Student Hubs is celebrating Share Your Pledge Day today as part of the #iwill campaign, and calling other organisations to join them in supporting youth social action. 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. Youth social action is defined as ‘young people taking practical action in the service of others to create positive change’ and includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering.
- Increase the number of students volunteering in our high-impact year-long social action programmes to 3,600 by 2020.
- As a founding member of Generation Change continue to work with other frontline delivery organisations to embed social action in young people’s lives: ensuring that high-quality voluntary action taken by children and teenagers continues while they are at university and into adulthood.
- Build capacity in higher education institutions to value, support and sustain thriving communities of students engaged in social action. By 2020, we will be engaging with 100,000 students across 20 university Hubs.
- Use our on-the-ground delivery model we will work to add to our existing research into the student social action landscape; and advocate for student-led, impact-driven social action at a national level. The aim of this will be to increase the proportion of student social action from 30%, where it has plateaued for many years.
- Leverage our corporate partnerships to increase the number of ‘unusual suspects’ participating in social action as students. While employability is often an incentive for these students to volunteer, we will use our critical engagement model to position a desire to make a difference at the centre of all of our volunteers’ social action.
Since pledging to the #iwill campaign, we have successfully supported 1100 students to partake in our year long high impact volunteering programmes. We’ve also successfully engaged unusual suspects with our work – 18% of all students who engaged with us this academic year have not been involved in social action before.
At Student Hubs, we’re delighted with our progress in working towards our goals set out in our #iwill pledge. We’re particularly proud of our work engaging students who haven’t been involved in social action before. We want to help students progress from disengaged to taking leadership roles on social action projects, and this statistic shows that we are making significant progress. Our new Theory of Change will cement our behaviour change methodology, focusing on double benefit and ensuring our work supports student leaders to make a real difference in their local communities.
2015 Cabinet Office research produced compelling evidence that young people who take part in social action develop key character and employability skills. It follows on from this that involvement creates a double-benefit, strengthening communities and enhancing the skills of young participants.
Charlotte Hill, CEO of the charity running the #iwill campaign says: “We are delighted that Student Hubs has pledged to support our work, and today is sharing their progress to inspire others to take part also. If we are to make involvement in social action the norm for 10-20 year-olds we need partners to commit to tangible actions just as they are doing. The involvement of Student Hubs will undoubtedly help us progress towards our goal.’
Working with business, education and voluntary sector partners, the campaign aims to ensure that all young people can access social action opportunities, whatever their background. The #iwill goal is to raise by 50% the number of 10-20 year-olds taking part in social action by 2020, which will mean an additional 1.5 million young people will be active in their communities.