The Act for Change Fund approached us to lead a co-production project which supports 32 UK organisations in youth-led social activism programmes, groups and organisations.

Our Associate Molly Scarborough led on activities for the Act for Change Together project, supported by our Women Leaders South West Associate, Zahra Hoccom. They brought together the young changemakers, activists and leaders from all 32 organisations – to meet each other, build relationships, learn from each other, share ideas and stories. They also helped to co-produce their own showcase event in July 2021. Over 120 young people from the network engaged in activity.

The first part of the co-production project was a 4-day residency in April which offered the participants the chance to see how an online festival is run, learn the skills they need to run our their online festival, form working groups to move ideas forward and hear from inspiring people. Speakers and workshop leaders at the residency included members of Voice of Young People in Care, the Women’s Equality Party, Morning Gloryville, The Human Library, Lyrix Organix, as well as members from Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the iwill Fund. Topics covered included How to connect to local leaders, Telling stories through social media, Maintaining wellbeing whilst campaigning, a Political change makers panel, Spoken Word/Poetry workshops, and many more.

The second part of the project was the successful delivery of a weeklong online Act For Change Together Youth Festival, which featured panel discussions, interviews, podcasts, workshops and other activities, discussing prejudices that young people face, mental health, gender identity, discrimination and many other topics.
Discussion partners included Magid Madig, the Mayor of Folkestone, the head of stop and search in Hull, Trans activist Charlie Craggs, and many more.
As well as advice for young people wanting to get involved with activism, there were sessions encouraging and advising organisations on how to improve their youth involvement.

All episodes of the festival’s podcast series are now available to listen to on our website in the Resources section.

To find out more about the project, the festival and the organisations that took part, visit


What is the Act for Change Fund?

Act for Change Fund is a £3.6 million partnership between Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, for organisations supporting young people working for change. The Fund provides resources for young people to challenge social injustice, find ways of overcoming inequality and give voice to issues they are experiencing. Act for Change Fund is a joint initiative between Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, working in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund. Both foundations are acting as match funders and are awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund. The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £40 million joint investment from the National Lottery Community Fund, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. For more information, visit