For Young People

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How to make a difference

Making a difference means getting up and taking part. It's creating change about a cause or issue you care about. Creating change can happen in lots of different ways. It often helps to have a community focus.
Community focus

The word ‘community’ is often understood as a local area or neighbourhood. But a community can also be a group of people who have common background, or similar goals and ideas.

One person might be a member of several different communities. It’s up to each of us how we identify.  For example, we might identify as being part of a town community, a cultural community, a school community and an online community - all at the same time. Being in a community is all about being accepted and connected – being a part of something with other people.

By getting involved and active in our communities we can:

  • improve the areas and groups we’re part of
  • build stronger personal and community connections
  • take control over our environment and future.

When thinking about where to make a difference, it can help to start by getting involved in a community – especially so you can get some support.

So which communities do you belong to?

What does the saying “think global – act local” mean to you?

Different ways to make a difference

There are different ways that we can make a difference and create change.

  • Doing it ourselves – for example, fund raising for a cause or issue.
  • Joining a group, organisation or campaign – for example, joining an organisation.
  • Asking someone else to take action – for example, asking politicians to change a policy you think is wrong or unfair.
  • Working in partnership with others – for example, a group of local residents working with their council to design a park.

Creating change can be something personal, or might affect many different people – individuals, communities and organisations.

  • Personal change – changing someone’s ideas or opinions about an issue.  
  • Community change – when members of a community work together to create change. They make something better for the community, including building stronger ties and relationships between them all.
  • Public opinion change – working to raise awareness about an issue and influencing the way it’s understood by the general public. This usually involves using the news media.
  • Organisational change – influencing a business or organisation to change to how it operates.
  • Legislative change (sometimes called systemic change) – working to create or change laws or influence public policy.
Ways to create change
  • Get informed – properly research the issue or cause you’re interested in.
  • Get vocal – express your opinions.
  • Get organised – planning will help you be an effective activist.
  • Get active – use your skills and resources to take action.
  • Get connected – work with others in groups, or as part of organisations or communities.
  • Get creative – be innovative and use your creative skills.
What you can do now

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