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21 November, 2013

Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Prince Charles pledge to double the number of young people in social action

The Step Up To Serve campaign to support young people and social action launches at Buckingham Palace today. It begins with #iwill, a vehicle for individuals and organisations from all areas of life to pledge their involvement.

Step Up To Serve (originally the Campaign for Youth Social Action, set up by Dame Julia Cleveron and Amanda Jordan) already involves HRH the Prince of Wales, Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband, with support from business, education, faith groups, youth organisations and voluntary groups across the UK.

Current estimates suggest 29% of young people are active in their communities in the UK. Step Up To Serve aims to double this to over 50% by 2020.

It will increase existing opportunities, and open up new ones, for young people between the ages of 10 and 20. Specifically, it wants to encourage social action as a habit for life.

McKinsey estimates this will add almost 90 million hours of voluntary work per year and almost £700 million to the economy.

Social action is positive action in the service of others. Many young people do it already, but there are barriers for others. For example, many are given no opportunities for it during their formative years at school.

Since 2007, the Citizenship Foundation has reached over a quarter of a million young people through its social action programmes for schools, but this is still a drop in the ocean. We want school leaders to acknowledge this campaign; we want all schools to involve their young people in social action that really makes a difference.

The Citizenship Foundation is sending one extraordinary classroom activist to the palace, from its Go-Givers primary school programme. Jack, 10, from Lamberhurst St Mary's CEP School in Kent, will attend the launch with headteacher Caroline Bromley.

The Citizenship Foundation pledges to more than double the number of young people that progress from its social action programmes in schools to social action outside the school gates.

Andy Thornton, Chief Executive of the ¬Citizenship Foundation, said:

‘We're right behind this. Doubling the number of young people doing subsequent social action will feed into the campaign's goals. We find young people are ready for it; it's time to give them the opportunities make it happen'. 

People can support Step Up To Serve in two ways:

  • Pledge a personal #iwill commitment via Twitter;
  • Volunteer for organisations that enable youth social action, via stepuptoserve.org.uk.

Please note: Step Up To Serve is not a Citizenship Foundation initiative and the launch event at Buckingham Palace was not organised by us. Step Up To Serve (hitherto Campaign for Youth Social Action) is an organisation set up by Dame Julia Cleverdon and Amanda Jordan.

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