#iwill week 2019: The Power of Youth

Celebrating #iwill week 2019

22nd November 2019

As we come to the end of another (youth social) action packed #iwill Week, we thought we’d share some of the wonderful stories, learnings and insights that our wonderful Partner organisations have shared over the course of the week.

On Monday, we were delighted to join The Linking Network in Luton who have been testing and sharing the new resources created by our friends at Eden Project Communities to support primary schools to deliver environmental social action.  The resources, supported through the Pears #iWill Fund, are available to download for free here, and The Linking Network have shared some of their additional lesson plans and a lovely video of the resources being used here.

Tuesday took us up to Birmingham, where we attended the Association of Colleges annual conference, celebrating the launch of their new Student Engagement Charter, and hearing from the Pears #iwill Fund pilot colleges about how they are embedding and developing social action opportunities in Further Education.  Newcastle College have shared a blog on their approach, in partnership with The Key, and other stories from colleges across the country are featured in the ‘Shaping Communities’ publication.

On Wednesday, we celebrated some of the brilliant work happening at the other end of the educational journey, highlighting the high quality social action taking place in primary schools.  The RSA have shared a great blog rooted in their Pears #iwill Fund work on the six principles of effective youth social action, and Young Citizens have shared some fabulous case studies from primary schools working on issues ranging from elderly isolation and period poverty, to deforestation and adult literacy.  The case studies demonstrate the depth and breadth of engagement possible in primary schools, and we’re delighted that Pears #iWill Fund is supporting the scaling of their Make a Difference Challenge.

Thursday saw the publication of new statistics collected by six Pears #iwill Fund NHS Trusts across London, who are celebrating an extraordinary year of working with 402 young volunteers, contributing 19,295 hours and resulting in 37,892 patient interactions.  Other NHS Trusts have shared their work and reflections, including Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS TrustSouth London and Maudsley NHS Trust and NHS Lothian.  We’re really looking forward to the next network meeting of all the Trusts next week – watch out for more of their incredible stories and learnings then.

The treat to round off a fabulous #iWill Week was a First Give Final on Friday morning, where year 8s at Ark Academy Wembley shared their social action journeys, and one team won £1,000 for Victim Support, their chosen charity.  You can read more about First Give, and how their programme gives young people a platform to share the issues that matter to them in this blog.  We were particularly pleased to welcome Professor Dame Alison Peacock, CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching, as a judge at the First Give final.  Dame Alison has just been announced as the Guest Editor of the special social action and character education edition of their Impact journal which is open now for submissions.