-wide #iwill campaign, which strives to make involvement in volunteering and social action part of life for more young people by 2020. The fund is made possible thanks to joint funding from the Government and the Big Lottery Fund - using money raised by National Lottery players   

The joint £1.7 million programme, half of which comes from the #iwill Fund, and half from Team London and Thrive LDN, follows two distinct paths.  

Team London Young Ambassadors

Team London Young Ambassadors is the Mayor’s youth social action programme. Since 2013 we have been working with 2,100 schools, helping young Londoners to develop volunteering projects on issues they care about, such as bullying, mental health, food poverty or homelessness. The funding will help to deliver the next phase of Young Ambassadors. Over 30,000 young Londoners will begin their social action journey by taking part in activities such as campaigning and fundraising, not only making a difference to their communities but also developing the skills and knowledge they need to fulfil their potential.

Team London and Thrive LDN Grants

In partnership with Thrive LDN, we are offering grants to community groups and charities to promote good mental health and wellbeing in young people and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health. The grants will fund volunteer projects for young Londoners disproportionately affected by mental health such as those within the criminal justice system or young refugees or asylum seekers. These include micro grants for young people of £400, annual medium grants of £5,000 - £10,000, and multi-year grants of up to £50,000 over three years. Collectively, they will help 5,000 young people who are at risk of developing poor mental health.

The benefits of volunteering as a young adult are clear: you build confidence and skills, a sense of initiative, and the ability to work with – and help – others. But it’s not just the volunteers who benefit. Without youngsters who are truly engaged, many local charities and community clubs would struggle to survive. Thanks to National Lottery funding from the #iwill fund and Thrive LDN, ‘Young London Inspired’ will encourage more young people to start volunteering. In doing so, they will not only reap the personal benefits of taking part but also help to build a stronger and more cohesive city. Matthew Ryder, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement.

This new partnership with Team London, as part of the #iwill Fund, provides an exciting opportunity to support young people to develop their skills and confidence. Thanks to National Lottery players we’re able to work with partners and their networks to reach more young people, enabling them to take the lead in creating new social action opportunities that benefit themselves and their local communities. Gemma Bull, England Director, Big Lottery Fund.

We are pleased to be backing the 'Young London Inspired' programme. This programme reflects the Mayor of London’s commitment to Thrive LDN’s aspiration to encourage young people to lead initiatives and engage in mental health. The idea that there are models of care that are moving care into the community is excellent. We see the ’Young London Inspired’ programme as part of a great vehicle to engage our community and our voluntary sector. Dr Tom Coffey OBE, Mayoral Health Adviser, Mayor of London.

We are proud to be supporting the ‘Young London Inspired’ programme of work through our Team London and Thrive LDN Grant offerings. The only way we can truly improve the health and wellbeing of young people in London is to work at a local and community level, and directly with young people themselves. There is huge potential and will among young Londoners to make meaningful change in their own lives and within their communities, and we look forward to supporting the innovative projects that this programme will deliver. Cllr Jacqui Dyer MBE, Thrive LDN Co-chair.


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