JIGSAW Thornbury is thrilled to be one of thirteen recipients to receive funding from the #iwill Fund in association with Sovereign Housing Association to promote and support youth social action. 

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

The funding will support two important groups we run at JIGSAW Thornbury. Our Young Volunteers Service is for children and young people with additional needs and any siblings that may not have a need themselves. It empowers children and young people to build skills and confidence and give something back to JIGSAW Thornbury and their community.

‘‘I wanted to support people with disabilities and meet people like me because I have anxiety’’ – Young Volunteer

We will also continue our youth club in partnership with Krunch South West. This is more informal than the young volunteer sessions for 14-25 year olds with additional needs or disabilities to develop social skills and build independence.  

‘‘The reason why I like Youth Club is because it is an escape from stressful life. All the people are nice there, very supportive and very lovely. One of my favourite things we do there is culture night and I like it because we learn about different cultures and try nice food’’

Youth Club member 



The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66 million joint investment from the #NationalLottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Cultural, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. Sovereign Housing Association is acting as a match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwillFund.  

“We are very excited to get started on our project which will empower young people with additional needs or disabilities and their families to join in with social action through community events and fundraising. Young people have been the inspiration for the project, and it is packed with opportunities to develop skills and confidence, become leaders within their group, and make a difference for their community. We have recently launched our #JIGSAW10For10 community fundraising challenge to celebrate our upcoming 10th birthday, so this fund has come at the perfect time to ensure young people play a lead role in the campaign”.  

– Hattie Clayton, Interim CEO 

The first community campaign our young people supported as part of the project was Fun Palaces. On Saturday 1st October the community of Thornbury came together to connect and share experiences at the second annual Thornbury Fun Palace event. Everyone was invited to join in with fun, free activities led by local people and groups taking place around Thornbury High Street.

The JIGSAW Thornbury Young Volunteers chose to lead a community café for their part of the event. They had refreshments including hot and cold drinks and sweet and savoury treats available for a donation. This was run from our home in the heart of Thornbury as a place to connect and recharge away from the main event. We were pleased that the community café and stall raised £225 in donations, which will all contribute to supporting families who have children with additional needs and disabilities.

We also had some fun activities led by young people, including sim car racing on the PS4 and making paper copters. Our SENsory Lending Library was open throughout the event for families to drop in to see what is available, chat to our team about what might suit their needs, and even borrow items that day.



The Mayor was in attendance at the event, welcoming in the first visitors who arrived to pick up their map and timetable from the Town Hall and joining in with all the event had to offer, including the race car activity taught by one of our young people. 


Our young people will continue to get involved in more things like Fun Palaces over the next 10 months, including supporting our #JIGSAW10For10 birthday fundraising campaign, so keep an eye out for future news. 


If you have a Young Person interested in joining our Young Volunteers programme, please contact us at youngvolunteers@jigsawthornbury.org.uk and for Youth Club, get in touch at youthclub@jigsawthornbury.org.uk