What is Social Action?
The campaign for youth social action states great youth social action should be:
Challenging: Stretching and engaging, as well as exciting and enjoyable
Youth-led: Led, owned and shaped by young people
Socially impactful: Creating positive social change that is of benefit to the wider community as well as to the young people themselves
Progressive: Progressing to other programmes and activities
Embedded: Becoming the norm in a young person’s journey towards adulthood and a habit for life
Reflective: Valuing reflection, recognition and reward
Social action project ideas:
A marketing task: Use social, digital or traditional media to raise awareness about a local issue, cause, opportunity or event e.g. tackle bullying in schools via film or blogging; raise awareness of homelessness via photography or radio; advertise opportunities or events via poster-art or on social networking sites.
A physical task: Take responsibility for improving or supporting your community e.g. clean-up of a community space; design and build a bike track on wasteland for young people; work to ensure river bank safety; restore war graves; build an outdoor reading hut for school children; work in an animal charity.
A creative task: Create something for your community e.g. short stories to explain clinical procedures to young patients; renovate a community space for the elderly; host an interactive employability skills fair for young people who are not in education, training or employment.
A social task: Bring people of all backgrounds and ages together in your community e.g. inter-generational skill swapping; music making activity to engage challenging young people; community activities to promote culture and heritage; make a sensory garden in a hearing-impaired facility; organise a football tournament for all ages.
A fundraising task: Raise money* for a local cause or event via sponsorship or enterprise e.g. hold a car boot sale to raise money for a baby’s hospice; design and deliver a business idea to support a food bank; hold a sponsored run to raise money to save community centre from closure.
*check funding body fundraising guidelines where applicable.
Choosing your project:
Own and shape a quality youth social action project. Think about and decide:
WHAT interests and talents do you have? What are you passionate about? Do you want to raise awareness about an issue, try to solve a problem, offer a service, or support a cause? Choose a project that means something to you.
WHY did you choose this project? Is there a need for your project? Is there something you would like to change?
WHERE will it take place?
WHO will be involved and what roles will they have? Remember, each Social Action Ambassador must recruit 10 to 20 other young people to help deliver the project! Also think about who will benefit from your project?
HOW will your project create a positive social change and be of benefit to young people and the community? (a double benefit!) A quality social action project should create a positive social change to both the young people and the community.