On behalf of the Cabinet Office and Step Up to Serve, Ipsos MORI surveyed 2,021 10-20 year olds in September 2015 to determine the proportion of young people involved in social action in the UK.
The term ‘youth social action’, in this context, is defined as ‘practical action in the service of others to create positive change’ and covers a range of activities such as fundraising, supporting charities, tutoring and mentoring, supporting other people, and campaigning for causes. This survey follows a baseline survey in 2014 to provide an update on how participation in social action is changing over time, with the intention to track participation until 2020. The surveys will inform, and help to measure the progress of, the #iwill campaign run by Step Up To Serve, which aims to raise the number of 10-20 year olds in the UK involved in meaningful social action by 50% by 2020.
Some 42% of young people had participated in the headline measure of meaningful social action in the past year, which was similar to 2014 participation rates (40%). Another 17% had participated in social action infrequently over the past year. The research highlighted that almost all young participants in social action feel a ‘double benefit’ (93%), in that they say they benefitted personally and considered that other people benefitted from their activities. The most commonly cited personal benefit of taking part in youth social action is that young people enjoy helping others (mentioned by 71% of those who felt a personal benefit).
Thirty-one percent of young people said they had never done social action. The most commonly-given reason for their non-participation was that it had never occurred to them to take part or they don’t know how to get involved in social action (mentioned by 41%).
The main survey fieldwork was conducted from 2-19 September 2015 by LVQ Research Ltd. Interviews were conducted face to face in respondents’ homes. Trained interviewers introduced the survey, gained parental consent for under-16s to participate, and administered the survey. A random location quota design was used in order to achieve a nationally representative sample. Data are weighted by age within gender, region, and the family socio-economic status.