Involve Youth

About the programme

Involve Youth Southwark (IYS) (2021 – 2022) is an innovative, youth-led and youth focused skills development and participation programme that will provide 240 young people aged 15-25 living in Southwark with accredited high quality youth-led training and awareness raising and learning events, volunteering and mentoring opportunities and a support Hub that will provide tailored and peer to peer advice about employment routes and skills. The programme will also offer cross-cultural learning and e-learning opportunities leading to positive social action and aimed to create Healthy, Active, Safe, Prepared and Informed young citizens.

Underpinned by three core themes; Employability, Citizenship and Youth Inclusion, programme activities will empower young people by building their knowledge, social and soft skills and confidence, allowing their voices to be heard, improving their relationships with their peers and communities, raising their aspirations, and facilitating their transition to adulthood and independent living.

By the end of the programme
    • The IARS will target 240 young people from Southwark who might have fewer opportunities, and who are more likely to be socially disengaged, by placing them in activities specifically designed to make them feel a real sense of personal development, and begin to tear down the barriers that they might face.
    • Youth in Southwark will be empowered to become future leaders in their communities, while diverting them from harm and enhancing their employability and civic engagement, through community-based, alternative educational and volunteering opportunities.
    • Southwark youth will be allowed to think about issues and experience what goes beyond their locality through exposure to the IARS’ work on local, regional, national and international levels.
Current opportunities
  • Training

The programme offers cross-cultural learning and e-learning opportunities. The IARS will soon start two UK Youth training programmes: FutureProof and Be Internet Citizen (more information about upcoming sessions will be added soon).

As a final celebratory event for this year (2021), we organised a Youth Awards Ceremony. See more information here:

  • Work placements

The IARS provides 1-week work experience for students aged 15-19 with an introduction to the IARS and the charity sector, work experience and training opportunities. Students receive a certificate upon completion.

The IARS offers structured internships that are a combination of both research and communications tasks. The interns usually stay with us from anywhere from three months to a year, working from 1 to 3 days a week. All interns benefit from regular support and supervision, training and evaluations with their supervisor.

The European Solidarity Corps is an EU initiative that creates opportunities for young people in Europe. The IARS acts as both supporting and sending organisation, which means that we send UK volunteers abroad, and host and support EU volunteers for our own programme in London.

As a user-led charity our work is shaped and led by users so groups that are affected by a particular problem. These individuals are the experts of their own needs and have lived experience of the issues we work on. The Youth Advisory Board has members from different backgrounds who evaluate and scrutinise our work, for example by monitoring and quality controlling our projects and services and ensuring that they meet the needs of its users.

The 99% Campaign is a youth-led initiative and digital participation programme aiming to make society more inclusive, fair and responsive to young people’s views and realities. The IARS facilitates the platform and funds the publishing of the 99% Magazine. The magazine is completely youth led from deciding on the theme of the edition to finding young authors and peer reviewing content.


If you would like to request more information about the programme and current opportunities, please contact


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: +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.