One of the four key priority areas in our MYT Theory of Change is to develop active citizenship. We want young people and their families to have the opportunity to create and make their own change in the world and we call this social action.
The most recent national data shows that under a third (29%) of those aged 16 to 24 in England and Wales are involved in some form of regular formal volunteering. UK participation rates are much lower than those in leading countries such as Canada where 58% of young people are involved and within MYT we are determined to change this. Why you may ask? Well, the most significant areas of impact shows youth social action:
- Improves young people’s skills, character and employability:
- Strengthens social bonds and integrates young people who are on the margins, thereby reducing crime and anti-social behaviour;
- Increases other dimensions of active citizenship, like formal political engagement;
- Strengthens emotional, behavioural and social wellbeing which in turn leads to higher levels of educational attainment and more engagement in school
Since July 2013, over 200 young people (aged 16 plus) have taken part in programmes with MYT. They have undertaken six separate weeks of residential activity and the impact is that young people have given over 4,500 hours to social action projects. We have now joined forces with CVS Medway and Volunteer Centres in Rochester and Gillingham to boost youth social action in Medway between 2014-2017 and we have also received a generous grant from Colyer Fergusson Charitable Trust to develop international social action projects.