Welcoming Sophia to the team!

Hear from our new Jack Petchey intern, Sophia Sogaard:

I joined IARS at the end of April as the User Engagement Coordinator, having just finished my BA in Philosophy at King’s College London. I got this amazing opportunity through the Jack Petchey Internship Programme, which aims to create roles for young people in the third sector.

At IARS, I work on delivering a community-focused and user-led approach across the organisation. This involves helping to co-ordinate the internships and volunteering roles that IARS offer, as well as some project and communications work. Despite only having been at IARS for just over a month, I have already learnt so much. I am especially excited to be working with the members of our Advisory Boards and other volunteers. I’m very grateful to the IARS team for how welcoming and supportive they’ve been.

I am also very grateful to the Jack Petchey Foundation for providing this internship programme and offering an incredible amount of support alongside it. On the 26th and 27th May, I attended the opening conference for the programme. This was a chance to meet all the other interns, as well as attend some training and networking sessions. It was so inspiring to meet all the other young people determined to fight for their change in their communities. In the future, I hope to pursue further study in the field of international human rights, and I’m sure that I will look back gratefully at both IARS and the Jack Petchey Foundation and the skills I learnt here.



We are Sculpt

IARS International Institute to operate as Sculpt

*Charity CEO available for interview – details in notes 

A UK-based youth charity today changes its operating name from the IARS International Institute to Sculpt. 

IARS is an international NGO that’s been working to empower young people to forge a fairer society for over 20 years. Their work is guided and evaluated by young people themselves.  

Over the last 20 years, IARS has delivered more than 70 successful projects that have addressed real problems that young people face, in areas such as: 

  • Gender discrimination 
  • Violence against women and girls 
  • Supporting young people to find work 
  • Creating green and sustainable business 
  • Promoting collaboration among young people across the world and much more. 

In 2021, with the world changing rapidly and opportunities for their work shifting, they decided to refresh their purpose and identity, and made the decision to rebrand as Sculpt. 

Claire Bonham, Chief Executive of Sculpt, said: 

‘We are delighted to launch our new brand that speaks to our aim to empower young people to shape their future.

‘We believe that many of today’s young people are facing unjust challenges – economically, environmentally and socially. A fair, sustainable society can only evolve if all young people have the opportunities, the confidence, the ambition and the skills to make their voices heard and propel change in their communities, irrespective of who they are or where they come from.  

‘Our rebrand, like our work, has been guided by research and by young people themselves. As an organisation we base our work on rigorously researched evidence and are led in our approach by our youth advisory board. Their voices and insight are critical to solving the right problems in meaningful ways.’  


Notes to editors:  

Dr. Claire Bonham, Chief Executive of The IARS International Institute is available for interview. Contact Claire directly on: director@iars.org.uk +44(0) 7833 224442  



Sculpt is a UK-based charity providing research, training and work-experience opportunities that empower young people to shape their own futures and those of their communities. 

We work directly with young people, employers and professionals who support young people. All our work is guided by young people themselves and based on carefully researched evidence. We: 

  • Facilitate forums for young people to make their needs and their voices heard. 
  • Publish a magazine by young people to express their perspectives and encourage debate around public policy issues. 
  • Conduct research to uncover young people’s real needs and what works to empower and support them. 
  • Deliver training to build young people’s confidence, skills, ambition, resilience and sense of responsibility, so they can shape their futures and change their communities for the better, as leaders, social entrepreneurs and active participants in civic life. 
  • Deliver training for professionals who work with young people, drawing on our research and expertise. 
  • Engage with employers to facilitate work experience and employment opportunities for young people to develop skills and access diverse jobs. 
  • Facilitate international exchange opportunities to encourage and enable young people to experience and appreciate other cultures, perspectives and ways of life. 

We tackle disempowerment from three angles: working directly with young people to build confidence and skills and their voice, working with professionals who support young people, and working with employers to break down barriers to opportunity.