Update on our #iwill pledge

As part of the Step Up To Serve campaign, we made two pledges to show our commitment to youth empowerment 

1) Spirit of 2012 pledges to ensure that young voices are woven into the fabric of decision-making through our advisory panel, made up of young people from across the UK

We recruited our first Youth Advisory Panel in January 2015, and have on board 12 highly committed young people. They are aged 18-26 from across the UK, and will be in post for two years. In addition to reminding us of what is important to young people, the purpose of our panel is to ensure that Spirit’s funding remains true to our vision for investing in young people and generates positive outcomes for them. The role of the panel is to advise and champion Spirit, make connections and make funding decisions on behalf of Spirit. Through a programme of training, coaching and mentoring, they themselves will exemplify the sorts of empowered young people we want our funding to develop.

A fast-paced induction residential weekend in January 2015 provided the first opportunity for members to meet each other. They learned about Spirit and participated in skills workshops and team building activities. At their second meeting in March 2015, the panel received training on communication and PR, advised on the design of an upcoming funding opportunity and familiarised themselves with Spirit Board papers. In between meetings, members have represented Spirit at events, written blogs and undertaken visits to funded projects. They will be deciding on the scope of the Spirit Youth Advisory Panel Challenge Fund – through which they will be awarding two grants of up to £100,000 in total – at their next meeting in July, which takes place on National Paralympic Day, at the Olympic Park.

2) Spirit of 2012 pledges to invest £8 million over five years in youth empowerment and volunteering

By June 2015, we have committed over £5.5m. This includes Inclusive Futures, Asda Active Sports Leaders, Inspired Action, My Sport My Voice, Team London Young Ambassadors, Do it for Real, Spirit of Rugby and our Youth Advisory Panel. You can read about all of these projects here on our website.

We have set aside a further £1.2m for future funding opportunities to promote youth leadership through arts and culture (watch this space in late July) and for the Spirit Youth Advisory Panel Challenge Fund (watch this space in late October).

We have some exciting plans up our sleeve for the remainder of the funding; we will announce plans as they develop!