Cabinet Office
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New campaign to get more young people involved in social action

The Campaign for Youth Social Action has launched with the aim of doubling the number of young people taking part by 2020.

HRH The Prince of Wales has launched a new campaign to get more young people involved in social action at a meeting of leaders from the youth, voluntary, business, education and faith sectors. The Campaign for Youth Social Action aims to double the number of young people (10-20 year olds) taking part by 2020. The campaign was the result of a review set up by the Prime Minister and led by Dame Julia Cleverdon and Amanda Jordan OBE.

Social action is about taking practical action in the service of others, such as restoring a community property or organising a charity event. It is not for profit. Whilst the Olympics generated a great amount of enthusiasm for volunteering and taking part, the challenge for the country is providing enough well-known opportunities to take advantage of this goodwill. There are, for example, currently 30,000 young people on the Scouts waiting list because of a lack of older volunteers. By drawing together and focusing attention on all the opportunities on offer, it is hoped social action can become a prominent part of youth culture in the UK.

Alongside the campaign launch, the government announced a Youth Social Action Fund which has been created to offer financial support to social action programmes. There is £5 million in total over 2 years (£4 million from the Cabinet Office Centre for Social Action, and £1 million from the Education Endowment Foundation for programmes in Birmingham, Middlesbrough, Lancashire and Kent. Calls for bids for this funding opened yesterday, and further information is available here.

HRH The Prince of Wales said:

It is nearly 40 years since I first spoke about the importance of young people taking on challenging opportunities to serve others in their community. I have always been convinced that practical action in the service of others is of benefit both to the individual and the community. So much incredible work has already been done in the UK. This campaign is a concerted and long term effort across all sectors to join together with young people to create more opportunities for their social action.

Dame Julia Cleverdon, Chair of Teach First and Vice President of Business in the Community said:

Our review proposed an independent campaign for Youth Social Action and the announcement that The Prince of Wales will lead the initiative, which is supported by all three main political parties, as well as the youth, education, faith, voluntary and business sectors, gives real optimism that we can build a national culture of youth action over time in the UK.

Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd MP said:

We want to support the aspiration that every young person between the ages of 10 and 20 should have to get involved in social action programmes that benefit both their development and the communities in which they live. The benefits to society and young people would be enormous. That’s why today I am announcing new funding for youth organisations running programmes that engage young people in social action. We want to find out which existing programmes are of good quality but also to test new ways to encourage participation.

Notes to editors

  • More information about The Prince of Wales’s charitable activities.
  • Social action can be defined as practical action in the service of others, which is:
    • carried out by individuals or groups of people working together
    • not mandated and not for profit
    • done for the good of others; individuals, communities and/or society
    • bringing about social change and/or value

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