London, UK (PRWEB UK) 14 June 2012
Young people graduating from National Citizen Service (NCS) will have the chance to continue their community projects in four regions of England thanks to a Social Action Fund grant awarded to the National Youth Agency supported by O2 Think Big.
The Social Action Fund programme will provide NCS graduates in the North West, North East, Yorkshire and South East regions with cash awards, training and support from a team of specially employed youth workers.
The eighteen month project will see young people build social action projects to benefit their local communities and create volunteering opportunities for their peers. The aim is to provide young people and all who participate with skills and experience for their future and to leave a lasting legacy of social action and volunteering within communities.
The National Youth Agency has a strong and successful partnership with O2, which has evolved through working together to manage and deliver O2 Think Big. The programme funds and supports young people’s ideas to create or change something in their local community.
This partnership will drive and shape the new Social Action Fund project and O2 have provided an additional £500,000 to match the funded awarded. The young people participating in the Social Action Fund project will be provided with cash to develop their ideas, whilst gaining valuable guidance and advice from the O2 Think Big team and O2 Helpers to make sure their projects come to life.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said: “We have awarded the National Youth Agency and 02 Think Big over £900,000 which they have match funded with £500,000. This will give this year’s National Citizen Service graduates the chance to continue their social action projects in their local communities.
“This is a great example of government, business and the voluntary sector working together to provide opportunities for young people so that they can improve their skills and take on new challenges.”
On being awarded the funding, National Youth Agency chief executive Fiona Blacke, commented: “Having the opportunity to build progression routes for young people who have been on National Citizens Service and had a taste of social action is great. We, at NYA, as well as our programme partner, O2 Think Big and our local delivery teams, are really excited about this project coming forward.
“We are going to use teams of paid interns and apprentices led by a youth worker to reach out to and engage young people and signpost them to programmes and funders that can support their next steps. Key to this is O2 Think Big which is providing funding and support for over 850 young people's projects which will drive the creation of volunteering opportunities for many young people.”
Ronan Dunne, CEO Telefónica UK said “We welcome this initiative to further strengthen the support given to young people. The investment announced today, in Britain’s biggest asset, its young people, is imperative. Working with the National Youth Agency and Social Action Fund will allow us to extend the Think Big programme and work with more young people across the UK.”
To deliver the Social Action Fund project, the National Youth Agency and O2 Think Big will be working with local delivery partners – Envision, Youth Action and Keyfund - in each of the regions and partnering with Durham University to evaluate the impact of this programme on young people, communities and O2 Helpers.
The Social Action Fund is managed by The Social Investment Business on behalf of the Cabinet Office, and will fund social action projects in England, from civil society organisations, public sector bodies and businesses with a track record of delivering social action programmes.
The Social Investment Business’ chief executive, Jonathan Jenkins, said: “The energy and vision of applicants has been impressive and we are pleased to manage a Fund that finances ambitious, life-changing social action projects which will really make a difference and bring people together to improve the quality of life in their communities.”
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1. The NYA works in partnership with a range of private, public and voluntary sector organisations to support and improve services for young people. Our particular focus is n youth work and we believe that by investing in young people's personal and social development, young people are better equipped to live more active and fulfilling lives.
2.Think Big is an innovative multi-million pound youth programme. It is designed to back young people across the UK and help them harness their ideas, energy and passion to run projects and campaigns in their local community. The initiative works by putting cash directly into the hands of the young people and supporting them to develop skills and to positively impact their community. In addition to the financial support, young people receive training and mentoring to help them tackle the issues that matter to them and affect them most.
3. The NCS Graduate programme’s aim is to create generations of socially active and responsible young people by maximising the impact of the core NCS programme.
4.There are still some NCS places available this summer. If you are 16 or 17 and want to see if this opportunity is still available where you live, you should go to http://www.direct.gov.uk/ncs or http://www.facebook.com/ncs