Youth Social Action is young people taking action in the service of others to create a positive change. The #IWill campaign is working with hundreds of partner organisations to enable young people, wherever they live and from whatever background, the ability to access social action. As educators and employees in the working world, we see the positive impact social action can have in and outside the classroom. Not only are students developing academic skills in a different setting, they are also building skills necessary for the workplace. The #IWill campaign has identified three core pillars of activity that will be central to their plans to give young people the ability to access social action.
These three core pillars are:
“We will evidence and communicate the benefits of youth social action by understanding trends, building an evidence base and telling the story of the double benefit, that young people are developing their character and skills whilst making contributions to their communities and wider society.”
“We will work to embed social action in every young person’s journey from 10-20 by integrating stimuli and opportunities to take part throughout formal education (school, college, university), other youth settings (youth clubs, uniformed organisations, sports clubs, arts and music activities), employment for the older age range and their home and wider society.”
“We will enable more high quality youth social action opportunities by increasing access to relevant programmes across the UK, opening up opportunities for younger volunteers in the voluntary and public sectors and setting out guidance for enhancing the quality of opportunities so that they deliver the double benefit.”
According to a survey series completed for the #IWill campaign, 88% of young people felt that taking part in social action would help them get a job. It has also been reported that young people who engaged in social action at a younger age are more likely than those who start later to be classified as committed to social action. A student who engages in social action at a young age has a different experience than those who wait because they see how truly rewarding it can be!
In 2013, Demos found that a vast majority of participants in social action programmes reported they gained self confidence, a sense of direction, and a sense of purpose from their activities.
Yes Futures Commitment to Youth Engagement in Social Action Youth engaging in social action gives an opportunity to give back to the community and make a difference to those around them. Yes Futures was so excited to discover the #IWill campaign. Similar to the campaign, we find getting our students involved in social action is extremely beneficial to their academic and life success. We show this commitment by taking our Finding Futures and Rising Futures programme students on a Play Your Part day. Students are given the opportunity to give back to their community; raising money for a local charity, cleaning up a garden space, visiting a home for the elderly, and the list goes on. Just in 2018 alone, we have had 31 Play Your Part days. On our Play Your Part days, 10 to 20 students ranging in ages 7-15 have the opportunity to give back to their local community all over the UK! Not only are we looking for students to work on their confidence, resilience, communication, and self awareness but we also are showing them how rewarding social action can be!
Providing our students with the opportunity to participate in social action already raises the chance that they will participate in social action again. Our Play your Part days give students the opportunity to enrich their skills outside the classroom, work on their programme goals, and become committed to social action!