Young people

Generating social change through Rotary and #iwill campaign

Generating social change through Rotary and #iwill campaign

Six years ago, then Prime Minister, David Cameron, wanted to see more young people involved in their community. As a result, the #iwill campaign was set up. So how has Rotary helped with this initiative?

Back in 2012 and following a review into youth social action, the Prime Minister asked how the country could support young people between the ages could of 10 and 20-years-old.

The challenge was to get more young people involved in community initiatives – campaigning, fundraising and volunteering.

That prompted the setting up in November 2013 of the #iwill campaign.

The initiative is co-ordinated by the charity, Step Up To Serve.

The shared goal is to increase social action in communities across Britain by 50% by 2020.

And the project has received cross-party support at Westminster, with Prime Minister, Theresa May announcing a £40 million #iwill fund.

She said: “I want Britain to be the great meritocracy of the world and a fundamental part of this is ensuring all young people get the best possible start to life.

“This new funding demonstrates our commitment and will be a huge boost for youth groups across the country giving young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunity to gain the experiences and skills they need to succeed in life.

“This is all part of our determination to build a country that works for everyone – to ensure that young people can go as far as their talents allow, regardless of their backgrounds.”

Rotary has not been slow with engaging in the project.

Back in February 2014, Rotary GBI pledged to back the #iwill campaign by creating 125 new Interact clubs and 300 RotaKids clubs by 2020.

Interact clubs are aimed at youngsters aged between 12 and 18 who want to connect with others in their community or school, and have fun carrying out service projects.

RotaKids focuses on the younger age group, aiming at primary school children aged between 7 and 11-years-old.

I want Britain to be the great meritocracy of the world and a fundamental part of this is ensuring all young people get the best possible start to life.”

The main aim of both groups is to introduce Rotary ideals to young people, as well as addressing citizenship, which is now a major theme in education.

Now in its fifth year, we are continuing to open opportunities across Great Britain and Ireland.

Students across the world volunteer through Interact.

Interact and Rotary members team up for a street clean up.

A small group of students raise over £500 for WaterAid – an international non-profit organisation hydrating the world with fresh water.

RotaKids is a prime example proving to communities how there is no age limit to giving back.

With the support of teachers, young people can generate social change.

Quarryhill Primary School in Aberdeen have been very active since their RotaKids club was chartered in December 2016.

They have participated in numerous activities within the community.

Recently, the team joined Santa’s little helpers in filling up shoeboxes with Christmas treats.

Meanwhile, Year 5 students at Christ Church School in Carnforth volunteered by co-ordinating a litter pick around the Lancashire town.

Many RotaKids team up with Rotary clubs around the world, even holding elections for president!

Each mini member up for presidency tells the others their plans for the year.

In Bridgend, South Wales, Burgh Primary School’s RotaKids plays an active role in the local area.

Back in June, the team of volunteers visited a care home to play games and chat to residents.

Each club does more than make an impact in their community.

Getting involved in a club develops confidence, creates new friendships and increases skillsets along the way.

With Rotary’s commitment to supporting young people, it is fully expected that the target will not only be met but smashed well ahead of the 2020 deadline.

You can inspire the next generation by getting involved in the programmes Rotary offers young people.