Ignite Imaginations to receive £135,000 from Volunteering Futures Fund

Ignite Imaginations to receive £135,000 in fund to support community volunteering opportunities through UK Government investment

  • Ignite Imaginations among over 160 organisations across arts, culture, sport, civil society, youth, and heritage sectors to benefit from the £4.6 million Volunteering Futures Fund

  • Funding set to increase volunteering opportunities for young people, and people who experience barriers to accessing volunteering, over the next two years

Over 160 community organisations, including Ignite Imaginations, are set to support 7,800 new volunteering opportunities over the next two years, as the Government has confirmed the beneficiaries of a £4.6 million fund that will level up access to the benefits of volunteering across the country.

Ignite Imaginations in Sheffield has been awarded £135,000 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England.

As a Sheffield Arts Charity, we know first-hand the benefits of volunteering to the individual and organisation involved. The collaborative process involved can not only help people gain experience and confidence but also inspire change and bring communities together. We’ll be working with Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) and creative and community partnerships across the city to develop a city-wide initiative that champions creative volunteering, supporting people facing access barriers to prepare for volunteering, building local capacity to create accessible volunteering roles, and establishing joint team volunteering responses to special events. To maximise success, the approach will be two-fold: one for creative individuals facing barriers to volunteering and one to support creative and community organisations to volunteers.

The Volunteering Futures Fund was launched last year and will be distributed by Arts Council England. It will break down barriers to volunteering and enable organisations across the arts, culture, sport, civil society, youth and heritage sectors to continue their valuable work within local communities whilst volunteers enjoy the personal benefits of making a difference.

Arts Council England have awarded these organisations in order to respond to demand from a wide range of beneficiaries, such as from those who may be experiencing loneliness or social isolation, to young people in the LGBTQ community, people with learning difficulties and complex needs.

A full list of funded projects can be found here.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:

“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, volunteering offers a wealth of benefits to both the volunteers and the organisations who rely on their help, encouraging acts of generosity, public spirit and neighbourliness.

“The Volunteering Futures Fund will deliver a step-change in connecting those who may be isolated, lonely or experiencing any number of potential barriers to get involved in volunteering.

“I’m delighted that more than 160 organisations will now benefit from £4.6 million in Government funding to enhance collaboration between local councils, the public sector, and civil society.”

The £4.6 million UK Government funding is being awarded and distributed via Arts Council England. Grants of £100,000 or more have been awarded following an Arts Council competitive process launched in November 2021. There are 19 lead organisations that will work with more than 160 partner organisations to deliver volunteering opportunities at a local level across England.

An additional £2.2 million has been distributed by Pears Foundation and NHS Charities Together.

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England said:

“There’s an abundance of evidence to show that volunteering can be a key factor in helping people lead happier lives.

“This new investment will enrich villages, towns and cities across England, increasing health and well-being and decreasing loneliness and isolation.”

Luisa Golob, CEO of Ignite Imaginations said:

“We’re delighted to have been awarded Volunteering Futures Funding, for our project Sheffield Community Makers. Volunteering is a huge part of what makes Sheffield the creative city it is and we have seen first-hand the positive impact volunteering can have, we are thrilled to work with VAS and other community partners to reach people who may not have been able to access these opportunities previously. This has been a brilliant partnership approach in the development stages, we’re excited to bring our plan into action. If anyone is interested, in getting involved please contact luisa@igniteimaginations.org.uk"


Click here to find out how you can get involved.