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Growing youth social action in health and social care

Social action, including volunteering, fundraising and campaigning, creates a double benefit for those who take part and the communities they are helping.

Young people have great potential to make a positive impact on their communities by getting involved in social action. They have the ability to make a significant difference to serious issues, from loneliness to bullying to mental health and the stigmas attached to it. Young people tend to have a broad, positive ideology when it comes to making changes and we should do all we can to help them utilise this.

The benefits of social action are reciprocated, as young people’s involvement can help them develop valuable employability skills, boost their access to further education and training, and support enhanced wellbeing.

Currently 4 in 10 young people aged between 10 and 20 in the UK get involved in social action, but almost double this number of people would like to contribute more to their communities, given the chance. However, particularly in less affluent communities, there can be obstacles that restrict their ability to get involved. The #iwill campaign seeks to enable all young people to participate in social action and benefit from their involvement.

In 2018, marking the NHS’s 70th anniversary, there is a particular focus on the role of youth social action in health and social care settings. Supported by sector leaders with activities taking place across the UK, this is the year to get involved and champion the role of young people in building positive, healthy communities.

There are three main strands of activity that support youth social action in health and social care:


Make an #iwill pledge

Support these aims? Head over to here and make your own #iwill pledge to support more young people to get involved in health and social care related social action. Pledges we receive from health & social care organisations this year will also be contributing to the broader NHS70 volunteering campaign.

You can see the list of organisations that have already done so within health and social care here.

Growing young volunteers in hospitals: Pears Foundation and the #iwill Fund

Beacon Areas

To support growth in youth social action within health and social care, we are working with seven areas across England that are prepared to take a lead on showcasing and promoting the impact young people have on health and social care throughout 2018: Birmingham, Bristol, South East London, Newcastle, Sheffield, Dorset and Suffolk.

As a Beacon Area, each area is committing to do the following during NHS70:

  • Capturing and showcasing existing activity that highlights the impact of young people in health and social care
  • Developing new, sustainable activity that supports each of the three themes of the campaign’s health and social strategy
  • Hold a celebration event during #iwill week in November 2018
  • Take part in the Public Conversation campaign
  • Take part in Big Lunch

Youth social action in health and social care has the support of leaders from key organisations such as NHS Improvements, 

Ruth May (Chief Nurse for NHS Improvement)

and NHS England:

Sir Bruce Keogh (former Chief Medical Officer for NHS England; now Chair of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals)

Young People leading the way

Some of our #iwill Ambassadors are already engaged with youth social action in health and social care settings. Taking the lead in their communities to grow youth voice, or be health champions, or fundraise for charities relating to health issues. Take a look at some of their stories here, and search for ‘#NHS70’.

NHS70 Resources

More resources will be coming here soon, in the meantime check out pdfs below of the four latest webinar presentations from NHS England on youth social action:

Webinar Presentation 1: Introduction to NHS70 Youth Volunteering 
Webinar Presentation 2: Youth Volunteering and Social Action Case Studies (NHS70) 
Webinar Presentation 3: Recruiting and Managing Young Volunteers (NHS70) 
Webinar Presentation 4: The Impact and Value of Youth Volunteering and Social Action (NHS70)