Social action: Young people making a difference in their communities

Social Action Youth (SAY): Graffiti project at Patchway Common Skate Park.

After the success of their first wave of social action projects in South Gloucestershire, Southern Brooks Community Partnership (SBCP) has started its second wave of ‘Social Action’ mentor recruitment, focusing on young people in the local area. They are training students from schools in Patchway and Bradley Stoke as mentors, who will take on the role to inspire younger students to make positive change in their local communities.

Mentors at Bradley Stoke Community School and the Concorde Partnership are in the process of working with younger students aged 11-14, to engage and motivate them to plan and carry out different social action projects. These projects will help the young people develop new and existing skills, build positive relationships between those on project and use their new skills to complete their community work.

Previous projects have included a wide range of activities such as collections for the local food bank, decorating bat boxes for a local woodland walk, a dementia friendly art project and the installation of new park equipment to encourage local residents to increase the use of a community green space.

The Social Action Youth (SAY) pilot project, which is funded by the Cabinet Office’s Youth Social Action Journey Fund, will support 720 young people to deliver social action projects in communities across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. The project is delivered by a partnership between SBCP, Creative Youth Network and Young Bristol.

By March 2015, 240 young mentors (aged 15+) will develop leadership skills and gain an NOCN Level 2 Award in Youth Work Practice, as they support a further 480 younger volunteers (aged 10-14) to design and deliver their own community projects. Following their participation in the SAY project, the National Citizen Service (NCS) provides an opportunity for young people to continue their social action journey.

A wide range of social action projects have been delivered through SAY, reflecting the diverse needs and aspirations of different communities. These include a pop-up community café, a community nature trail, intergenerational projects to improve communal spaces in residential homes and supported housing, support for homelessness, community artwork, and fundraising for local charities.

A celebration of project outcomes and young people’s achievements will be held on 19th March at the Bristol and Bath Science Park.

For more information about SAY projects in your area, please contact Lori Ramsay or Alison Finn at SBCP on 01454 868570.

Photo: A social action youth project at the skate park on Patchway Common in 2014.

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