Recent figures show under a third of young people in England and Wales are involved in regular volunteering. It begs the question: what additional benefits are the other 6 million 16 to 24-year-olds missing out on?

This paper for the Cabinet Office analyses who already heeds the call for youth social action in a variety of international settings, and what benefits should encourage others to get involved. Evidence shows participation has a positive impact on character, soft skills, and education attainment and also improves formal political engagement, social cohesion and decreases crime and anti-social behaviour.

It also makes the case for challenging some of the most-cited barriers to involvement, such as lack of time, awareness or negative peer pressure, in order to reach the target goal of getting half of all 10 to 20-year-olds involved in youth social action.