Step Up To Serve launch

Posted on: 21 November 2013

Today sees the launch of the Step Up To Serve initiative – a government programme with the mission to double the number of young people participating in meaningful social action in the UK by 2020. 

It’s a big ask, but we’ve got the best people on the task. Along with HRH Prince of Wales and the leaders of the three major political parties, the Step Up To Serve initiative unites youth-facing organisations from across the third sector and beyond. Student Hubs is represented as part of Generation Change, the coalition of 18 specialist youth social action organisations transforming the UK by empowering over half a million young people to take action in thousands of local communities and schools.

The situation at the moment stands thus:

  • About 29% of young people across the UK are already active in their communities. This compares with 58% in a country like Canada, where young people must show over 10% of their work has been related to social action
  • The campaign aims to increase the number of young people participating to over 50% by 2020 by increasing existing opportunities for social action and creating new ones. That’s an extra 1.7 million people engaging in social action for the first time
  • It is focused on the 8.4 million young people aged 10-20, with a specific focus on making social action a habit for life
  • Consultancy bigwigs McKinsey estimate increasing young people involved in social action from 29% to 50% in the UK can add almost 90 million hours of voluntary work per year and almost £700 million to the economy

There’s a fair few big numbers to crunch there (count the zeros if you can) – but you’ll be pleased to hear that here at Student Hubs we’ve already got our thinking caps on. In fact, we’re already well on our way.

Student Hubs is transforming the nature of student social action.

Six years into our mission, we’re supporting over 22,000 students across the country to be the leaders tackling the greatest social and environmental challenges that we face today. Through our student-led conferences and volunteering projects, youth social enterprise incubation and social impact careers programme, we are inspiring, connecting and supporting students to have a positive impact now – and to become civic leaders in their future lives and careers, too.

Our student leaders and staff team make up a group with the passion, skills and determination to change the way students and universities think about society and their role in it.

So, we’re proud to be standing alongside so many other great youth social action organisations today. Student Hubs Chairman and Imperial Hub’s Sibi Chandar are attending the launch event at Buckingham Palace; meanwhile Student Hubs and all of our local Hubs are setting our #iwill pledges, looking forward to 2020. Here’s a selection – and watch this space for more record-breaking impact to come!

Student Hubs – “We pledge to triple the number of students volunteering through our year-long high-impact volunteering programmes from 1,200 to 3,600 by 2020; and we will be engaging 100,000 university students in social action per year by 2020”

Oxford Hub – “We pledge to double the number of university students volunteering in Oxford to 1,500 by 2020”

Brookes Hub – “We pledge to increase the number of student-led volunteering projects in Oxford to 100 by 2020 – connecting with 4,000 beneficiaries in Oxford.”

Warwick Hub – “We pledge to mobilise over 2000 students to engage in social action through inspirational events and conferences. These will cover areas including climate change, social enterprise, international development, and will be run in collaboration with other student campaigning societies at Warwick where possible.”

Southampton Hub – “We pledge to train and place 400 student tutors as volunteers in local schools and libraries – to help local school children to reach their academic potential.”

You’ve seen ours – so what’s yours? Join the #iwill conversation today and tell us what change you’re going to make.

Follow @stepuptoserve to find out more.

SUTS logos

Zoe Conn

Zoe is the Fundraising and Communications Manager at Student Hubs. A recent graduate, during her time at university she was heavily involved in charity and event fundraising in her roles as sponsorship manager on her college ball committee, and as Co-Director of the Oxford Climate Forum 2012.

Tags: Policy, Social Action, Third Sector

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