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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

Last update: 12 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 12/08/2020 - 11:26

Volunteering is a key focus of youth policy. The remit for volunteering lies with the Office for Civil Society at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which has specific responsibility for supporting youth policy and social action as well as the National Citizen Service (see ‘National programme for youth volunteering’). Besides the  Government’s role in major initiatives, the organisation of voluntary activities is characterised by a large degree of involvement of civil society or third sector, mainly voluntary or charitable, organisations.

In 2017 the Government passed the National Citizen Service Act, which put the National Citizen Service on  statutory footing.  The #iwill fund, the national youth social action campaign, targets those from less affluent backgrounds through joint funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Society (DCMS) and the National Lottery Fund. The #iwill Fund supports the aims of the #iwill campaign, which is coordinated by Step Up to Serve, and aims to make involvement in social action the norm for ten to 20-year-olds across the UK. Since its 2016 launch over 500,000 young people are estimated to have undertaken social action opportunities as a result of the funding.

As a response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the UK government pledged £750 million in May 2020 to voluntary and community organisations (as well as social enterprises) to support their services, including youth volunteering organisations. £360 million from individual government departments to charities in England and £310 million for smaller local VCSE’s working with vulnerable people in England.