Southend YMCA working with Young People to tackle Youth Loneliness

January 23, 2019


Project funded through the #iwill Fund, delivered by Co-op Foundation.


Southend YMCA will launch an exciting new initiative which will deliver 16 social action projects, thanks to a £70,000 grant from the #iwill Fund, I Will Southend.


The #iwill Fund is a £40 million joint investment from the Big Lottery Fund, using National Lottery funding, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. The Co-op Foundation is acting as a match funder.


The project, which will run in Southend and the neighbouring areas of Castle Point and Rochford and Rayleigh is expected to support over 160 young people over the next 2 years, engaging them in youth social action, which develops skills and tackles loneliness for them and their peers.



Young people will have the opportunity to volunteer for Southend YMCA, delivering campaigns, putting on events and organising activities that benefit themselves and the wider community.


Young people aged between 10-20 years old can get involved in the I Will Southend project by registering their interest using the following link:


Southend YMCA is one of 16 projects supported in this latest round of funding from Co-op Foundation.


Syrie Cox, CEO of Southend YMCA said:


"Southend YMCA is a local children’s and young people’s charity which is largely dependent on grant funding to deliver its essential services. We are very thankful to the Co-op for supporting our work and are delighted to be part of national network of organisations that are working together to embed meaningful social action projects that tackle the important issue of youth loneliness."


Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said:


“Good quality youth social action has a double benefit, making a positive impact on the young people who take part, and supporting others in their community. We’re delighted to be funding such innovative projects today through the #iwill Fund that will help increase young people’s skills and confidence, build stronger communities and help tackle difficult transitions that we know can increase the chances of loneliness.”


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.


Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable young people to make a positive difference in their communities as well as develop their own skills and knowledge.


Co-op Foundation has been tackling youth loneliness through its UK-wide Belong network of partners since 2017. It recently announced more than £3 million of funding for more than 160 projects tackling youth loneliness through the Building Connections Fund Youth strand.


For more information on Southend YMCA visit:

For more information on the Co-op Foundation, visit


For more information and to register your interest please visit the I Will Southend webpage here.

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 (Head Office) Southend YMCA,


85 Ambleside Drive,

Southend On Sea, SS1 2FY

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Southend YMCA

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Westcliff On Sea, SS0 7JZ

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01702 301 301

Together, we can end youth homelessness in Southend.

Southend's Leading Children's Charity - Southend-on-Sea Young Men’s Christian Association (Southend YMCA) Registered Charity Number: 1102837 (registered in England); Limited Liability Company number 5051166;  Non-profit, private registered provider of social housing: Number 4853