The Prince's Trust is supporting a new volunteering campaign which will be launched by HRH The Prince of Wales and the UK’s political leaders at Buckingham Palace today.

Step Up To Serve is a new collaborative campaign to increase opportunities for young people to get involved in volunteering.

It will be launched in conjunction with a national pledge initiative called #iwill which will include personal commitments from HRH The Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and 50 young volunteers from across the UK.

New research published by think tank Demos shows an estimated 29 per cent of UK young people currently participate in social action, through which they develop self-discipline, resilience and empathy.

Step Up To Serve aims to double the level of participation to over 50 per cent by 2020 through expanding existing opportunities, encouraging new ones and overcoming the barriers that stop young people getting involved. It will encourage 1.7 million more young people aged ten to twenty to make social action a habit for life.

However, more adult volunteers are needed to help young people get involved in volunteering. For example, an estimated 80,000 young people are waiting to get involved in social action but organisations like the Scouts, Girlguiding and DofE need more adult volunteers to satisfy the young people on their waiting lists.

The campaign launched today will help tackle this by calling for adults across the UK to sign-up and volunteer at the website. They can also pledge a personal #iwill commitment and share it on Twitter to help get more adults involved.

At The Prince’s Trust, we have pledged to double the number of young people volunteering on our programmes by 2020.

Martina Milburn CBE, Chief Executive, The Prince’s Trust, said:

“Every year, thousands of young people volunteer in their communities as part of a Prince’s Trust course. Volunteering gives young people the chance to make a positive contribution to society, while also helping them gain the skills and confidence they’ll need to find work.

We are proud to support the step up to serve campaign, which recognises the potential of volunteering to transform young lives and communities.

HRH The Prince of Wales commented:
"I have been saying for 40 years that we need a campaign to promote youth social action and all the benefits it brings.

Now finally we are at that moment where we have complete cross-party, cross-sector support to help youth organisations across the country increase opportunities to help young people get more actively involved.

"By working together, I’m sure we can reach our target of 50 per cent involvement by 2020.”

Make your personal pledge to support the campaign