There is an opportunity in youth agency. Whilst there is evidence that some youth social action projects do achieve “double benefit” outcomes, it is also clear that results are very varied across the field, and that outcomes can be improved, better understood and better communicated.
Research by Ipsos MORI found that less than half of young people in the UK who gave their time to social action felt that they or others had benefited ‘a lot’ from taking part.
This shows that not all young people who do some form of giving to help others are gaining a high quality experience, and that young people who do social action infrequently and without support are less likely to want to continue doing so.
Generation Change was created out of recognition that, when delivered well, youth social action can transform the lives of those who take part.
Their mission is to make youth social action a part of everyday life for all. They do this by working with enablers to ensure universal access to high quality youth social action programmes and practices.
The Generation Change vision is for social action to be woven into every stage of growing up in the UK, and recognised and valued by colleges, universities, and employers. They believe that none of us can make this vision happen on our own – which is why we have to work together, to create an entire generation of changemakers, activists and social leaders.
They believe social action opportunities must ensure the double benefit of social action is felt, whereby the young person taking part and community they experience positive outcomes.
“Research by Ipsos MORI found that less than half of young people in the UK who gave their time to social action felt that they or others had benefited ‘a lot’ from taking part.”
Work in action
Generation Change are building a community of Impact Partners. Impact Partners are organisations that use a common impact framework and work together to use evidence and data to learn about their impact on young people and communities.
Working with research and delivery partners, Generation Change have created a rigorous impact framework to define and identify best practice in youth social action.
This helps them encourage best practice and recognise the programmes that are really making the greatest impact for young people and communities.
The Big Changers
David Reed is the Director of Generation Change, having helped to incubate the organisation since 2013. As Director, David’s role is to oversee the implementation of our partnership strategy, and to support the overall development of Generation Change, both as a collaborative movement of partners, and as an independent charity.
600,000 Young people a year do their social action through one of Generation Change’s 16 Founding Member programmes. 20,000 postcodes benefit from social action that is supported by these programmes.