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This year people across the UK will come together in their communities to organise, attend and participate in events of all shapes and sizes, from the Platinum Jubilee, Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Women’s Euros and Coventry City of Culture to community festivals and the fifth annual Great Get Together.

Events give us time to be optimistic, playful and celebratory, to share and challenge ideas and to gather together with people from all walks of life. Now, more than ever, we need to maximise opportunities for youth engagement: not just as audiences and participants, but as designers, creators and organisers.

Inspire 2022 is using this year’s packed events calendar as a springboard for young people to design activities for their own communities. The inspiration behind Inspire 2022 is the tenth anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games where a promise was made to ‘Inspire a Generation’. It is designed to be a flexible programme of youth-led social action and community events across the UK, putting young people in the driving seat, but with laser-sharp focus on the needs of the whole community.

Inspire will be delivered by UK Youth in partnership with local and national youth organisations who support young people in their local communities. It is funded by £1.2m from Spirit of 2012 and £500,000 from the #iwill Fund , (a joint investment between The National Lottery Community Fund and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), and designed in partnership with Local Trust . It is a 2 year programme which will run throughout 2022 and 2023.

With grant funding and support from youth workers, young people will work with their community to research, plan, organise, promote and deliver events which respond to community needs, and leave a legacy of skills and knowledge for future social action.

Events will take place across the UK from spring onwards, but we expect peaks of activity around major events like the Jubilee and Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

Inspire 2022 will:

  • Help place young people’s voices at the centre of a year of national celebration
  • Give young people the agency to organise and deliver event-based social action activities for their communities
  • Build community pride and help bridge generational and community divides
  • Challenge and change negative perceptions of youth that have been exacerbated by the pandemic

How can your organisation be involved?

1. Help us reach more young people as a match funder: With our current funding, we expect to reach more than 2000 young people as event organisers, and 17,000 community members as attendees. But we know that this has the potential to be even bigger. We are particularly interested in working with City or Region partners to grow Inspire in specific locations.

2. Work with us as an event partner: If you are organising an event this year that you think would inspire young people, we want to hear from you. We want to align Inspire with the youth-led initiatives that are already part of many events and support those event organisers who do not yet have youth programmes. This could be as simple as sharing the details of your event on the Inspire Hub so it can be part of the inspiration menu for young people or providing specific opportunities for youth led activities. Alternatively, you could provide match funding for activities specifically related to the events you are putting on.

3. Use the Inspire brand to run your own activities: UK Youth are currently working with young people to design the “Inspire brand”. If you are intending to fund or deliver youth-led events in the year, that fit with the plans and outcomes we’ve outlined, then why not deliver them under the banner of Inspire?

4. Contribute to our quarterly share & learn group: We will convene four roundtables across the year for organisations running youth-led activities related to the 2022 events. Get in touch to join in and share what’s working (and what’s not) so we can learn from each other throughout the year.

Made possible by UK Youth, Spirit of 2012 and the #iwill Fund

In partnership with Local Trust, British Red Cross, Youth Cymru, Youth Action Northern Ireland, Youth Scotland.

Delivered by Sussex Clubs for Young People Ltd

In collaboration with FA, future events partners 

To discuss these ideas – or suggest other ways of working together – please contact: Alex Johnston (alex.johnston@spiritof2012.org.uk).

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