Youth Social Action

Too often society fails to listen to young people’s views, or recognise their ability to make a positive difference. It’s time for that to change.

Youth social action refers to activities that you can do to make a positive difference to others or the environment.

At Volunteering Matters we see young people make positive change in their communities every day.

We facilitate, celebrate, and amplify their achievements. We work to ensure that the amazing power of youth social action is in the reach of all young people, enabling them to make lasting societal change based on their own unique life experiences.

Overall statistics

Youth social action has been instrumental within Volunteering Matters for 10+ years.

There are currently 8 youth social action projects across 3 nations and 1 nationwide project.

People were engaged in these projects in 2022/2023

Our Dedicated Youth Social Action Projects

Enables young people to increase awareness of mental health issues and give them the tools and space to help themselves and others.

Through #iwill, young people make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society.

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Enables young people to unlock their potential and make change in their school and community by setting up projects on issues they really care about.

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Our Youth Social Action continued In Suffolk, working
with over 25 schools and colleges across the county.

The 12-week Young Ambassador programme, funded by Suffolk County Council, has witnessed the social mobility of over 300 young people aged 10 to 19, leading their own youth social action programmes and “giving students a lot of confidence on how to be a good leader and how to really make a difference in their school or community” – Inclusion Manager, at local primary school.

There were also additional sessions for older young people aged 17-21 from colleges and other social settings. 5 of their Youth Social Action Programmes were based around
health inequalities.

Raising awareness of domestic abuse, gang grooming and sexual violence within communities and lobbying for changes to social policy and practice on these issues.

A group shot of young people with one of them cutting a cake to celebrate 10 years of the #iwill Movement

Impact of our Youth Social Action Projects

Through our Team London Young Ambassadors programme, and with support from the Greater London Authority and the #iwill Fund, we partner with schools across London so that students design and deliver their own social action projects over a 6-week period.

The focus of this programme is on Alternative Provision schools and Special Educational Need and Disabilities (SEND) schools. The volunteers and Team London Young Ambassadors help to diversify the experiences schools offer their students, as of end of 2021/2022 year.

The Team London Young Ambassadors has been successfully delivered to 35 schools in 25 London boroughs this academic year.

  • 35 Team London Young Ambassador programmes delivered, reaching over 500 young people.
  • 34 settings in London received a £1,000 grand and delivered their own social action projects.
  • 16 PRU’s and 16 SEND’s worked with.
  • 74 teachers engaged in introductory/CPD sessions.
  • 18 volunteers engaged with the programme.
  • 2 care experienced young people have been mentored by volunteers.

Across the two-year project over 600 young people across 61 settings were able to design and deliver social action projects of importance to them and to improve their community.

Team London and WASSUP Greenwich collaborated to develop a new toolkit that challenges Toxic Masculinity. The toolkit has been created by young people for young people. So far it has been delivered to 7 people aged 16 – 21 and 25+. Colleagues are planning to deliver the workshop to Volunteering Matters internal colleagues, as part of their personal development.

Partnerships have been established with 5 local organisations through the work of the Summer Programme.

  • Supports over 25 schools and colleges across the county.
  • Witnesses the social mobility of over 300 young people aged 10 to 19, leading their own youth social action programmes.

The #iwill vision is a society that understands and champions the power of youth, where all young people are equipped and enabled to shape and lead change in their own lives and communities.

#iwill movement impact as of 2022.

  • Over 130,000 people reach by #iwill week in 2021.
  • There have been over 238 sign-ups to the Power of Youth Charter.
  • 82 new #iwill ambassadors were recruited.
  • Manchester and Ipswich became the UK’s first city and town of Youth Social Action.

Power of Youth Day 2023 – Key Headlines

  • Our theme for Power of Youth Day 2023 was ‘This is Me’.
  • 23 new organisations signed the Power of Youth Charter
  • 24 adult supporters (26+) joined the Movement.
  • 144 new young people have joined the Movement (as Champions).
  • #PowerOfYouthDay trending at #4 in the UK (up from #25 in 2022).
  • 5K Tweets using #PowerOfYouthDay from 5-7 June resulting in £20,865 free promotion

Spotlight stories

Milan On A Mission

The boy who wants every young person to have a safe place they can call home.

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A New Approach to Youth Social Action

Part of our Team London Young Ambassadors project, the student volunteers from Garratt Park School produced ‘care bags’ full of essential hygiene products to give to people in their local community.

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Youth Social Action at the YMCA

Two students at Tulip School distributed 50 hygiene care packages to their local YMCA and food bank in Dartford.

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Youth Social Action Across Other Volunteering Matters Projects

Through-out Volunteering Matters projects, young people are engaging in place-based approaches connecting them to their local communities.

  • Grandmentors Milton Keynes: In August 2022, Milton Keynes Gallery hosted an event to showcase quilts produced by Grandmentors young people taking part in the Transitional Belonging project.
  • Grandmentors Milton Keynes: Part of National Care Leaver’s Week, they hosted a creative sleep workshop aimed at promoting physical and mental benefits of good sleep.
  • Grandmentors Suffolk: Young people have taken time to be present within their local community at the Suffolk show to raise awareness of the programme.
  • Suffolk Youth Social Action Group I RISE: Includes 10 young people and in July 2022, they organised and led a Youth Conference at Suffolk University. Young people from across Suffolk showcased their Youth Social Action programme and attended workshops on the themes presented by I RISE and ongoing youth consultations.

Want to get involved with one our youth social action projects or start your own?

Get touch

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