This November, Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, delivered its first Community Ambassador Programme (CAP) induction workshop, with more than 20 participants from the youth sector represented.
It was the first in the latest series of CAP initiatives that have been supported by a grant from the #iwill Fund.
Clarion Futures’ CAP initiative sees teams of young people work together for 12 months on social action projects that will make a positive difference in their communities. Previous projects have included activities to promote gender equality, develop community allotments, sports and recycling programmes, and a youth crime prevention initiative.
The programme recently received a grant of £840,000 from the #iwill Fund, launched this summer with seed funding from The National Lottery and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Clarion Futures and Housing Associations’ Youth Network (HAYN) partner Peabody are also providing match funding, giving the project a total budget of £1.68 million over three years.
The investment allowed Clarion Futures’ existing model of community ambassador programmes to be expanded across the country. The plan is to launch 20 new Community Ambassador Programmes each year for the next three years, with the first new schemes in Hackney, Preston, Wakefield, Brighton, Petworth, Birmingham, March and Plymouth.
November’s event included participants from youth organisations, housing associations and two representatives from national charity, UK Youth.
The workshop gave participants the opportunity to meet other CAP providers, share learning and good practice, and improve their understanding of HAYN who deliver the programme, and Clarion Futures.
The event, which took place at the Lighthouse Youth Centre in Birmingham, allowed ambassadors to talk about changes in the programme and requirements from the #iwill Fund, and provided them with useful resources to deliver their social action projects.
As a member of HAYN Volunteering Academy, Clarion Futures is currently running more than 28 Community Ambassador Programmes all across the UK.
The aim is to provide quality services, accredited training and volunteering opportunities for young people within housing associations and their communities.
This week, the #iwill Fund celebrated #iwillWeek, a social media campaign designed to ‘empower and celebrate the stories of young people by enabling them to describe the impact they’re having on the communities’.