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Aspire is Toynbee Hall's flagship youth project, supporting young people to become active members of the community.

Aspire is a year-long project that supports year 9 students in local schools to build their confidence and communication skills through work with volunteers, informal education, and trips around London and beyond. Aspire participants work hard to make new friends and gain new experiences, and the project unites young people from across the borough in positive activities from learning circus skills to spending a week on a farm in Wiltshire.

Aspire engages young people in a unique, volunteer-led programme of informal education and active learning. Our dedicated Aspire volunteers work with groups of 10 young people in each of our partner schools throughout year 9. Each term focuses on new skills and involves five in-school sessions with participants and volunteers as well as out-of-school excursions and an end of term celebration.


The first term focuses on working together and listening to one another. In school, groups get to know one another and develop strong team work and relationships based on listening, fun and mutual respect. Visits are arranged to the the Tower of London, the Broadgate Tower and another place of interest in Tower Hamlets. A T-shirt design session and a drum workshop are held at Toynbee Hall to celebrate the end of term.


The second term focus is on communicating your ideas. Young people develop speaking and performance skills through group work and circus skills workshops from Circus Space with a Circus Showcase at Toynbee Hall to mark the end of term.


The final term looks at analysing and understanding. Participants experience opportunities to try new things, think in new ways and reflect on these experiences. Groups go on a residential trip to Jamie’s Farm. The term ends with the Aspire Graduation at Toynbee Hall, a chance for young people to celebrate their experiences with their families and teachers.Graduation 2013

The Aspire year leads into Inspire, a follow-on project giving young people the chance to become volunteers and mentors in the local community.