As a leading UK youth charity, we work to influence debates and decisions that affect young people’s life chances and wellbeing – and to connect them with opportunities to make a positive impact on the issues they care about.
We do this by collaborating with other youth charities, building strong relationships with government departments and parliamentarians from all major parties – and, most importantly, listening to the views of the young people we support and making sure they’re heard by the people whose decisions affect their futures.
What we’re calling for: an Enrichment Guarantee
Today’s young people are amazing. They care deeply about making a positive difference to their communities and the wider world.
But they’re also facing unprecedented challenges and insecurity. Already hard hit by the pandemic and its aftermath, they’re also navigating a cost-of-living crisis, uncertain transitions from education to employment, continuing inequality, heightened feelings of loneliness, and a worsening mental health emergency.
Now more than ever, it’s vital every young person has the opportunities, tools and support they need to fulfil their potential.
But the schools young people go to, the areas they grow up in and their socio-economic background still limit their access to enrichment activities outside the classroom. Too many are missing out on potentially life-changing experiences – with knock-on effects for the UK’s economy, productivity and social mobility.
That’s why, together with our Back Youth Alliance partners, we’re calling on political parties to commit to an Enrichment Guarantee: a pledge that all young people will be given regular access to non-formal learning activities, with targeted support for those from low-income households and who have additional needs.
We need universal access to activities outside the classroom that can help young people develop vital skills, grow in self-belief and connect with their communities – something they can’t always get from school. These include non-formal learning activities, programmes and clubs, outdoor learning, trips away from home, and volunteering and social action opportunities,
At the DofE, we see every day the difference these opportunities can make to young people. They’re linked to better physical and mental health, essential skills development, social mobility and improved educational outcomes.
They give young people a safe space to have fun, meet new people, discover passions and talents and gain practical, work-ready skills – so they can thrive in future and fulfil their potential, whatever challenges they’ve faced.