The Social Action Journey Fund (SAJF) is a programme that has been introduced to aid young people’s development within their role in a community and will explore what it is they can offer to others.
Young people volunteer their time to take part in a combination of activities exploring the ‘how, what, where and why’ of social action. The young people are supported in planning small activities that groups can do together or as individuals. Young people will build up digital skills and competence, during the latter stages of the programme young people will be introduced to the National Citizen Service and O2 Think Bigger. “Young people will leave the session feeling motivated and inspired about leading social action and volunteering” (Social Action Journey Fund, 2014).
Social action is so broadly defined and can be measured in a number of different ways. The social Action Fund has previously supported over 700 youth led projects and placed £200,000 directly into the hands of young people to resource their big ideas and make a real difference to communities whilst developing their skills, confidence and resilience. Young people are creating positive change through social action; examples of these are displayed on the O2 Think Big website.
Social action naturally explores interests, hobbies and young people’s skills. Social action helps young people develop a level of social awareness, a sense of belonging and will also strengthen young people’s social bonds within their community. Whilst involved in social action and volunteering young people will naturally develop skills in various areas, this could be anything from communication skills to ICT and digital skills this will also broaden career prospects for the young people involved.
By getting young people involved in social action and volunteering we are equipping them for their future, everyone has their own tool belt of skills and experience, the bigger the tool belt the better.
Youth Work Intern for the Social Action Journey Fund