Youth social action

Bringing young people together to help improve life in their local community is the biggest area of our youth work. We have a range of opportunities for both individuals and groups.

Group of girls on work experience in Leeds, laughing and chatting while collecting litter Work experience group in Leeds

We know that young people are motivated and passionate. With the right opportunities and support, they can achieve amazing things.

Our projects give young people the chance to help communities see the benefits of their local canal or river, and improve their wellbeing. Caring for the waterways encourages a connection to nature and a sense of concern for the environment, which is vital if future generations are to continue protecting our network.

We’re proud to support other partners across the youth sector and have added our name to national campaigns and movements including #iwill and the Power of Youth.

What does great youth social action look like?

The #iwill campaign used research to create six principles that should underpin youth social action. We use these to guide our youth engagement work.

Great youth social action will:

  • be youth-led
  • be challenging
  • have social impact
  • allow young people to progress on to other opportunities
  • be embedded in a young person’s life
  • enable young people to reflect on the value of the activity

The higher the quality of the social action, the more likely it is to demonstrate ‘double benefit outcomes’. This means that it benefits the young person who takes part by developing their skills, character and life opportunities, as well as creating tangible benefits to a community, cause or social problem.

Last date edited: 13 October 2020