We have been funded by Clarion Futures, the Cambridgeshire Community Fund, ARM Cambridge Community Fund and Dulverton Trust Fund to promote Social Action amongst young people. The aim is for us to help young people inspire other young people to get involved in volunteering and social action. This not only involves the young people helping their community, but also planning and running their own social action conference which will be on the 5th October 2018.
The #iWill campaign promotes social action amongst young people. Social Action is about people coming together to improve their lives and solve the issues that affect their communities. This can include activities such as volunteering, giving money, community action or just simple neighbourly acts.
Social action projects are carried out by individuals or groups of people working together for the good of others and not for profit. The objective of the project is to bring about social change that will benefit an individual, communities or society. We want to give young people an opportunity to connect and make a positive contribution to their community, have a voice, feel valued, listened to, increase resilience, increase confidence, increase self esteem, increase aspirations and reduce isolation. This is important especially in rural, less affluent areas where young people may have less opportunities to engage in their community, due to a lack of resources, family structure, low income, rurally isolated or culture and prejudices. We are working with year 5 and year 8 children to give them the opportunities that can be accessed through taking part in social action. These young people will become Junior, Community or Arts Ambassadors.
Our project runs from now until September, where we will start with different year 5 children, until the following September. The young people have chosen certain areas and researched them to see what issues the area faces and what effect these issues have on the community. Categories such as animals, environment, older people, young people, reading and events were explored to see what the issues would be, and how they can be solved.
The young people will have the opportunity to plan events and activities as a part of this social action project, combatting certain issues within their community.
They have already organised and participated in a coffee morning with activities around their chosen areas and have also had day trips out to learn and plan more. Currently, they are planning a festival, trips to a residential home for the elderly, a trip to an animal shelter, nature reserves and recycling centres. This project will bring them opportunities to look at what they would like to achieve and see it followed through giving them a sense of achievement and hopefully increasing their aspirations.