One Million Mentors delighted to be awarded extended impact funding from Spirit of 2012

27 October 2018

Spirit of 2012 has awarded £500,000 in extended impact funding to One Million Mentors (1MM).

1MM aims to train, recruit and connect a million mentors to a million young people across the UK, in order to increase youth employability, support social action and help break down social barriers.

Spirit’s investment will allow 1MM to take a big step up to over 4,000 mentees, and will see a significant investment in Wales (Cardiff) as well as cross-working with other Spirit projects including Breaking Boundaries in Birmingham, Manchester and London.

“I have personally mentored a number of youngsters over the years with the One Million Mentor team and I’m glad our support will enable them to multiply their impact for young people,”

says Vikash Gupta, Spirit of 2012 Board member.

“Mentoring can inspire young people to dream big, take risks and give back to society,” he says. “Facilitating and investing in the goodwill of professionals also means 1MM can address the skills gap and enable social cohesion. We’re really excited to support this innovative initiative and be part of its success.”

1MM is a project within Uprising, a UK-wide youth leadership development organisation. Alveena Malik is Co-founder and Director of 1MM.

“We are thrilled to have the continued support of our founding funder Spirit 2012.  1MM is a pioneering approach, using the advantages of technology, in order to transform the process of mentoring for all. Our aim is to provide opportunities and a safe space for the mentor-mentee to widen their horizons, help break down social barriers, and develop mutual respect and understanding between people of different backgrounds.”

1MM is currently operating in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, with the West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy Street being an early advocate of the programme.  Andy said:

“1MM has been a key part of the success of the Mayor’s Mentors scheme which has established more than 1,000 mentoring relationships in the first year.

I know from my own career just how important having a mentor is and am very grateful for the support from Spirit of 2012.”

Notes to Editors

Spirit of 2012

Last year Spirit of 2012 gave 1MM a £50,000 incubation grant, upon which today’s £500,000 award will build.

Spirit of 2012 is a funding charity, established by the Big Lottery Fund with a £47m endowment from the National Lottery. Spirit was founded to continue and recreate the spirit of pride, positivity and social connectedness that people experienced during the London 2012 Games.

Spirit funds projects that bring people together – to learn something new, do something different, or experience something unique – and that leave behind a social legacy of increased wellbeing at an individual level, as well as happier and more connected communities.

For more information as well as up-to-date news on all Spirit’s projects and funding opportunities, go to


UpRising is a pioneering national charity, championing social mobility, diversity and equality issues. Their important work provides pathways to leadership and employment for 16-25 year olds who have talent, but lack opportunity.

UpRising’s mission is to break the cycle of unrepresentative power in the UK, by developing decision-makers who truly represent our diverse communities.

UpRising’s Theory of Change is to increase young people’s knowledge, networks, skills and confidence so that they can fulfil their leadership potential, find new opportunities and transform their world through social action.

UpRising has delivered innovative youth programmes since 2008, starting in East London and now operates in London, Luton, Birmingham, Greater Manchester and Cardiff.

One Million Mentors

One Million Mentors (1MM) is an exciting new project established within UpRising. The aim is to use the latest digital technologies in order to train professionals online and scale the mentor offer across the UK. Our ambition is to identify, train and recruit a million mentors over the next ten years, to support a million young people entering the world of work, or engaging in social action.

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Twitter:  @1millionmentor1