We’ve heard about the Big Society, but what does it mean?

As government hands power over to its citizens urging them to take greater ownership of their local community, there has been little guidance available as to how young people can contribute.

As the ‘Big Society’ is dependent on many factors, one key way to build ‘tomorrow’s citizens’ as recently put by  Tim Loughton, Junior Children‘s Minister, is that you “get more bang for your buck” when consulting with youth on their local communities.

This is a view that Giving Nation has voiced for the last six years as we‘ve been supporting secondary schools across the UK in contributing to their communities through volunteering, campaigning and social action projects. Thousands of young people have chosen to give their time, energy and voice through charitable giving to benefit others.

In developing employability skills such as  advocacy, team building, self-confidence, business and social understanding, our younger citizens are providing a positive impact to causes that matter to them. In aims of providing opportunities and empowerment of young people, the ‘Big Society’ encourages a spirit of volunteerism and deeper community engagement. The Giving Nation programme achieves these results by building active and social engaged citizens.

Using the social enterprise model, students from the ages of 11-16 are encouraged in their classrooms to build social action projects that provide a product or service for the benefit of their local community.

With a start-up fund of up to £450 per school, classes are tasked with developing a campaign and activity to raise awareness and money for their chosen charitable causes. With over 550 schools, 100 000 students engaged and £30 000 in school grants waiting to be claimed Giving Nation is continuing to grow and promote young people‘s contribution to a big society vision.

Want to get involved?

Giving Nation offers bespoke local authority and school training opportunities as well as direct delivery through assembly launches and school‘s competition judging.

Watch out for our new web launch on 3rd November which includes new resources and tools.

Visit  www.g-nation.org.uk or contact us at info@g-nation.org.uk for more information.

Views expressed on this blog are not necessarily those of the Citizenship Foundation.

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