Campaign aims to double the number of young volunteers by 2020

Prince Charles launches Campaign for Youth Social Action as government announces separate scheme to support youth volunteering

Prince Charles
Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales today launched a new campaign to double the number of young people volunteering in their local communities by 2020.

A statement from the Cabinet Office said the Campaign for Youth Social Action had been set up to get an additional 1.7 million young people involved "in practical action in the service of others", such as volunteering with local charities, by 2020.

Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, announced a separate scheme to award £5m of new funding to charities and social enterprises that encourage young people to volunteer.

Prince Charles will today host a meeting of leaders from the youth, voluntary, business, education and faith sectors to secure their support for the youth campaign.

The campaign is the result of a cross-sector review set up by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, which established the need for a campaign to bring together the business, education and voluntary sectors on volunteering.

Jess Tyrrell of the Campaign for Youth Social Action said the campaign would look at how schools can build social action into their classes on citizenship in order to encourage young people to volunteer with local charities. "You could have a cohort of young people who work with Age UK in their area, for example," she said.

The funding announced by Hurd will be given over two years and will go to charities, social enterprises and schools across England that run programmes that engage young people in social action.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said £4m of the funding came from the Cabinet Office and £1m from the Education Endowment Fund.

"We want to find out which existing programmes are of good quality but also to test new ways to encourage participation," said Hurd.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: "We all stand to benefit from establishing the habit of social action among young people. If we get this crucial early phase right, young people will go on to give time to their communities throughout the rest of their lives."

Cameron said: "I am delighted that the Prince of Wales is leading this campaign. There are so many different ways in which young people can learn the value of social responsibility and give something back to their communities. From working with groups like the scouts and guides – who have been pillars of our communities for more than 100 years – to embracing newer programmes such as the ground-breaking National Citizen Service."

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