Creating Positive Social Change

Social action is young people taking practical action in the service of others……in order to create positive social change that is of benefit to the wider community as well as to the young person themselves.

Young people have the enthusiasm and energy to make the world a better place. Social action harnesses this idealism for the benefit of both the young people themselves and others around them.

Social action activities might include fundraising for a local charity, helping out at a community centre, creating a community pocket park, supporting or mentoring a younger person.

Social action volunteering also brings benefits to the people who do it. Studies indicate it builds confidence, team work skills, resilience and character – key attributes for young people to succeed in employment and in life.

NYA and social action

NYA delivers a number of successful social action programmes, including NCS and O2 Think Big. In the recent past we also delivered a Cabinet Office funded social action programme for 13-16 year olds.

Our social action programmes have a key focus on  supporting disadvantaged young people to engage.

Evaluation of our past programmes indicates that young people who have limited experiences and lower self esteem tend to be more resistant to committing to social action.

Yet when youth work professionals are able to invest in longer term interventions to overcome their barriers, the effect can be transformative. For the young people themselves, the change can be significant, leading to new opportunities and potentially a new future. Read more on this in an evaluation of our Social Action Journey  programme.

Contact us to find out more.

NYA is also a partner in the #iwill campaign. #iwill is a UK-wide movement that aims to make involvement in social action (e.g. fundraising, volunteering and campaigning) a normal part of life for 10-20 year-olds by the year 2020.



  • As a NCS delivery partner working in a consortia, we reached and enabled 8,861 young people to engage with NCS
  • In our current partnership with vInspired in NCS North East we worked with 4,328 young people to deliver 226,920 hours of social action last year.


Our latest Hear by Right training session is happening right now at our HQ in Leicester!

You're too late to join us, but you can get booked in for the next ones below:

One could also read this as “pupils who are unhappy are more likely to take drugs, drink and smoke” - context is important

We all seek coping strategies, but without many youth services there are less available to our young who are more likely to engage in risk-taking regardless

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