You may have noticed that it’s #iwill week. From the 18th – 24th November you’ll have seen the hashtags #PowerofYouth and #iwillWeek popping up across social media. The campaign is aiming to champion the role you people can play in bringing communities together to solve common challenges.

The #iwill campaign communicates with, connects and challenges organisations across the UK so that they embed support for youth social action into their culture and practice. Here at The Linking Network, we are committed to embedding Active Citizenship and Social Action into our School Linking programmes. The benefits of social action are well researched and can be significant for children and young people in particular. Research shows that the benefits to young people participating in social action include improved attitudes about learning, a boost to empathy, and increase in their determination to succeed and continued development of vital inter-personal and organisational skills.

The definition of Youth Social Action is broad and is any activity in which young people are supported to take ‘practical action in the service of others’ (Pye & Michelmore 2017). We’re really proud to be working in partnership with iwill and have recently worked with them to pilot some of the new iwill4nature resources that the Eden project have produced with support from Pears Foundation. We took them into a local Bradford primary school where they were really well received, have a look at what the pupils at Beckfoot Allerton thought about them here! You can see the resources here .

We have a section of our Resources dedicated to supporting teachers in getting Social Action and Active Citizenship happening in your school. The issues you may choose to connect to could range from the environment to food poverty to getting involved in your local community. Have a look at the resources which can be found here. There are lots of other great resources available, check out the iwill website to get you started https://www.iwill.org.uk/about-us

There’s some great ideas to get you started and some things to think about to ensure the experience is meaningful and positive for everyone involved. At a time of significant social, economic and environmental challenge, how can we champion the role young people can play in bringing communities together to solve common challenges?