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Project information

Youth Empowerment Project (YEP)

To deliver high-quality volunteering opportunities to young people aged 16-25. The opportunities are aimed at marginalised groups of young people (disabled, BAME, LGBT, those at risk of offending). Our aim is to empower these young people to carry out youth-led research and influence policy.

April 2008 - March 2011

Charity information: The IARS International Institute

The IARS International Institute logo
  • Need


    Marginalised young people often face many barriers from being active citizens in society, which includes having their voice heard at the policy table. These problems are often based around the inequalities they face from being part of certain groups (disabled, LGBT, BAME, offenders, ex-offenders). When these young people are not represented in policy making further inequality becomes embedded in society. It is this problem that the YEP seeks to change.


    Our project provides training, support and facilitation to young people to engage with the issues that affect their daily lives and to feel empowered about civic engagement. YEP activities focus on youth engagement and providing policy makers with youth-led recommendations based on sound evidence. In this way young people will be acting to improve theirs and other’s lives through influencing the policies and practices that impact on them i.e. policing, education, democratic engagement.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide 150 volunteering opportunities to young people aged 16-25 from marginalised groups.


    » Provide volunteering opportunities under policy&research; events&networking; campaigning&awareness raising; creative&art; ambassador&champions.
    » Recruit young people from marginalised communities through outreach activities and short-term volunteering opportunities.

    What success will look like

    Success will be 150 filled volunteering opportunities by a diverse group of young people aged 16-25.

    Aim 2

    Empower young people to carry out youth-led research.


    » Provide regular training sessions, support and facilitation to volunteers on research methods, human rights, and citizenship.
    » Facilitate young people to run their own youth-led research projects on social policy issues. Each project is managed by staff to provide support.

    What success will look like

    Success will be several youth-led research projects completed and disseminated through film, reports and the website.

    Aim 3

    Young people influencing policy.


    » Providing networking opportunities for young people to meet policy makers.
    » Provide opportunities for young people to attend events and policy forums.
    » Provide young people with the means to input into policy consultations through IARS.

    What success will look like

    Success will be known policy outcomes based on youth-led research carried out by young people in the form of policy changes, meetings, events, cited research by others.

  • Impact


    The YEP will provide 150 young people with the tools to better engage with local policy makers and improving their ability to be active social citizens. These young people will engage with policy makers and the Third Sector on a regular basis. Success will be measured through monitoring their activities throughout the project.
    The impacts on policy will be recorded through events attended, policy consultations submitted, and research projects published and cited by policy makers.


    There is a risk that young people from marginalised groups will drop out of projects due to problems with money, commitment, chaotic lifestyles or other problems. These problems are overcome through providing these young people with travel expenses, supervision and support, training and flexible hours in which to engage in projects.
    Staff are committed to supporting volunteers to complete projects and to allow young people to take ownership of their work and progress.


    The YEP has it's own webpage (at http://iars.org.uk/content/youth-empowerment-project-updates-0) on which monthly updates are reported. This page documents what activities youth empowerment volunteers have been doing and which area of policy they are working with and influencing.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £200,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £50,000 Training sessions Developing and running regular training sessions over 3 years
      £40,500 Volunteer expenses Providing 150 volunteers with travel and lunch expenses
      £20,000 Outreach work Outreach visits to marginalised communities
      £20,000 Venue costs Hosting events, renting meeting rooms
      £40,000 Event costs Hosting four events over 3 years to publicise youth-led research
      £12,000 Dissemination of research Making short films, publishing reports
      £17,500 Equipment and adminpurchases Purchase of video cameras, computers and dictaphones

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    v, the national youth volunteering charity £150,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    This project is based in Vauxhall, London in the IARS offices but training activities and youth-led research happens across different venues in London.
    Outreach work is done across all London boroughs to different communities.


    Young people from marginalised communities (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups; lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people; young disabled people; offenders and ex-offenders) will be provided with the tools to improve their lives through carrying out youth-led research. Through the outcomes of this project specific social inequality will be targeted which will impact on their wider communities and other young people.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    IARS is a youth-led social policy think tank. This organisation has specialist expertise in providing the framework and training to support young people to carry out research themselves, on their own issues. IARS also provides the platform for launching research to key decision makers and policy makers through our networks.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Alex Burch

    Alex is the project officer who is responsible for recruiting, training, supporting, and facilitating the young people.

YEP film on the young people's legal capability


Volunteer expenses for 1 young person for 6 months

I feel that I am finally part of a group with a positive objective that means something to me"

Kash (volunteer, age 22)