In 2012, the Prime Minister asked Dame Julia Cleverdon and Amanda Jordan OBE to review how to increase the quality and quantity of youth social action. After a wide-ranging consultation their report highlighted the barriers to youth social action and produced a set of recommendations.
Barriers included a shortage of activities in education from 10 upwards; confusion in the education and business sectors about the kind of initiatives they could support; failure to promote and inspire young people to take part; and an absence of a coherent vision to promote a culture of youth social action.
The recommendations were to create an easy to navigate “service journey” for young people; scale up programmes to fill gaps in provision; embed social action in young people’s educational experience (school, further and higher education); develop a culture of promoting and celebrating youth social action comparable to effective programmes run in other countries around the world.
The review concluded that an initiative uniting organisations and the public should be set up to increase opportunities for young people. This initiative should be time limited, add to existing activity, and be a research and advocacy body, not one running programmes itself.
This initiative is #iwill, it has cross-party support and comprises over 1000 organisations and 700 young people.
It was coordinated by the charity Step Up To Serve between 2013 and 2020. It has now grown into a self-organising movement and from 2021 key support functions are delivered by Volunteering Matters and UK Youth. Find out more about this transition and how it happened.