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  • 23 Jan 2019

Act for Change Fund awards first grants to young people leading social action

The Act for Change Fund is a £3.6 million partnership between Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, matched by the #iwill Fund, for organisations supporting young people working for change.

The #iwill Fund was announced in November 2016 and brings together £40 million of joint funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Big Lottery Fund, using National Lottery funding to create social action opportunities for young people in England.

The Act for Change Fund will provide resources for young people to challenge social injustice, find ways of overcoming inequality and give voice to issues they are experiencing.

Seven grants totalling £687,200 have been awarded in the first round to the following organisations:

Further details about each of the grants can be accessed here.

Jan McKenley-Simpson, Trustee, Paul Hamlyn Foundation said:

“We believe young people play a critical role in delivering social change. By prioritising support for those with experience of disadvantage, the Act for Change Fund aims to create a more diverse group of social, cultural and political leaders for the future. We are proud to announce the first recipients of this important fund, and look forward to seeing how the programmes, and the young people involved, take root and grow in the coming months and years.”

John Fairbairn, Trustee, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, commented:

“We are excited by the first recipients of the Act for Change Fund, and have been hugely impressed by the change young people involved have created so far in their communities and beyond. Working collaboratively with the young advisors on the panel has the potential to change the decisions we make, and the way that we support organisations, for the better.”

The Act for Change Fund is in two phases. The first round opened in July 2018 for organisations already supported by PHF or EFF, who were invited to apply.

Building on the learning from round one, the second round will open to organisations with a track record in helping young people lead change in February 2019, with decisions made in mid-2019. We expect grants to be in the range of £20,000-£100,000 over two years and aim to support around 30 organisations in this way.

For further information about the application process, please email