The National Youth Social Action Survey 2019 was conducted in the winter of 2019, before the COVID-19 Pandemic. During face-to-face interviews with researchers from Ipsos MORI, children and young people are asked to reflect on their participation in social action over the last 12 months, as well as how they view themselves in relation to their community and society.
There are also new and interesting findings which present both opportunities and challenges for the #iwill movement as it transitions into its next phase. These include:
What is the survey?
The National Youth Social Action Survey was established in 2014 to build an understanding of the trends and drivers of participation in youth social action amongst 10 to 20 year olds in the UK.
It exists to help those working to provide social action opportunities to better understand how and why children and young people get involved in social action if they do, or reasons for not taking part if they don’t.
The survey is commissioned by DCMS and conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the #iwill campaign. It was specifically developed for 10-20 year olds to understand the range of ways they are engaging in social action. Interviews are conducted with over 2,000 10-20 year olds across the whole of the UK each year.
Every year the survey questionnaire and analysis is shaped by a collective of organisations and young people supporting the aims of the #iwill campaign – a movement aiming to support and empower all children and young people to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society.
For the purposes of the survey, young people have taken part in ‘meaningful social action’ if they have:
- Been involved in social action in the past 12 months.
- Participated in social action at least every few months or taken part in a one-off activity lasting more than a day in the last 12 months.
- Recognised a benefit to themselves and others and/or the environment because of their social action.
Headline Findings Since 2014
Since 2014 when the survey began there have been several consistent findings which are helping to shape the way youth social action opportunities are delivered. Some of these include:
- The vast majority of children and young people care about making the world a better place and believe they can make a difference.
- Roughly 5 out of 10 children and young people are taking part in social action. However, only 4 out of 10 children and young people have taken part in ‘meaningful’ social action.
- There is a significant and persistent gap in participation between children and young people from low-income backgrounds and their wealthier peers which needs to be addressed.
- Children and young people would be more likely to take part if they had more encouragement and could take part with their friends.
- Children and young people are most likely to say they got involved in social action through school and college.
- The participation gap between different income backgrounds closes significantly if children and young people take part in social action through school or college.