This event has ended
7 December 2022, 10:30am - 3:00pm

This symposium will build understanding of how young people, policymakers, and the youth sector can work in partnership, delivering a stronger system of support for young people as they become active citizens.

This includes discussions around the National Youth Guarantee, which promises that every young person in England will have access to regular out-of-school activities, adventures away from home, and opportunities to volunteer by 2025. We will consider the challenges this poses for policymakers and the sector, and explore how to achieve meaningful and lasting impact with and for young people.

This symposium addresses three main questions:

  1. What can we learn? Discussing challenges and presenting youth-led research into the value of existing opportunities, schemes and support.
  2. What change do we want to see? Identifying gaps in policy and provision, and exploring how young people can co-produce solutions to deliver a stronger ecosystem of support.
  3. How can we work in partnership? Discussing participatory working between youth leaders, policymakers, practitioners, researchers and funders from a range of sectors.

Who is the symposium for?

The symposium will bring together youth speakers and representatives from across the UK with decision-makers, researchers, service providers and funders from government, academia, civil society, education and corporations.

What to expect

The symposium will provide a comprehensive view emerging evidence, including the voices of young people aged 11 to 25, who it is designed to serve and will most affect.

Join us to hear from leading policymakers, practitioners and youth leaders as they share learning to support youth civic participation and consider how currently siloed policies could be better connected and better delivered to benefit young people across the UK, particularly the most underserved.

Three expert roundtables will convene those at the forefront of policy, youth provision, local government and research, alongside keynote speeches from youth leaders, government officials, and members of the House of Lords.

The symposium will also provide opportunities to network and identify opportunities for further collaboration and co-production.

Interested in attending?

If you are interested in attending this event, please send an expression of interest to Dorine Mwesiga, Programme Manager, at


10.30am: Doors open, registration, tea and coffee.

11am: Welcome and order of the day by Helen Goulden, CEO, The Young Foundation.

11.10am: In conversation with Lord David Blunkett and special guests. Reflections on the 20th anniversary of the introduction of citizenship in the national curriculum.

11.35am: Opening panel: The Civic Journey and the National Youth Guarantee. What is the extent of the challenge? What change do we want to see?

12.15pm: Lunch served, delegates move into expert roundtable discussions.

12.40pm: Expert roundtables over lunch (choice of):

  • A new era of active citizenship: enhancing inclusive and sustained youth participation in democracy
  • Reimagining social action: service learning and the opportunity of new models of volunteering
  • Civic literacy for all: `citizenship education and the civic journey
  • Strengthening our communities: delivering the National Youth Guarantee in local communities

1.45pm: Tea, coffee and mince pies, return to plenary for keynote.

2pm: Panel: Designing evidence-based policy and investing impact for young people. Panellists will discuss how to shape a stronger ecosystem of support for young people.

2:45pm: Summary and close.

The Civic Journey project is funded by National Citizen Service CIC and led by the Institute for Community Studies in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and University of Huddersfield. For more information, visit


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