The first ever Giving Week is intended to celebrate the way young people can shape the world for the better.
Young people are generous. When asked in a recent survey if they'd given to a good cause the last time they'd been asked, 80 per cent said yes. Girls were more likely to have given than boys (87 versus 74 per cent) but a lot of this generosity is quite secretive. Most of the young people questioned believed that only one in three of their friends had given to charity in the past six months. In fact, two out of three of those polled had actually given.
But who are the role models that make young people so generous? The answer is mothers. Nearly three-quarters of those questioned reported seeing their mothers giving time or money to charity and many named them as the ones who do most to help others.
Another way young people in secondary schools are being encouraged to do more themselves to help is G-Week. Organised by Giving Nation (run by The Giving Campaign, an organisation supported by both Government and the voluntary sector) it aims to show the wider world how much young people already do - whether through sponsored walks, non-uniform days or by joining in events such as Comic Relief.
Giving Nation is offering 12 awards of pound;1000 to kick-start next year's fund-raising events. One school will win the chance to send a group of pupils on an expenses paid overseas trip to see a British Red Cross project in action. A free resource pack containing resource cards, teachers notes, citizenship curriculum links and ideas for G-Week (plus details of the awards) is available at www.g-nation.co.ukteachers Tel: 020 7839 9260.
Giving needn't involve money. TimeBank encourages and co-ordinates the volunteering of time to help local projects or national campaigns. Details at: www.timebank.org.uk