Prince of Wales launches campaign to engage young people
HRH The Prince of Wales appealed to political, business and third sector leaders to secure their support for a new Campaign for Youth Social Action.
Less than a third of young people in the UK currently engage in social action, compared to over 58% in Canada. Youth social action is defined as practical action in the service of others, for example, volunteering, participating in conservation or organising a charity event.
This initiative began in early 2012, when the Prince convened a private meeting to discuss how youth social action might be developed in the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron then appointed Dame Julia Cleverdon and Amanda Jordan OBE to conduct a cross-sector review. This concluded that an independent campaign with a long-term vision and the involvement of partners in business, education and the voluntary sectors would provide the necessary stimulus.
Last week, the Prince launched the start of the campaign, which aims to double the number of young people engaged in social action to over 50% by 2020 – an additional 1.7 million young people. It will do this by encouraging, recognising and valuing the contribution that young people make, and supporting those who can galvanise a new culture of participation. The Campaign will be based within The Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation, one of the largest independent foundations in the UK.
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.”
In parallel to the campaign, the Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd MP, will announce new funding for youth organisations that run programmes to engage young people in social action. This separate government initiative will complement the wider campaign by supporting quality youth social action activity, testing new ways to encourage participation and evaluating this work. The knowledge resulting from the evaluation will be given to the campaign and made publicly available. The funding will be given to programmes that support the six principles of quality youth social action agreed by the cross-sector review and that contribute to the aims of the campaign. Charities, social enterprises and schools across England are eligible to apply.
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.”