Youth social action refers to activities that young people do to make a positive difference to others or the environment. There are lots of ways in which young people can take practical action to make a positive difference.

It can take place in a range of contexts and can mean formal or informal activities. These include volunteering, fundraising, campaigning and supporting peers.

Teachers, employers, parents and other members of the community can all support youth social action.

What activities count as youth social action?
Recognising contributions as well as valuing critical reflection and learning
Stretching and ambitious as well as enjoyable and enabling
Youth led
Led, owned and shaped by young people's needs, ideas and decision making
Socially impactful
Have a clear intended benefit to a community, cause or social problem
Sustained, and providing links to other activities and opportunities
Accessible to all, and well integrated into existing pathways to become a habit for life

High quality youth social action meets the six principles outlined above.  

The examples and case studies available in this toolkit, as well as those on the #iwill website, contain lots of examples of youth social action projects. 

Activities might include:

  • Volunteering
  • Campaigning
  • Tutoring and mentoring
  • Fundraising
  • Other activities or projects through which young people come together to solve an issue or improve something in their community

The Power of the Volunteer
My social action has really built my confidence, especially in public speaking, and I will continue to take action and to inspire others to do the same.
Amy Meek, age 15
I believe youth social action will lead to real change
Alvin Owusu-Fordwuo, age 18

Read more from #iWill ambassadors