This afternoon at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles will call together the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader along with 50 young people to reveal a national pledge, #iwill, by way of a new collective campaign known as ‘Step Up to Serve.’
Over the next 7 years, Step Up to Serve hope they will encourage and increase participation from 10 to 20 year olds in social action activities. The plan is to pay recognition to the impact young people make on their local neighborhoods and to advocate the benefit this has to the prosperity, well-being and contentment of the country.
Beginning at 1pm today, the public will be able to pledge support on the Step Up to Serve website, as well as Twitter using the hashtag: #iwill.
Along with representatives from education, faith groups, youth organisations, businesses and other volunteer groups, The Prince will also be joined by David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.
The gathering will pledge #iwill as well as join in to commit in advocating for young people to participate in serving others.
Step Up to Serve began in 2012 upon the request of Prime Minister Cameron to analyse how to provide the avenues for social action opportunities and increase the amount of young people from the ages of 10 to 20 participating in such action. Cameron called upon Dame Julia Cleverdon and Amanda Jordan OBE to head up the review that reported the obstacles to youth social action and what needed to transpire to move forward.
In June, Prince Charles convened a meeting of various representatives from faith, educational and business groups along with Cleverson and Jordan to discuss the findings of their report and discuss what actions would be taken to increase social action participation.
“Our review proposed an independent campaign for Youth Social Action and the announcement that The Prince of Wales will lead the initiative, which is supported by all three main political parties, as well as the youth, education, faith, voluntary and business sectors, gives real optimism that we can build a national culture of youth action over time in the UK,” Dame Julia Cleverdon per Cabinet Office release, June 2013.
The results were rather grim. According to the report there was only about 29% participation in any type of youth social action. It seems a lake of opportunities has befallen this age group. With the meeting in June, the launch of this campaign and the leadership of Charles, the goal is to increase the participation rate to “over 50% by 2020 – an additional 1.7 million young people,” according to Step Up to Serve.
“It is nearly 40 years since I first spoke about the importance of young people taking on challenging opportunities to serve others in their community. I have always been convinced that practical action in the service of others is of benefit both to the individual and the community. So much incredible work has already been done in the UK. This campaign is a concerted and long term effort across all sectors to join together with young people to create more opportunities for their social action.” Prince Charles in a Cabinet Office release, June 2013.
Since 1976, Charles is well known as vigorous champion for youth, service and volunteering when he created the Prince’s Trust Charity.