November 22nd – 26th is iwill week, which celebrates the efforts of young people who are engaged in social action. At The Linking Network, we love the iwill campaign and believe that supporting young people in their natural enthusiasm to create positive changes in the world around them is more important than ever. We always enjoy seeing the huge range of actions that young people are engaged in and are inspired to look at how we turn our own values into action.
Social action is at the heart of our own Schools Linking work and we strive to find ways to connect young people to their ability to create change. It’s so important that we ensure young people are able to retain a sense of hope and optimism after such a difficult few years and key to that is ensuring they are supported to be part of the changes they see are needed in their communities.
Our Schools Linking programmes are rooted in Social Contact Theory and our collaboration with our researcher in residence, Dr Lindsey Cameron, ensures that our linking work is developed around creating meaningful interactions, collaborative activity and shared goals – all of which are key to successful and effective linking work which creates lasting impact. Supporting young people to engage in social action is a great way of creating the conditions in which young people can work with others different to themselves, in an enjoyable and positive way.
Our new Shuttle Dialogue Linking programme for Secondary schools takes young people on a journey:
- We start by exploring and celebrating their own identity and working out what’s important to them and what brings them joy.
- We then move onto values – these can be a tricky concept, but we help students explore what things matter to them and which of these are shared with other young people.
- Next, we focus on how living well together and connecting with others are crucial to creating a society where we all belong and where we can all play a part.
- Finally, we ask young people to identify a small action which they can take to help create a community where people are more connected and can get on together.
These actions vary from what young people might think of as very small steps, like smiling more or chatting to someone who is on their own, or looking for opportunities to show kindness to others. By sharing these small steps, we hope that the young people recognise that lots of small actions taken repeatedly, by a group of committed young people, create a real change which can be seen and felt by others.
If you’d like to know more about our Shuttle Dialogue Linking programme for Secondary schools, then have a look at our website or get in touch, info here: https://thelinkingnetwork.org.uk/about/
To learn more about iwill week and see some of the inspiring actions young people are engaged in across the country, have a look at the website or on social media https://www.iwill.org.uk/