The United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland is brimming with creative and committed young people. Yet so much of that potential is held back by the stark inequalities that exist across communities. Whilst the UK and Irish governments have tried hard to transform many aspects of life it has not yet ushered in the fairer and more prosperous society so many want and need.

The Young Foundation has secured support from the Credit Suisse EMEA Foundation to deliver a two-year programme across Belfast, Dublin and London, designed to enable young people to drive and own innovations that will make a real difference in tackling inequality in their local communities. We will do this through an integrated programme of ethnographic and participatory research, narrative building, co-creation and acceleration support for those innovations with real potential. By combining each of these steps we will build a new movement of young people working together to improve lives by tackling social inequality across the UK and Ireland. 

If you’re interested in hearing more about the Amplify Youth programme, please get in touch with:

Alice Neeson: alice.neeson@youngfoundation.org  (Belfast and Dublin)
Isabel Young: isabel.young@youngfoundation.org  (London)  

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Our Impact: Inspirational groups we worked with in 2018

Belfast 
Over the summer of 2018, we worked with a fantastic group of young people who are all either asylum seekers or refugees. They were passionate about making life better for other young people in similar positions, and through sharing their own lived experiences as well as carrying out participatory research, they realised that a lack of support or even access to education was a big challenge for most.  Through our facilitated Co-Creation workshops, the group identified that a Homework Club focusing on Maths, English and IT to anyone whose first language was not English would make a big impact on the lives of young asylum seekers and refugees. They connected with teachers, Queen’s University and a range of IT professionals to ensure their Club was the best it could be. Today, they run the Club twice a week without fail, and are already making a big difference to the lives of young people – not only by offering much needed support in the likes of school and further education studies, but also in providing a space for people to come together, make friends and grow 
in confidence with the English language.    

London – Tower Hamlets
In 2018, we worked with Nabeela and Neymar who were passionate about improving their community, particularly for young women like themselves. They explored a number of ideas for social change – including tackling knife crime and gang violence in their area – before arriving at the idea of a social enterprise café. After researching the experiences of other local women in and around Shadwell, they realised that there are few places for young women – particularly young mothers – to come together, take respite and find support in one another. Their vision is to combine their passion for baking and improving the lives of local young women, by creating a space to learn/train/and share. The café would have the feel of a community hub – offering blankets and baby items – and all profits from the bakery would go into running the café. Nabeela and Neymar took inspiration from local Social Enterprise, Second Shot, which works to address homelessness in Bethnal Green. Nabeela and Neymar worked through the Amplify Youth social business model canvases and theory of change activities to understand the steps they will need to take to achieve their vision.

Dublin – Ballymun

In 2018, we worked with a group of young people at Youthreach, a training and education programme for early school leavers. The young people (ages 16-17) care deeply about the homelessness crisis in the city, and identified gaps in provision for homeless people beyond immediate practical support. In particular, participants wanted to offer a befriending service, to address the dehumanising experience that many homeless people face.

After carrying out research with local charities and support different groups, the Youthreach group designed their programme to connect volunteers and homeless people – both rough sleepers and people in emergency accomodation.

At the end of the programme, four of the participants were offered work experience at a homelessness charity they conducted research with. These young people now hope to pursue a career in social care.

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