Young people need to do more for society
HRH The Prince of Wales has launched a new campaign aiming to double the amount of young people taking part in social action.
Currently, only 29 per cent of young people in the UK take part in social action, compared with a massive 58 per cent in Canada.
Youth social action is defined as an activity in the service of others. This can range from charity events to restoring properties. Across business, education and the voluntary sector, not enough prominance is given to youth action, prompting a campaign across leaders from these sectors, as well as the faith and youth sectors.
Sometimes opportunities are limited due to the lack of adult volunteers rather than the enthusiasm of the youth - the Scouts, for instance, have a waiting list of some 30,000 because they don't have enough adult volunteers.
HRH The Prince of Wales would like to raise the number of young people taking part to over 50 per cent by 2020, by using leaders in various youth sectors to encourage their charges and recognise the contribution young people make.
"I have always been convinced that practical action in the service of others is of benefit both to the individual and the community", he said.
A separate government announcement made clear that there is to be new funding available for youth action groups, and that any organisation or charity engaging the youth are eligible to apply.
Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd MP said: "the benefits to society and young people would be enormous. That’s why today I am announcing new funding for youth organisations running programmes that engage young people in social action. We want to find out which existing programmes are of good quality but also to test new ways to encourage participation.”
Many young people have embraced the campaign and are enthusiastic about its implementation. Rosina St James, Chair of the British Youth Council, said: “thousands of us are ready, willing and able to get involved. We want a better, fairer society and are prepared to take social action to achieve it – so this campaign to support more of us to get involved in the things that matter is good for us and good for society”.