Social action is about people coming together to help improve their lives and solve the problems that are important in their communities. It can include volunteering, giving of money, community action or simple neighbourly acts.
Through the passion and skill of citizens, social action can empower communities, help people in need and complement public services. Taking part in social action is also associated with higher levels of wellbeing, and can improve people’s confidence and skills.
There is potential for social action to play a greater role and for more people to get involved. We’ve identified ways to help create and encourage social action – making it easier for more people to work together to benefit their community and the lives of those within it.
To encourage people to get involved in their communities, and to develop social action projects, we are:
supporting high impact social action initiatives to grow through the Centre for Social Action: we have invested £36 million in 215 projects such as helping young people to reach their potential and supporting older people to age well and our partnerships have led to an additional £31 million investment
putting more power and resources in the hands of communities to help them respond to issues that matter to them through our community programmes such as Community Organisers and Community First
working to make giving money to good causes as easy and compelling as possible through new incentives such as on Gift Aid and Community First Endowment Match Challenge, and supporting innovation through our £10 million Innovation in Giving Fund
helping young people to develop skills and make a difference in their community through the National Citizen Service, a full-time programme for 16 and 17-year-olds in England that encourages personal and social development
supporting the #iwill campaign to increase by 50% the number of young people aged 10 to 20 taking part in youth social action: our support includes £21 million funding to create more opportunities to get involved in social action
For further information on what social action is, the powerful impact it can have and an update on some of our programmes to support it, read the discussion paper Social action: harnessing the potential.
Find out more about our work to promote social action: