In 2020’s Make Your Mark ballot, young people voted both plastic pollution and climate change in their top five priority issues. This year, the UK Youth Parliament will be campaigning to address climate change at a national level with a particular focus on making sure that we stop non-essential single use plastics by 2025.
The British Youth Council recognises that solutions like litter picks and recycling are not enough, and that the Government must reduce the amount of plastics initially produced. However, the sad reality is that the average Briton’s annual plastic waste includes 242 plastic bottles, 109 single-use coffee cups and 209 crisp packets according to a DS Smiths poll, and a good proportion of that does still end up littering our communities.
This autumn the British Youth Council are encouraging you as our supporters to keep your communities tidy, reduce plastic pollution, and raise money for the British Youth Council all at the same time. We are looking to raise £500 to support our programmes and campaigns such as Stop Plastic Pollution, and we need your help!
All you have to do is:
- Grab some bin bags, rubber gloves and litter pickers – you can order these online or borrow kits from your local council – and organise a day to go to your local woods, park, beach or town centre and pick up any stray litter you find. Many local organisations also run community litter picks, so you could arrange to tag along with one of those if you would prefer.
- Get a group of friends together to have more of an impact – the more of you there are, the easier it will be to clean up more rubbish, and the more money you’ll be able to raise.
- Set up a Virgin Money Giving or Facebook Donate fundraising page, where your friends and family can sponsor you for your hard work. Remember to share your fundraising page often, and keep your family and friends updated with photos of you on your litter pick.
- Finally, dispose of the litter that you pick up in a sensible and sustainable way. Recycle anything that can be recycled, and be careful of any sharp objects that you find.
This a really fun way to keep your local area tidy, promote the reduction of single-use plastic within your community, and raise vital funds for the British Youth Council to put towards our campaigns such as Stop Plastic Pollution.
We encourage you to visit the Keep Britain Tidy website for more information and advice on preparation and safety before you begin your Litter Pick!
You can also support us by making a donation via our Virgin Money Giving page.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing email@example.com.
The British Youth Council’s 100k in a month Challenge is coming to an end. It began in February 2021 as a way to engage with our supporters in a fun but Covid-safe setting, and it has been immensely successful in its first year. All together, we raised over £3000 in this challenge, which is more than three-times our initial target! As a community, we grew, with partakers from across the UK and all over Europe participating, and sponsors from all over the world.
Thank you to all of you who participated, shared and donated to this challenge, as without your AMAZING support and effort, we never would have achieved such an accomplishment.
One of our participants Chris Attey, 58, decided to take part in this challenge along with 5 friends he’s known since school. They walked from Chepstow (Monmouthshire, Wales) to Carey (Herefordshire, England) following along the Wye river. They accomplished 80km in 2.5 days!
Chris shared this heart-warming message about his experience, “I often walk less than 3,000 steps in a day, so completing over 40,000 for two consecutive days, and then another 20,000 the next morning was a massive challenge. I almost gave up after day two, I ached so much, but seeing the donations still coming in gave me a massive boost and kept me going. The British Youth Council does such important work and raising money for them by doing this challenge has been a privilege. One of the most enjoyable and satisfying experiences I’ve ever had!”
If you are interested in partaking in another Challenge for the British Youth Council, or know someone who would be, we have exciting news for you – The British Youth Council has two more spots free in the Asics 10K London Run, which will take place on the 25th July, 2021. But hurry, the deadline is the 16th July, 2021.
If you missed out on doing the 100k this year, do not worry! We will be launching this challenge event again next year in February, so be sure to mark it in your calendars.
Earlier this year, we encouraged our supporters to take part in a challenge to walk, run or cycle 100km in one month, with the aim of raising money and awareness of the British Youth Council. We have absolutely loved keeping up with the participants as they embark on their challenges and work towards their fundraising targets.
We asked Dylan, one of the participants in this challenge, why he has chosen to support the British Youth Council in this way.
He said, “My name is Dylan and I am one of the [Members of Youth Parliament] for Surrey. I am fundraising through doing #100KinMay, where I walk, run or cycle 100 Kilometres in May! I chose to fundraise for the British Youth Council because I want to keep on seeing the amazing work that they do, and keep on holding events for young people. You can donate to my fundraising page using this link: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Dylan100KinMay.”
As the pandemic has reduced our physical activity, as well as the support that charities have been able to receive, fundraising through taking part in challenge events has become more significant than ever.
Challenge events act as a powerful tool to get people talking about a cause, as well as providing motivation to keep fit and see what you are capable of. With our 100km challenge not concluding until the end of June, it isn’t too late to sign up and get walking if you wish to get involved!
Whether you wish to walk, run, roll, cycle or swim for the British Youth Council, by participating in a challenge event you will be supporting young people to influence and inform the decisions that affect their lives.
If you have any questions, please contact Olivia on firstname.lastname@example.org
As of 17th May, fundraising in line with Government guidance has been able to resume as part of Step 3 of the Spring 2021 Roadmap.
However, there is still some way to go until all community fundraising activities can proceed. With that in mind, we would love to encourage you as British Youth Council supporters to get creative and fundraise in any way you can over the next few months.
Here are some ideas of ways that you can continue to help us as we gradually make our way out of lockdown:
- Do a sponsored silence at your school, university, or workplace to highlight the importance of Youth Voice.
- If you’re into art or baking, why not sell some artwork (prints work really well for mass-production) or bakes? This can be done easily on social media, or locally within your community, as long as you’re sure to comply with the rules.
- In keeping with our 2021 campaign to Stop Plastic Pollution, do a sponsored park or beach clean-up in your local community.
- Encourage your current or old school to hold a non-uniform day, where students and staff members can dress casually in exchange for a £1 or £2 donation
- Hire an entertainer for a Zoom performance. Charge your friends and family for tickets which cover the cost of the entertainer plus a small donation, and set up a donation link for guests to use throughout the evening.
If you need any information or help, we are here for you. Simply get in touch by emailing Olivia at email@example.com and tell us what you are planning, and we will support you throughout your campaign and make it a success.
And remember, if you wish to donate yourself, you can always visit our website to make a one-off donation or become one of our regular supporters.
With Coronavirus restrictions easing around the UK, this summer will see the return of organised challenge events such as the Asics London 10k.
What better way to celebrate the empowerment of youth voice and demonstrate your support for the British Youth Council than by joining our team and taking part in this iconic run?
Taking place on the 25th July, you’ll get to enjoy live music and entertainment as you make your way past famous London attractions such as Big Ben, Regent Street, and the London Eye, all whilst raising money for a cause that you care about.
Registration is free and all we ask is for a fundraising target of £200 per runner!
To register, please get in touch with the British Youth Council, and we can offer you any support that you may need – from setting up your fundraising page, to boosting engagement with your campaign.
For more information on the Asics London 10k, please visit their website.
Please contact Olivia Attey by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to register for the event.
The Coronavirus pandemic has really reduced the amount of physical activity we get day-to-day. We have got an awesome new challenge that will be a great way to get active and outdoors as well as supporting the British Youth Council!
Walk or run 100km in one month!
It’s a very simple challenge, just grab your trainers, your headphones (your dog or kid if you have one!) and go out for a walk. If you plan on spreading it out over the whole month, that’s just 2 miles per day! And just like you would for a regular challenge event, you can set up a fundraising page linked to the British Youth Council (we recommend Virgin Money Giving).
If you need any information or help, the British Youth Council are here to support you throughout your challenge.
Make sure to send through your photos and updates so we can share and celebrate your progress.
I have direct debits for the causes I care about, and like lots of people across the UK, I think about where my money could help the most. One of the organisations I’m passionate about is the British Youth Council. I gained so much valuable confidence and experience by being on the trustee board over a decade ago, and I’ve always wanted to give back in some way.
During Coronavirus, people’s thoughts also turned to death. According to Farewill, there has been a 267% rise in people making wills from home during the crisis.
My mind was already focussed on loss, as sadly my husband died suddenly in 2018. He died without a will, which caused extra problems. After coming through the worst of the grief I decided I was going to do more to help other people prepare better for death.
Most people in the UK do not have a will – some estimates put it at 60%. The older you get, the more likely you are to have got round to it. But I’m on a mission to change that and encourage younger people to think about their wills.
So the first step I took was sorting my own will out in 2020, and in it I left a gift to the British Youth Council. I felt really proud to put the organisation down for what is called a pecuniary gift, which means that the British Youth Council will receive a specific sum of money, rather than a percentage of the money I leave behind. You can do it as a percentage if you prefer. I now have the title of being the first known British Youth Council alumnus to have left a gift in their will!
This process is called ‘legacy giving’ and is estimated to be worth £2.2bn a year to UK charities. It can be an incredibly useful stream of income, because organisations can model for the long term future when they know they have legacy income. However, my experience of working in the charity sector in my career, most people choose to give to local charities or the very large ones. Mid-size and national organisations can often miss out because it’s hard to attract legacy giving, and youth organisations may be not the most easy place to have conversations about death.
Dealing with death is something that many young people have to go through. A parent of children under 18 dies every 22 minutes in the UK; so we need to change how we talk about death as a society.
To fulfil my new mission, my second step was to set up a new type of online will writing service – I’ve called it Lemons.Life and I’ve launched it this year to target a younger age group to do their will. A traditional will for an older person might contain information on what they wanted to do with their property or jewellery, but actually younger people are starting to consider their ‘digital afterlife’ as well as their physical possessions. What would you want your family to do with your Facebook or all the photos you have online?
And, in the end the most important thing to consider is what you would like to have happen to your body and what happens at your funeral. These can seem like really difficult questions and they are. That’s why I hadn’t done my will before now.
For most people, there is plenty of time to change your mind, and update your will throughout life, but I hope that one day we all get into the habit of writing a will. I want it to become normal and easy – and I also would love to see charities like the British Youth Council to be able to open up a new stream of long term funding so that they can ensure they are able to empower young people in the next 75 years.
On behalf of all of the Trustees at the British Youth Council, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our donors for generously supporting our Big Give Christmas Challenge this year. Your donations have been doubled and with Gift Aid we have raised £4,518!
This incredible total means the British Youth Council can improve their online delivery with young people, making sure they continue to be heard during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Thank you!
Since March 2020, the British Youth Council has been striving to continue to ensure young people’s voices are heard on issues that affect them and your support means we can improve the way we are doing this. Now more than ever, young people need to be heard.
On behalf of the British Youth Council Staff and Trustees, I want to say a heartfelt thank you for supporting the leaders of tomorrow.
In September I left the British Youth Council after a year-long internship in the Fundraising Team. During my time, I worked across all the funding streams such as trusts and foundations, individual giving, and community and challenge events. I was so lucky in my role to have been able to gain such a wide range of experiences, not only in fundraising but also in youth voice and empowerment.
You can see the impact of the British Youth Council first hand when you meet the incredible young people it works with. I will never forget going to the UK Youth Parliament’s House of Commons Sitting and being blown away by the intellect, passion, and courage of the young people who spoke. I spent the whole time thinking that I would never have been able to talk so articulately and with such power in front of such a large group as a teenager! The Youth Voice programme is such a unique and special part of the British Youth Council.
Fundraising is central to the British Youth Council’s work, and one of my favourite duties in the intern role was getting to know our supporters individually, learning about the reasons they loved the British Youth Council and what made them give. It was also great to provide support for those who took part in challenge events for us, especially to watching them smash challenges whilst raising money for a great cause. We say it time and time again as fundraisers but it really is true – the support received from our donors and funders truly helps to make a difference. My own internship (funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation) demonstrated how fundraising can help to expand the capacity of charity and, in turn, increase its impact.
Another highlight came early on in my internship when I organised a drinks reception for supporters and alumni. It was brilliant to see so many people coming together to catch up, have a drink, and raise funds for the British Youth Council. We also had the opportunity to hear from Mita Desai, a former Chair of the trustee board. Mita has gone on to achieve great success and continues to fight for youth voice through the Young Trustees Movement. Stories such as Mita’s show the incredible impact of the British Youth Council and how it can have such an influence in shaping the lives of its beneficiaries.
Whilst I am sad to be moving on, I am so grateful for the experiences I had during my internship and for the insight it gave me into youth work – I must have enjoyed it because I’m now taking on a role in fundraising at another youth charity! If there was one thing I could ask of those reading this, it would be to please keep supporting the small charities that you love like the British Youth Council. Without your support they would not be able to empower young people to speak up, be heard and make real change.
Charities and youth organisations like the British Youth Council have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 as many physical fundraising events have come to a standstill. So I came up with a way of fundraising for the ones that matter to me and have shaped me into the person I am today.
I hosted The Big 12 Hour Livestream on Saturday 20th June 2020 with the hopes of being in front of a computer for twelve hours, live streaming on YouTube. The concept involved interviewing a number of guests whilst fundraising for the British Youth Council, Hampshire Youth Parliament, Andover Trees United, Unity and my own youth organisation DMK Worldwide. These beneficiaries mean so much to me. They have given me many opportunities to voice my own opinions and get involved within the community of Youth Voice and I only wish that I had found them sooner.
To say the least, the livestream was a challenge. I have done many livestreams before, but never for twelve hours straight, so I really wanted to make sure everything went smoothly, and for the most part it went very well. I interviewed a huge variety of guests, from the British Youth Council’s very own Chair, Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, to Members of Parliament such as Kit Malthouse, MP for North West Hampshire and Minister of State for Crime and Policing. The full livestream with all interviews can be found on Youtube. There were of course a few technical difficulties here and there but it was definitely an awesome learning experience. There could perhaps be another livestream coming in the future, for an even longer time.
It is so important during these challenging times to continue to support small charities like the British Youth Council, through fundraising initiatives and donations, and I would encourage anyone who is passionate about Youth Voice to do the same.