National Youth Social Action Survey 2017

24 April 2018

The findings of the 2017 National Youth Social Action Survey (#NYSASurvey) show that 58% of young people took part in some form of social action in the year 2017. 39% of young people took part in meaningful social action, which accounts for young people who took part and recognise the double benefit of getting involved, and who participate regularly.
This means that 19% of young people are taking part in some form of social action where they either don’t recognise the double benefit, or take part regularly enough; both important aspects of developing a habit.
There is then a need to create and scale up high-quality opportunities to target this 19%, as well as those not yet engaging in social action.

Of the 19% of young people that are taking part in some form of social action, but which is not yet meaningful social action, there is a higher proportion of 10-15 year old’s. Recent research from the Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues* shows that the younger a person engages in quality social action, the more likely that they are to make it a habit for life.
This means that there is a particular need to engage the younger age group in quality social action opportunities. Young people from less affluent backgrounds have the appetite to make a difference, with over 58% saying they would like to take part in the future, but results show that they are currently missing out on the benefits of getting involved.
51% of young people from most affluent backgrounds are participating in meaningful social action, with only 32% from less affluent backgrounds. This means that there is a need to reach young people from less-affluent communities with quality social action opportunities.

Education, friends and family affect participation in meaningful social action, with 96% of young people who take part having friends and/or family also taking part. This is particularly of note when overlaid against key transition points that show young people’s participation dropping off post-primary school, post GCSEs, and after age 18. This means that there is a need to prioritise creating opportunities that can be scaled up effectively where young people already are: through formal, and non-formal education settings, and making note of the role of family and friends.

Please click here for an overview of the findings

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