More than 2,250 young people have been introduced to social action thanks to our Social Action Journey programme which ends in April 2015. Funded by the Cabinet Office and supported by O2 Think Big, the programme aimed to get disadvantaged 14-17 year olds to develop their role in the community and explore what they can offer others.
Employing youth workers, both qualified and young apprentices, NYA engaged young people in social action and made it relevant to their lives. The project sessions explored what social action is, built digital skills and competence and provided an introduction to the National Citizen Service.
Over 15 months NYA worked with more than 50 groups to introduce them to volunteering and social action. A great example is the activity carried out with the Nottingham University Hospitals Youth Service (NUHYS) to support them in their social action journey.
NUHYS works with young people between 13-25 with long term health conditions and disabilities. They work with young people facing issues like building relationships with medical staff to having the power and the confidence to say no to a medical procedure that they do not understand.
The young people established Young People 4 Change to develop a social action project within the hospital and received funding support from Think Big. The young people decided to produce a series of videos covering a range of issues around young people staying in hospital, including places they might find themselves whilst in the hospital such as an operating theatre and how to get involved in the youth club.
They have also developed an app for the youth service, which gives them a platform to show their videos and a place to confidentially get in touch with professionals they may need outside of the medical team.
Aaron Sparks, who was involved in Young People 4 Change, said “[The project] has given me the opportunity to gain more confidence in talking to large groups of people. I was asked to speak on behalf of the group at the creative collisions conference. I was nervous but it was great to talk about the project and let others know that they can do the same
“It is really hard to get involved in projects at the moment because of money. Without Think Big we wouldn’t have been able to make our videos and reach the number of young people that we have. It’s a real sense of achievement.”