I was interested in all the social issues that IARS tackle in their work and the international connections they have with other NGOs in Europe since the very beginning. Thus, getting to know how a research institute as IARS works on a daily basis and be part of that work has been very rewarding to me both on a professional and personal level.

Victoria Perez FernandezFormer Intern
Victoria Perez Fernandez

My time at IARS was an unforgettable experience. I gained valuable skills, received incredible support and grew in confidence, awareness and empathy. I will always treasure my time at IARS and have already begun to build on the things I learned there in my professional and academic endeavours.

Emma PughFormer Intern
Emma Pugh

When I look back on my time at the organization I feel lucky to have been part of IARS; work and proud of my contributions. I cannot express how much it means to me to have you in my corner backing me during this tumultuous time. Truly, thank you for your continued support!

Amanda BlackhurstFormer Intern
Amanda Blackhurst

I am grateful for your help and support during the year and while I’ve been at home too! I truly appreciate all of the attempts you have made to help me along the way.

Daisy NobesFormer Intern
Daisy Nobes

Working for IARS forced me- in the best way- to be flexible with the work I was given. It made me realize that every experience is a learning experience. Use what you are given to adapt and grow. I learned so much in my short time with this organization and I know I will remember this experience for a very, very long time.

Ginny DezernFormer Intern
Ginny Dezern

The experience has left me with new professional and personal skills as well as greater knowledge on the power of community activism.”
“I have had an outstanding time interning at IARS and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I have learned a lot about myself, both personally and professionally through this experience.

Moira HoganFormer Intern
Moira Hogan

During my time at the institute I was able to enhance my existing skills as well as develop new ones. What I liked the most was that the institute tailored my internship to what I was most interested in and provided me with great learning opportunities.

Priya KangFormer Intern
Priya Kang

I know I wanted to deal with social issues and bring awareness to that and was able to through our gender based violence projects. I really enjoyed writing blogs and creating videos. It provided me with key skills in communicating which will be useful in future employment.

Corina AlexanderFormer Intern
Corina Alexander

The months I spent interning with the IARS provided me with an invaluable opportunity to discover and understand the many injustices that continue to exist in this country and beyond, and the role, however small, that people like myself can play in lessening those inequalities.

Daniel WilcoxFormer Intern
Daniel Wilcox

It was a memorable and rewarding experience that helped me gain professional experience and use it in a real world setting. The experience introduced me to many new skills and developed me not only as a professional but also as an individual. My time as an IARS was a chance opportunity during a global pandemic that gave me all the skills I needed to enter the working world.

Sophie LucasFormer Intern
Sophie Lucas

“IARS has been an inclusive, safe environment where all voices are heard and strives to make a positive impact on society. They influence people of all ages and work from the bottom up to successfully spread information and influence. It has left an impact on myself.”

“Not only did the internship help me feel like I was making an impact in society, but it also grew many skills that will assist me in my academic and working future. I met a variety of people online and communicated with people from all over the globe. My knowledge of international policy was expanded, which was the one thing I hoped for most.

The opportunity to intern at IARS was unbelievable and I know that the organisation can help continue to better society. I am excited to see what else they continue to pursue in the future.”

Lauren KirchhoffFormer intern
Lauren Kirchhoff

It has been a pleasure working with IARS International Institute since 2018. The dedication and commitment their staff have shown in contributing to our virtual work experience programme has been extremely valuable in providing young people with an insight into the world of work and specifically youth led research. IARS International Institute have shown their swift adaptability to working virtually in 2020 and we look forward to collaborating together on future projects.

Satvinder MalhiEducation Development trust

My experience has been fantastic. Everyone at IARS has been so welcoming and friendly. I am grateful for the opportunity to have met so many inspiring people. (..) Volunteering at IARS was a fantastic opportunity to learn and give something back, but also it provided me with a career path. I have learned more about NGOs and the charity sector, and I also know that I'd love to be part of it.

Madalina Merlusca ESC Volunteer
Madalina Merlusca

I was able to listen to many interesting talks and discussions and I am very grateful that IARS made it possible for me to be part of it, as I got to know amazing projects and organisations that work around the world towards a better future and I am positive that all this new input will definitely help me in my future career.

Annika HeinrichIARS Former Volunteer
Annika Heinrich

Your work has made real inroads into tackling crime. As the mother of a teenager myself, I am pleased that you have challenged the negative perception of young people to better their life chances and also to value them as equally important citizens in our society. Work like this aligns very closely with my own agenda, and I have no doubt will be part of the solutions we all want for young people, families and communities in London, and indeed across the country. You have made a big difference and this knowledge can spread like the ripple effect of the pebble in the pond to making other communities safer and with better outcomes for young people.

Baroness NewloveVictims’ Commissioner for England and Wales from 2012 to 2019
Baroness Newlove

At a time when negative perceptions of young people are increasing, the 99% Campaign is vital in dispelling negative stereotypes of young people and promoting their involvement in civil society. Nominet Trust is excited by the role of technology in giving young people a voice and in scaling up the 99% Campaign across the UK.

Annika SmallCEO of The Nominet Trust
Annika Small

Young people's voices matter, but with so many challenges facing them around education and employment, it is easy for those voices to be lost. The work IARS is continuing with the 99 per cent campaign is an important step in giving our youth the chances they need to develop as individuals and contribute to the growth and strength of Britain, and I am pleased to support their on-going efforts to affect change through a youth-led structure.

Brooke Kinsella
Brooke Kinsella

We have been working with IARS for more than 5 years and their professionalism and expertise in the field of education have been of great importance. Through our partnership we have enriched our knowledge of research methods and have produced high-quality results. We look forward to working with IARS on new projects in future!

Antonis Foukaras

My name is Tatiana. I joined IARS because I was looking for experience to work around research programmes as I think that is the most appropriate way forward to influence policy making. So I found IARS and I had the opportunity to study a Certificate in Youth Policy in partnership with London Metropolitan University. I have personally found this studying and working experience very exciting because I am already working with young people from Latin American backgrounds, and I can visualise the potential of investigation when improving the poor conditions of a community. I therefore feel very thankful for being part of this initiative.

Tatiana GaravitoIARS Former Volunteer
Tatiana Garavito

I am grateful for the diversity of my internship at IARS. I have learnt about restorative justice, child abuse, refugees, marginalization, early school leaving, unemployment, social policies, and more, alongside learning about the operations of a charity and its projects. I feel my understanding of society has increased, and I am now even more passionate about working towards increased social cohesion and equality. Overall, this internship has broadened my perspective, increased my knowledge, and spurred my interest in social issues. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside such lovely, interesting people who have helped me develop and refine my skills.

Rebecca IARS Former Intern

As lead for Youth Engagement in the MPS I fully support the messages of the 99% campaign in highlighting all the positive contributions that young people make to our communities and society overall. I am privileged to spend a lot of time with brilliant young people who continually inspire me by dedicating their time to helping us to make life better and safer for Londoners. I believe we must do all we can to celebrate and publicise the large number of brilliant young role models we have in order to inspire more young people to fulfil their potential in similar ways. The 99% campaign provides us with an important and exciting opportunity to do just that.

Gwanwyn MasonHead Of Youth Crime And Engagement Strategy, Metropolitan Police Service
Gwanwyn Mason

I fully support the ethos of the 99% campaign. It is a great platform to allow young people’s views and voices to be valued and understood in a space where they are actively contributing and enhancing their skills. It is a positive way of recognising, celebrating and publicising the positive work young people are doing across the country. NCVYS is working hard to highlight how important partnerships and collaborative working are to developing services for young people. As a representative body for the voluntary youth sector we know how important it is to recognise the hard work it takes to build strong partnerships. The 99% campaign could not be a success without strong collaboration and I urge those that are not yet involved in supporting the campaign to think about what you can do.  I am delighted that we are supporting the IARS Research and Leadership awards which will continue to celebrate the effort put into strong partnership working in the sector.

Faiza Khan Deputy Chief Executive And Director Of Policy And Communications, NCVYS
Faiza Khan

My name is Danni, I’m 20 and I have been with IARS for around 10 months. I originally got involved by signing up for the Certificate in Youth Policy. I never thought in a million years that I would be doing a University course as school was never my thing, but here I am in my last 2 months! I’ve gained so much confidence while studying and volunteering at IARS, I recently sat on a panel in front of 100 people discussing the new proposal for the changes to Stop and Account. Needless to say I was nervous, but I got through it and I was so proud of myself for standing my ground and voicing my opinions. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve taken part in at IARS and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have been given.

Danni BriggsIARS Former Volunteer
Danni Briggs

I chose to intern at IARS this summer because I am deeply passionate about fairness, equality and most importantly, justice. It was inspiring to be a part of an organisation that not only shares these same values, but is actively involved in promoting such beliefs to invoke social change. Although my time at IARS has come to an end, I’m walking away a more experienced, determined and passionate person. I am extremely grateful for all that I have learned here, and this experience is one I will never forget. All my love and respect for you, IARS, keep doing your thing!

Kara IARS Former Intern

Having completed my undergraduate degree I was unsure as to which route I should take. Hence I decided to take a gap year and wanted to use this time as an opportunity to develop my skills and explore what I wanted to do in the future. I found IARS and decided to contribute to the 99% Campaign. Since then I have not only gained first-hand experience in digital campaigning but also learnt so much in relation to youth issues and advocacy. I now believe to be much  more confident and aware of issues in our society and the need to promote positive change. For the near future I  hope to pursue a postgraduate degree in international public policy and apply to the Civil Service.

Goknur OzerIARS Former Intern
Goknur Ozer

I started volunteering with IARS in June 2011 and I was volunteering on the Young Women in the Criminal Justice System project. I was initially attracted to volunteering for the organisation because I was interested in learning more about the criminal justice system and I was excited at the prospect of volunteering for an organisation that is a "force for change". Whilst I have really enjoyed getting to know the other volunteers on the project and learning about the experiences of young women in the criminal justice system. I have found my volunteering experience enjoyable as the project is practical and I have a real feeling of being able to make a difference. I feel that I have a better grasp of how research is conducted by NGOs and the experience has really improved my team work skills.

Sufia ShahnawazIARS Former Intern
Sufia Shahnawaz

The current financial climate has hit young people the hardest. I encourage you to support IARS, a charity I am a Patron of. IARS has a mission to enable young people to reach their potential and participate in society as equal citizens independently of their background. But they can't do it alone. I look forward to joining you in supporting their cause.

Lord Charles Falconer Of ThorotonIARS Patron and Lord Chancellor (2003-7)
Lord Charles Falconer Of Thoroton

Interning at IARS was one of the best opportunities that I had during my time in London in 2018. I really feel that this little organisation allowed me to not only work in fields that I am passionate about but also work with a great team that is friendly and joyful. I want to personally thank you for allowing me to help you with the projects that you were working on. I feel that not many interns, especially those without a degree such as myself, would be given the chance to work on something so big and important and would usually just be given menial tasks to do (not that there is anything wrong with that, I quite enjoy helping people).Thanks for giving me all the support as my supervisor and ensuring that my experience here was made as meaningful and comfortable as possible. I will definitely miss you and the team.

Faris WongIARS Former Intern
Faris Wong

My name is Ania Dwornik. I am from Vancouver, Canada, and am presently in the last stages of my Masters of Social Work. I came to the IARS for a 3-month practicum placement. I first learned about the IARS through the restorative justice community, following the publication of Rights & Restoration within Youth Justice, and was drawn to the Ania Dwornik due to its user-led research model and emphasis on social policy analysis.  Back home I volunteer with a restorative justice organization, and am doing RJ research as part of my Masters thesis.  My specific interests are in restorative justice and mental health. At IARS I am working on the RJ Europe Project, and conducting my own research on mental health as part of that initiative.  With luck I will find participants for my study and help generate some important implications for social work and restorative justice practitioners!

Ania DwornikIARS Former Intern
Ania Dwornik

Hannah has cerebral palsy and volunteered with IARS between 2008 and 2010. During her time at IARS Hannah represented the organisation at various events and designed marketing material for projects. She completed both a v50 award and a vimpact award. Hannah became a champion to show other young people that disability is not a barrier to achieving ambitions.

Hannah WilkinsonIARS Former Volunteer
Hannah Wilkinson



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.