Why we’re doing this

Building Character through Youth Social Action

Through a dedication to social action the character of young people and the communities they live in can be transformed. 

Schools and colleges are often exciting melting pots of inspiration and activity where young people have the support, structures and stimulation to pursue their passions and turn their ideas into action.  They also provide a fantastic forum for educators to share best practice, students to learn from one another and a platform from which to celebrate the incredible contributions young people can make in their communities and wider society through their social action.

Great education leaders already know that the purpose of education reaches well beyond academic achievement and that providing opportunities for their students to engage in social action can transform young people – developing positive character qualities as well as improving community cohesion.

Recent research shows…


  • 81% of secondary school pupils want their school to do more to help them get involved in social action
  • 67% of employers say candidates with social action experience demonstrate better employability skills
  • Yet only 42% of 10-20 year olds in the UK are currently participating in social action
  • 74% of those participating say they first got involved through school or college

Our aim is to encourage more school and college leaders across the country to embed youth social action into their vision and practices. We hope that through this collation of our ideas and practices that you too will be inspired to make an #iwill pledge to say what you will do to support more youth social action in the UK.

#iwill is a cross-party, cross-sector campaign whose ambitious goal is to make youth social action the norm for 10-20 year olds across the UK by 2020.
To find out how other sectors are supporting #iwill, go to iwill.org.uk

How will you support
Youth Social Action?

Make a pledge today