Experience working at IARS!

During the first week of November 2021, IARS welcomed three students to our office on a work experience placement. 

With our volunteer placements only having recently returned to being in-person, the IARS team were excited to be working with three students from two sixth forms in London. All three students are currently in their first year of sixth-form college, and engaged with various social action and gender-justice projects within their own school. 

The week involved a range of activities, including everything from comms training to discussions about gender justice to podcast recording. Monday began with inductions to IARS as an organisation, focusing on our history, mission and current work. The students then received FutureProof training focused on online risks and opportunities, providing them with both real-world skills. Next, after an introduction to the work that the comms team does at IARS, and some of the software and management tools they use, the students started to work on website building for IARS’ LatinHubUK Project. 

On the second day of their placement, we started the day with training and discussion on the topic of social action, with everyone finding and sharing inspirational examples of social action projects in their community. The students then joined our staff team meeting, experiencing different aspects of work and office culture. In the afternoon, they started researching and planning their podcast, continuing to work on this on Wednesday too.

On Thursday, the students and some staff members got together for training and a discussion on the mental health difficulties faced by many young people. We brainstormed ideas and solutions to these problems, and had an informative discussion on the current needs of young people in relation to this. We ended the day with a ‘Meet the Team’ session, where the students got the opportunity to meet virtually with all the staff members to learn more about their roles as IARS and their career paths. This was also a good opportunity for them to discuss their own future career plans and ask questions.

Throughout the week, the students spend time researching, writing, recording and editing their podcast. By Friday, after lots of hard work, it was finished. The end product was a truly inspiring podcast, especially considering it was created completely by the students themselves and in under a week! Listen to it here


Overall, the week was a great experience for both the students and the IARS team. Sujood Ali, one of the students, summed up her experience with this quote: “Definitely an experience I will take away with me for my lifetime, very efficient, productive and motivating!”


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.