#Iwill Promote Youth Social Action

Last year, HRH the Prince of Wales launched Step Up To Serve and the #iwill campaign, setting an ambitious goal to make participation in social action the norm for 10-20 year olds by 2020. This is a remarkable challenge for our nation that calls on contributions from everyone in society to achieve.

The #iwill campaign is a call to action is for more business, education, public and voluntary sector organisations to recognise the capacity of young people to make a difference and pledge to empower them to do so.

Enactus UK has pledged to support the Step up to Serve #iwill campaign. The #iwill campaign promotes social action among 10-20 year-olds. This includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which create a double-benefit – to communities and young people themselves.

Enactus UK pledges to:

  • Support, Inspire & recognise 2,000 students aged 18-20 across 59 Universities across the UK to take practical action in the service of others both locally and globally through our Enactus programme for social entrepreneurs by 2020.

  • Champion the #iwill campaign at our national competition to over 3,000 students in April 2018.

  • Collaborate with #iwill partners to inspire even younger students to get involved in social action and Enactus.

  • Encourage our members to involve young people from less affluent backgrounds to get involved in social action by acting as role-models.

  • Promote and encourage Enactus participants and Alumni to be #iwill ambassadors.

Youth Social action has a double benefit for both communities and the students who take part. Step up to serve has found good evidence on young people’s development of employability skills, personal networks, and the confidence to seek work as a result of involvement in social action. Enactus UK backs up this claim, the top skills students develop are people management and teamwork, communication and presentation, and leadership and are considered to be more employable than students who haven’t been involved in youth social action.

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There is a ‘moral imperative to ensure the opportunities to take part are available to all young people, yet research suggests that participation in social action is unequal, particularly in socioeconomic terms. Socioeconomic background is historically one of the strongest influences on whether or not young people and adults participate in social action, Statistically half of students from affluent backgrounds aged 8-15 were involved in volunteering from less affluent backgrounds.

Enactus UK has operated primarily in universities since its inception in the UK, however this year we have expanded into schools, reaching and involving students aged 14 to 18 in youth social action from an early age and whilst breaking down some of the primary barriers to involvement such as financing, a lack of role models and negative expectations towards young people. A programme we are really excited to develop in the future and further the Step up to serve cause.

Involving young people in social action is a way to address the lack of social integration, according to the Social Integration Commission; and the lack of social integration costs our economy £6 billion, or approximately 0.5% of GDP, each year.

To find out more about the #iwill campaign click HERE.

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