CAF is working with UCAS to make it easier for young people to get recognition for their voluntary work and social action.

Last year CAF established the Growing Giving Parliamentary Inquiry, which examined the ways that people of all ages engage with charities in the UK. The cross-party Inquiry, chaired by former Home Secretary David Blunkett, took evidence from a range of organisations and produced a series of recommendations aimed to get more people engaged in giving.

These recommendations are targeted at people of all ages, but include a number designed to provide more young people with the opportunity to experience the positives of charitable engagement. Of course, any such engagement should provide young people with something in return for their time and effort that can help them in the future.

When anyone applies to study a Higher Education course in the UK they have to apply through the University and College Application Service (UCAS).

Many young people who are committed to social action and voluntary activity are able to demonstrate this on their UCAS form, but others do not always have an understanding of how such participation can benefit their application, and how to demonstrate the additional skills that they have developed as a result of their interaction. We want to rectify this and make sure that young people who go out of their way to support a good cause are recognised for their action.

We are working with UCAS and a number of different organisations including the National Citizen Service, the Association of Colleges, the Association of School College Leaders, Step Up To Serve, HELOA (professional association of Higher Education staff) and Universities UK to make additions to the guidance that UCAS provides to prospective higher education students, in order to explicitly encourage applicants to include information about their participation in social action in their UCAS application. The aim of this is to encourage more young people to get involved in charitable and voluntary activity.

 CAF is hosting a roundtable of education and charitable sector organisations on Thursday 22nd January 2015 in the CAF office in London to make sure that this work on making additions to the guidance UCAS provides to young people and the people advising them has support and is communicated effectively.  It is great to be working with UCAS and the other voluntary and education organisations to ensure that more young people get involved in volunteering and to ensure that we enable all young people to benefit from giving back to others when applying to Higher Education. We are looking forward to seeing the impact of this work for many years to come.

Kelley Temple, Senior Campaigns and Public Affairs Officer

Posted 23 January 2015