Young people today face a wide range of complex and challenging issues, from gang culture and knife crime, to poor mental health and sexual exploitation. And often their voices are not heard.
We empower young people to take control of their lives by tackling these issues and others through Youth Social Action.
Our transformational projects harness the drive, energy and inspiration of young people and the authentic understanding and genuine connection that only come from ‘someone who has been through it’.
Inspirational young volunteers design and develop their own solutions, shaping positive change in their communities and becoming role models who inspire others.
We have many Youth Social Action programmes running across the UK. Find one near you in the list below.
Support Youth Social action
If you want to find out how you can fund a Youth Social Action project or would like to make a donation please contact Miranda Ryan on 020 3780 5909 or emailMIRANDA.RYAN@VOLUNTEERINGMATTERS.ORG.UK
Our COVID-19 Response programme includes projects operating on a local and national level, with new roles to support the community during the pandemic.
Futures Matter trains and supports volunteer leaders to devise and run volunteering initiatives for the benefit of their local community in Ipswich.
The S.A.F.E project (Sexual Awareness For Everyone) is for women living in Gwent aged 16 – 35 who have a learning need or disability. The project aims to give vulnerable young people the tools to identify appropriate and safe relationships.
Volunteering Matters’ SAFE (Sexual Awareness For Everyone) male project is aimed at males aged 16-35 in Gwent who have a learning need or disability.
WASSUP is a project run by local young women in Ipswich. They focus on raising awareness of sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, honour based violence and gang grooming. They also prioritise lobbying for changes to social policy and practice on these issues promoting young people’s voice.
Inspired by Ipswich-based project WASSUP, We Are Patrick is a youth social action programme delivered by young men in Ipswich.
If you want to be involved in helping your community through the COVID-19 crisis, but are unsure how to get involved, this is your opportunity. If you are 16-years and older and interested in making a difference, then contact us for more info using the form below.
We’re looking for volunteers aged 18-24 who want to make a positive difference in Suffolk. Develop new skills and gain a qualification, help your peers realise their potential, build confidence, improve their wellbeing and overcome the issues that affect them.
The SAFE (‘Sexual Awareness for Everyone’) project running across Gwent will help improve the personal safety and good sexual health of young women (aged 16 to 35) with learning difficulties through peer led workshops, one to one peer support and through the production and distribution of a SAFE card.
To celebrate Power Of Youth Day we put the spotlight on Team London Young Ambassadors at Kingston Mencap. One of the TLYA young ambassadors, Adam (not his real name) has used his own experience with mental health problems to develop a mental health plan that provides a safe space for others to feel safe and supported through their own struggles. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing more youth social action stories from our amazing Team London Young Ambassadors.
Sancia is involved with Grandmentors Brent as a young person, and she also runs a youth social action podcast about the experience of care leavers.
From 2 June Paul Reddish will be zipping up his Lycra and stocking up on energy bars to cycle 1000km between Edinburgh and London.
The Newcastle Passport Scheme will enable the formation of a network of volunteers who are fully recruited, trained, supported and ready to respond quickly and appropriately to the needs of the local community.
The Job Bridge project has come to an end. We are glad to announce that we have been able to achieve the aspired result. Here is what we did, in a nutshell: As part of the Job Bridge project, facilitators of learning initiatives for young people participated in an extensive training course in Göttingen in February … Continued
We’re delighted to share that today Step Up To Serve have announced that Volunteering Matters and UK Youth have formed a new consortium to deliver key functions of the #iwill movement. We can’t wait to work together to keep growing the #iwill movement and ensure young people can lead change through social action. Read the … Continued
By giving something up this #GivingTuesday and donating the money that you save to Volunteering Matters you can help our young volunteers drive local change
By Aoife Murphy, Communications Manager, with Emma-Jane Hampsheir-Gill, Gracie Chick & George Fielding As part of Volunteers Week and in time for Power Of Youth Day, we want to champion the voices of the young people who launched the Vision For Volunteering and were instrumental to the inclusion of a wide range of voices and perspectives … Continued
RESPECT Project – sourcing & donating educational packs to support families’ home-learning. One of the many things we’re doing in response to COVID is RESPECT. Based in Suffolk, our volunteers are creating activity packs for children. These are helping families with home-schooling, especially those who may not have English as their first language. The packs, … Continued
'Being an active volunteer and from being a Volunteer Manger I recognise how important mental health is and how to be open about it.'
Covering a whole range of exciting, high-impact activities, the term ‘Social Action’ can mean everything from campaigning and fundraising to volunteering. At Volunteering Matters we refuse to see young people as anything other than as asset, whose voices should be heard and ideas taken on board. This is why we focus on youth social action … Continued
At Volunteering Matters, we agree that sex and relationships education should be compulsory in schools, but we also believe that the voluntary sector can play an important role in supporting state education.
We discuss the barriers for young people becoming involved in volunteering in health and social care and introduce our social action toolkit.
The team from WASSUP went to Manchester to talk about their project and the extra problems language barriers cause for survivors of sexual abuse
Along with so many youth social action organisations and movements, we are celebrating #iwill week, marking the 2nd anniversary of the #iwill campaign for youth social action and calling on other organisations to join us. We pledged to support this growing movement that aims to make involvement in social action part of life for more 10-20 year-olds around the UK. Read more about our pledge to involve volunteers in this campaign.
Written by Laura Bell.
For Sexual Health Week, I want to share how important sexual health education is from my own experience of educating my peers in Torfaen, Wales on the Sex Matters Too project.