This week the Community Trusts will be celebrating #iwill week, marking the 2nd anniversary of the #iwill campaign for youth social action and is calling on other organisations to join them. Through the Football League Trust the clubs have 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.
Football clubs have been very successful at engaging young people. For example around 40 Clubs deliver the Government’s National Citizen Service (NCS) which helps a young person’s transition to becoming adult by building confidence, teaching crucial life skills and getting then involved in projects that make a difference to their community. This year over 8,000 15-17 year olds, on NCS with Football League Clubs, have taken part in over 200,000 hours of social action projects to improve their 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 The Football Clubs have pledged to support our work, and is sharing their progress during #iwill week 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 the Football League Trust 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.