More than ever the future of our communities and our society – even our planet – depends on empowering the next generation to become active citizens.
We all know the serious challenges our society is facing, as confidence in democratic systems is undermined, contempt for institutions grows, and communities become more polarised. The health of our democracy is dependent on young people becoming active, engaged and motivated citizens.
Over the past year we’ve taken a careful look at the work we do to help prepare young people for life within wider society. We recognise the growing need to help the next generation learn constructive critical thinking, to develop their power as change-makers and to support their social and moral development.
Since 1989 the Citizenship Foundation has helped thousands of young people understand society’s democratic structures, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. But in these unusual times it’s no longer ‘business as usual’ for us – and we’ve challenged ourselves over the next decade to help more young people than ever gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to be active citizens and make a positive contribution to their communities. (See our Strategic Plan.)
If we’re to achieve this, we need to reach more schools and other organisations that work with young people, so they can know about and access our fantastic citizenship programmes and resources in areas such as the law, politics, the economy, Brexit and the media. It’s also imperative that young people understand how to address injustice through their own effective social action.
We want to make it easier than ever for schools and their students to benefit from our programmes and services. Last year we asked people (particularly teachers) how they thought we could do this. In the process we asked what they thought about our brand. The answer we got back was clear: that it should be more focused on those we’re seeking to benefit – the young people themselves.
We decided that this clear answer needed a radical response – befitting of the challenge we’ve set ourselves to increase the impact we have for young people.
So this year, we’re launching a new brand – Young Citizens – which will be an umbrella for all of the work that we do for young people, especially in schools. While the official name of our charity will remain The Citizenship Foundation, we will increasingly use Young Citizens as the brand to bring together and promote all our programmes for young people – particularly in primary and secondary schools.We’ve chosen a vibrant, sparky and colourful look for the new brand – which reflects the exciting programmes that we run, and our optimism that we can create a step-change in young people’s knowledge, skills and confidence to become positive community leaders.
We’re very grateful to have had access to the skills of a top branding professional free of charge. We’ll be introducing the new brand slowly – mostly replacing materials as internal capacity permits – as we want to focus our efforts on our programmes and teaching resources. One of the first changes you’ll see is a new website (which has been built thanks to a grant from the Transform Foundation), which we’ll be launching very soon.
If you’re excited about our work and believe as we do that every young person has the right to opportunities to be an active citizen, please sign up for our latest news and offers.
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