20 November 2013

Thursday 21 November
Today marks the launch of an historic collaboration across British society to recognise and support young people. The Step Up To Serve campaign is being launched through #iwill – a unique initiative involving HRH, the Prince of Wales and three main political party leaders, with support from businesses, education institutions, faith groups, youth organisations and voluntary groups across the UK.
Current estimates suggest 29% of young people already active in their communities in the UK. Step Up To Serve aims to double the number of young people participating in meaningful social action involving young people to over 50% by 2020.
It will do this by increasing existing opportunities and opening up new and better ones. The campaign is focused on young people from the ages of 10 to 20, with a specific focus on building a habit for life.
Social action is defined as positive action in the service of others. Getting involved in your community has significant benefits for young people, as well as benefits to society. CBI research identifies skills including optimism, determination and emotional intelligence are developed through social action and are key attributes for employability.
Chief Executive Rosie Ferguson will be attending the launch with Bethany Freeman, a young person who has been involved in a number of London Youth's programmes.
Bethany attends Samuel Montagu Youth Centre in Eltham, a London Youth member club that championed the launch of our Athan 31 and Urban Nature programmes in their pilot year.
Beth led her group in going through the stages of Athan, from building the group in stage one and buying chickens to raise in the youth club at stage two to benefit the youth club.
She and her group also brought together eight youth organisations’ youth boards from the local area to a team building event.
As part of Urban Nature Beth took the lead once again to turn a derelict part of the youth club’s garden into a coop to give the chickens a home while another part of the youth club also received a makeover with a mural to represent the youth club.
As a young volunteer in her youth club Beth helps other young people and her peers to be the best they can be and in the time she has worked with London Youth, she has always bought people together to make a difference whether big or small. 
"Not only do you enjoy being a part of these activities but you also get to gain great experience and you get to learn new skills and you get to develop within yourself. It gives young people a chance to give back to the community and help the community out in a safe environment and in a fun way".
London Youth is proud to be a part of the Step Up To Serve campaign and the pledge of support can be seen in full below.

London Youth will

·         Work with youth organisations across the capital to offer groups of young people who might not otherwise get involved in social action the chance to make a real difference in their community

·         Equip young people with the construction and DIY skills to take ownership of and transform their local youth clubs and community spaces through practical and accredited social action, that leads to employment pathways

·         Facilitate a network of good practice and support for organisations looking to develop more inclusive social action and projects run by disabled and non-disabled young people together andshare stories of diverse groups of young people making a difference

·         Support community-based youth organisations to embed youth social action approaches into their everyday work, and effectively evaluate and communicate their outcomes and impact 

For more information on the Step Up To Serve campaign go to their website www.stepuptoserve.org.uk