Helping young people understand that they have the ability to influence the world around them is incredibly empowering. Being involved in 'social action' has rewards for the individual as well as society.

What is Social Action?

Social action involves individuals and likeminded people coming together to address a societal problem or issue important to their local, national or global community.

It involves people giving their time and other resources for the common good, as they hope to help improve lives and tackle inequality or injustice. Activities vary based on the social issue, but can range from volunteering, awareness raising, community organising, social enterprise or simple neighbourly acts.

Young Citizens is an authoritative voice on youth social action. We've been exemplar programmes for more than a decade. We were recently awarded the Impact Accelerator award by Generation Change for our outstanding interventions. Take a look at our offers below to help develop young people’s agency.

Ways to get involved:

Make a Difference Challenge (Key Stage 2)

The Make a Difference Challenge is an active citizenship project that supports SMSC, community cohesion and Pupil Voice in primary and middle schools.

The pupils select a cause democratically. This may be related to their local community, a global issue or anything in between. They then plan a campaign, which may involve fundraising or taking direct action.

The children get a real understanding of the issues. They learn to empathise with those who are disadvantaged. The Challenge culminates in a celebration day that then brings schools together to share their stories.

Read more about the difference young people make and register your school's interest in getting involved in the Make a Difference Challenge.

‘Having the chance to respond to an issue that is affecting lives in the community they live in, has been very empowering for the children. It goes to show that just because you are young it does not mean you can’t take action!’
Teacher, Durham

The Big Vote (Key Stage 1 & 2)

After ten years of running the Go-Givers Make a Difference Challenge, we looked at the top ten causes that children had addressedWe then invited primary children from across the country to take part in ‘The Big Vote’. The aim? To discover the issue of greatest concern to our nation’s children.

Cancer proved to be the issue with the most votes. We are now working with focus groups of children and prominent cancer charities to bring youth voice to the attention of our political representatives and the public. Activities will culminate in an event during National Democracy Week 2nd – 6th July 2018.

Register your school's interest to get involved.

Circle of Life (Key Stage 3 & 4)

The ‘Circle of Life’ project has been set up by Disney Theatrical Productions in partnership with Young Citizens to run through the 2017/18 academic year.

This project aims to capture the values of The Lion King the Musical and to inspire our youngest citizens to become the next generation of community leaders.

Discover more on the dedicated Circle of Life project website and get your school involved. Limited places remain.


Giving Nation (Key Stage 3 & 4)

Giving Nation began in 2001 as a national youth volunteering initiative that was funded by government. In 2003, it moved to Young Citizens to take a greater education focus.

Giving Nation helps young people learn about charities, social enterprise and individual giving as part of the school curriculum. It can be used in a number of national curriculum subjects, including citizenship, PSHE, English and maths.

Since then, more than 250,000 students in 1,000 secondary schools have run projects in support of others. If you would like to access the free teaching and learning resources go to the Giving Nation website.

National Citizens Service (Post-16)

For the past six years we have been supporting the National Citizens Service (NCS) by offering specialist training on the social action element of the programme.

We offer either direct delivery to young people or a train-the-trainers model.

If you are a regional or local delivery partner get in touch to discuss your needs