Speaking on Thursday at the launch of the ‘Step Up to Serve’ campaign, The Prince of Wales delivered an impassioned plea for engaging young people in community service.
In his speech to those gathered at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles stated his point with candor and a bit of humour:
“Today is the fulfilment of an ambition I have had for the past thirty-eight years – ever since I spoke in the House of Lords back in 1975 of the need for some kind of community service scheme in this country which could help to challenge, inspire and motivate young people in the service of others and, in so doing, help to build their self-confidence and self-esteem and develop their individual potential. In those days this was considered as a hopelessly, old-fashioned idea – but I suppose I have got used to that during the last thirty-eight years!”
As reported earlier on Thursday, Prince Charles called together the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader along with 50 young people and revealed a national pledge, #iwill, by way of a new collective campaign known as ‘Step Up to Serve.’
His Royal Highness referenced the Mizen family, in attendance Thursday at the launch and who tragically lost their son Jimmy in 2008:
“The Mizens are convinced – as I have been for so long – that part of the solution is in providing many more structured, constructive, challenging and adventurous opportunities for young people. However, as I scarcely need tell you, many of the youth organizations which so ably provide these activities – such as the Scouts and Guides, the Boys and Girls Brigades and cadet units of all kinds – are hampered in their growth by a lack of adult volunteers.”
Following the launch of #iwill on Twitter today, once can report that there was an immense amount of Tweets and Retweets that have occurred since #iwill went live at 1 p.m. (GMT).
This is certainly a scheme that will require time, volunteers and much support. Charles seems positive that the ‘Step Up to Serve’ campaign will be a large success:
“I think we all realize only too well that this campaign is a huge, but exciting challenge and that it may look as though we have bitten off more than we can chew! However, the important thing to recognize is that there is a lot of work to do over a long period in order to achieve in excess of fifty per cent of young people (aged ten to twenty) engaged in practical action in the service of others by 2020. It cannot all happen at once. But today we are launching what is a giant, and unique, collaborative effort. I pledge, therefore, that I will be the Patron of this national campaign and cannot thank you all enough for the pledges you have made that will help to transform countless lives and communities up and down our country.”
One believes if there is anyone who will make this campaign happen, it certainly is Prince Charles!