Young people set to ‘Takeover’ their communities thanks to government investment

Published 13th April 2022

  • Inspire: Culture, Learning & Libraries & Captivate, Ashfield & Mansfield’s (A&M) Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP) are among over 160 organisations across arts, culture, sport, civil society, youth, and heritage sectors to benefit from the £4.6 million Volunteering Futures Fund
  • Funding set to increase volunteering opportunities for young people, and people who experience barriers to accessing volunteering, over next two years

Over 160 community organisations, are set to support 7,800 new volunteering opportunities over the next two years, as the Government has confirmed the beneficiaries of a £4.6 million fund that will level up access to the benefits of volunteering across the country. 

Inspire: Culture, Learning & Libraries & Captivate, Ashfield & Mansfield’s Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP) has been awarded £262,000 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England.

The grant will be used to deliver ‘Takeover’, creating volunteering opportunities for young people aged 14-24 (pre & early intervention from 12yrs) to reach their creative potential. With the ambition of providing skilled new entrants to the cultural sectors, Takeover will engage young people in communities from across Ashfield & Mansfield, industry experts and creative associates from across the country.

Over 22 months starting from June 2022, young people, people with disabilities and those experiencing loneliness will take part in volunteering opportunities to develop creativity, supporting talent potential, leadership & employability skills. Young people will ‘take over’ their local area and produce their very own youth led arts and creative festival.

Hundreds of young people, people with disabilities and those experiencing loneliness will get the opportunity to volunteer and help others thanks to the £262,000 government investment.

The Volunteering Futures Fund was launched last year and will be distributed by Arts Council England. It will break down barriers to volunteering and enable organisations across the arts, culture, sport, civil society, youth and heritage sectors to continue their valuable work within local communities whilst volunteers enjoy the personal benefits of making a difference. 

Those set to benefit most from the funding include young people and people with disabilities. Colleges, local councils, schools, health and wellbeing organisations are also among the recipients of the Fund.

Arts Council England have awarded these organisations in order to respond to demand from a wide range of beneficiaries, such as from those who may be experiencing loneliness or social isolation, to young people in the LGBTQ community, people with learning difficulties and complex needs. 

A full list of funded projects can be found here.

“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, volunteering offers a wealth of benefits to both the volunteers and the organisations who rely on their help, encouraging acts of generosity, public spirit and neighbourliness.

“The Volunteering Futures Fund will deliver a step-change in connecting those who may be isolated, lonely or experiencing any number of potential barriers to get involved in volunteering.

“I’m delighted that more than 160 organisations will now benefit from £4.6 million in Government funding to enhance collaboration between local councils, the public sector, and civil society.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:

“There’s an abundance of evidence to show that volunteering can be a key factor in helping people lead happier lives. 

“This new investment will enrich villages, towns and cities across England, increasing health and well-being and decreasing loneliness and isolation.” 

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England said:

“We are overjoyed to receive this funding at such a challenging time for many people! This funding will enable us to work with our local partners to provide young people with training, mentoring and a range of opportunities to volunteer across the Ashfield & Mansfield. This is an investment in our local area future, an opportunity to actively engage more young people in arts, culture and heritage, helping them to discover their passions, contribute to their community and develop future leaders.”

Vanessa Oxspring-Captivate Partnership Manager

The £4.6 million UK Government funding is being awarded and distributed via Arts Council England. Grants of £100,000 or more have been awarded following an Arts Council competitive process launched in November 2021. There are 19 lead organisations that will work with more than 160 partner organisations to deliver volunteering opportunities at a local level across England. 

An additional £2.2 million has been distributed by Pears Foundation and NHS Charities Together.

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