In 2020, the Institute for Community Studies’ Safety in Numbers? report found that supporting better pathways for young people was the most agreed upon priority for communities across the UK. This research found young people aged 16 to 30 wanted routes to take action in their communities and ways to shape positive change in society, but the majority felt they lacked the entry points, infrastructure, support and resources to do so.

About the programme

The Civic Journey is a two-year, youth-led project, exploring young people’s transition from adolescence to active citizenship. Focused on 16- to 30-year-olds, the programme looks at changes in individuals’ position, role and relationship with their wider community, and seeks to understand both what young people want to do for their community – and how communities, local ecosystems and national policy can support them in return.

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The Civic Journey: introducing the idea

Professor Matt Flinders introduce the concepts that underpin the Civic Journey programme, supported by an accompanying discussion paper.

The Civic Journey: Summary of emerging findings

Emerging findings from our youth-led programme, inspiring engagement in social action, community activism and democratic participation across the UK.

Navigating the ‘postcode lottery’ of volunteering opportunities

Lack of opportunity, patchy citizenship education, and an outdated view of why young people engage hinder volunteering, finds a new report.


Meet the team

The Civic Journey project is jointly led by staff at the Institute for Community Studies, together with an Advisory Board of 16- to 30-year-olds from around the UK. The programme is also directed by six Community Engagement Coordinators and a Steering Group of experts that share an interest in character development, citizenship and evidence-based policymaking.

Meet the team

Get involved

We partner with community organisations, local authorities, policymakers, and young people in a variety of ways, from supporting local social action events to collaborative strategy work. Please get in touch to find out more about our work in this space.

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Community research

The Institute for Community Studies is powered by The Young Foundation, a not-for-profit tackling societal issues with a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach.

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Social innovation

Involving people from diverse sectors, The Young Foundation shapes game-changing initiatives.

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