Youth Endowment Fund, #iwill Fund and Co-op come together to launch the Peer Action Collective (PAC): giving 10–25-year-olds a voice and the chance to make their communities safer, fairer places

07 October 2021

Coop Bradford-199

  • PAC is a ground-breaking network of young people, led by 120 peer researchers and 1,500 Changemakers, who’ll reach over 5,000 other young people through their work
  • The programme will be youth led from the start, with all activities designed and implemented by 10–25-year-olds
  • Young people will get the chance to use their voices to reduce violence in their communities and make them fairer places to live and work

Today sees the launch of a £5.2 million ground-breaking new youth-led network called the Peer Action Collective (PAC). The project will reach nearly 6,500 young people (aged from 10-25) who will take part in action to end violence in their communities. That might involve designing and carrying out research as a peer researcher, leading campaigns in their communities as a changemaker, or sharing their views on violence, so that they’re shaping the solutions they want to see in their communities.

The youth-led programme is funded by the Youth Endowment Fund, the #iwill Fund (a joint investment between The National Lottery Community Fund and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) and Co-op.

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The PAC will see 120 peer researchers (aged 16-25) design their own research questions and work with around 5,000 other young people (aged 10–20) to find out about young people’s experiences of violence and their views on how they can help make their communities better places to live and work. All of their findings will be recorded on an app specifically developed for this project.

The findings will be used by a group of changemakers, made up of 1,500 10-20-years-olds, who will take what the researchers learn and turn it into action. From campaigning to improve local mental health services, setting up a youth centre or supporting young people into employment – the PAC will create opportunities for young people to make their community a safer, fairer place.

Shamza (17), a young member of the PAC from Bradford said: “Having witnessed youth crime first-hand and seen the effects of the pandemic on my friends, I’m so excited to be part of this project, which will support over 1,500 young people and help me help my generation to heal and thrive.

“Being a peer researcher means I can find out more about young people’s experiences in my area and then take action to improve their lives. I hope to join the police force, and being a PAC peer researcher appeals to me as a way of learning more about the causes of crime as well as how to prevent it and change teens’ minds. Obviously, if we can’t change our generation now, these problems are going to be our future.”

Peter Babudu, Director of Impact at the Youth Endowment Fund said: “The Youth Endowment Fund is here to find out what works to keep children safe from violence. We know that, without the voices of young people, we won’t be able to do that.”

“That’s why the work we’re doing with the PAC is so important. By learning more about young people’s experiences and what they want to see change, we can make sure our work amplifies their voices and makes a positive change.”

Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value at the Co-op said: “Our work in our local communities has shown us the positive, long term impact young people can have when they are given opportunities to take action on the issues they care about.

“We simply cannot have a situation where they feel they cannot change their path or improve their life chances.

“At the Co-op we have made it our priority to listen to what young people need to help them take charge of their own lives, no matter where they live or their background, the creation of the Peer Action Collective is another example of ensuring young people’s voices and lived experiences are heard to help create safer communities and the world a fairer place.”

David Knott, Interim Chief Executive at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “By placing young people at the forefront of this new initiative we are providing a platform for them to share their experiences and create solutions that will inspire lasting change in their communities.

“The work of the #iwill Fund has had an incredible impact on young people, supporting them and their communities to prosper and thrive. The National Lottery Community Fund is committed to youth voice and the Peer Action Collective will enable us to build on our ongoing work with young people to further understand and inform how to best support them now and in the future.”

PAC was officially launched earlier this week at an event hosted by community partners at Bradford City FC. The event saw some of the first young people who’ll be part of the PAC come together to share their experiences and plan for how they want to make change.

To find out more about the project, please visit

To find out more about Co-op’s work with young people, please visit

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For media interviews, please contact: Sarah Fitton ( / 07702 506 126) and Mark Carrington ( / 07890 384 471)

About the Youth Endowment Fund

  • The Youth Endowment Fund is an independent charitable trust. It was founded with a £200 million Home Office endowment by Impetus, a charity focused on transforming the lives of disadvantaged young people.
  • Find out more at .
  • Follow us on Twitter: @YouthEndowFund

Contact us:

Matt Shaw, Senior Communications Manager at the Youth Endowment Fund:; 07414 405031. 

About the #iwill Fund

The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £54 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.

The #iwill Fund brings together a group of organisations who all contribute funding to embed meaningful social action into the lives of young people. The #iwill Fund supports the aims of the #iwill campaign - to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities.

By bringing together funders from across different sectors and by making sure that young people have a say in where the funding goes – the #iwill Fund is taking a collaborative approach.
About the #iwill movement

The #iwill movement is a collaboration of over 1,000 organisations and 300 young #iwill Ambassadors from across the UK. They are united by a shared belief that all children and young people should be supported and empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society.

The #iwill fund was launched in November 2013 after an independent review into how different sectors could help more young people to make a positive difference. The #iWill movement is supported by an independent coordination hub, hosted by Volunteering Matters & UK Youth.

Take the lead by signing up to the Power of Youth Charter at or follow us @iwill_campaign on twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About The National Lottery Community Fund We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.   

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.  

Contact us: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport general enquiries:; 020 7211 6000

The National Lottery Community Fund Press Office media enquiries; 020 7211 2210

About Co-op The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, legal services and health. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,500 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited.

Employing over 62,000 people, the Co-op has an annual turnover of £11.5 billion. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Co-op is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes. The Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.