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4 April, 2005

Youth Act national roll-out enabled by Carnegie Trust funding

…Young people’s political project challenges youth apathy…

The Citizenship Foundation has just been awarded a grant for £15,000 from the Carnegie UK Trust towards the third year of the London pilot of Youth Act and the development of a model for national roll-out. Youth Act, a project which empowers young people to campaign for change in their local community, has already received generous support from the Trust for the first 2 years of the pilot with a grant of £7,500.

Youth Act invites 11-18 year olds in participating boroughs to identify a local issue that they want to tackle, with a particular focus on deprived wards. Working in groups of up to 10 with an adult supporter (who may be a youth worker, teacher, parent, police officer etc.) participants follow an intensive training programme to enable and support their campaigns for real change. Youth Act aims to enable young people to participate in society by providing opportunities to develop essential citizenship and campaigning skills, as well as confidence and team working skills. In the run-up to the election, it is vital that political engagement amongst young people is highlighted as a key issue.

Youth Act has already enjoyed considerable success, with programmes running in North and South London since March 2003. Participants have covered a range of issues including gun-crime, bullying, improvement of local community facilities, sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy. The projects have been recognised nationally, winning the Philip Lawrence Awards 2005, with one leader being awarded a London Schools Peace Award, as well as recently receiving nominations for the Deutsche Bank Spotlight Awards and the Wavemaker Awards.

Carrie Supple, who runs Youth Act at the Citizenship Foundation, said, “We are delighted to have received further funding. Youth Act has been recognised nationally as a key citizenship and political education project, with demands from many other schools and communities in the UK to be able to participate. This funding will help us extend Youth Act’s positive message nationally and ensure we have a more politically aware future generation.”

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Notes for editors:

About the Citizenship Foundation

The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity (no. 801360) which aims to empower individuals to engage in the wider community through education about the law, democracy and society. Founded in 1989, we focus particularly on developing young people’s citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding.

Our work includes:

• A comprehensive range of citizenship resources for a wide audience from teachers to young offenders.

• Nationwide and international training programmes.

• National active learning projects for secondary schools.

• Community projects to develop citizenship education as a collective responsibility.

• Research to advance our understanding of best practice in citizenship education.

About the Carnegie United Kindom Trust

The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust was set up by Andrew Carnegie in 1913. It is an independent, not-for-profit foundation, committed to improving the conditions and opportunities of the people of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Following its earlier work building libraries and supporting grass roots community programmes, the Trust now focuses upon strategic change initiatives. This is primarily undertaken by way of think tank inquiries and commissions into issues of concern. It supports research, policy analysis, public policy advocacy and public debate. The Trust also addresses issues that, whilst more global in their nature, impact upon citizens and communities within the UK and Ireland. It works in partnership with other foundations in the UK, Ireland and internationally.

Recent areas of interest include - The Future of the not for profit Voluntary Sector; The Third Age; The Community and Voluntary Arts; Young People's Civic Participation; Schools and Democracy; Rural Community Development; and The Promotion of Creative and Progressive Philanthropy. The Trust is currently planning a new programme around the Strengthening of Democracy and Civil Society. The Trust has offices in London and Scotland.

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