ACTION DAY 2021
Every April we come together to do some good. It doesn’t matter whether you can spare an hour or a day, every action (big or small) will make a difference.
If you’re looking to make a positive impact and do some good this April, we’re 100% behind you. To help you on your way to creating a success story, we’ve put together several resources, for you to use and find inspiration from!
So whether you organise a beach clean, do some litter picking in the park, or speak up about recycling, this is your chance to join our national movement!
To give you an idea of what people get up to, check out 2019’s Impact Map
For more detailed case studies (relating to each of our most popular topics), check out:
- ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
- MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
- TACKLING DISCRIMINATION
- REDUCING VIOLENT CRIME
- HELPING VULNERABLE PEOPLE
Short on time, but keen to take part?
If you can’t spare much time, don’t panic – we’d still love for you to get involved:
Got your sights set on something bigger?
Amazing! We recommend you check out the following resources:
Tell us what you’re planning
We want to know what you’re getting up to this April in support of Action Day – so we’ve created a new Impact Map for 2021! This will keep track of all those good deeds that people commit to doing. Don’t forget to add your contribution, and check out what everyone else is doing across the country!
Want to join forces with others?
Every year, our Changemakers put exciting plans into place, and if you’re not sure where to start, they’re always looking for extra support. Contact your Grad Lead for more info on how to get involved, and take a look at the 2021 Impact Map to get some inspiration.
Good luck and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish!
YOUR ACTION DAY PLANNING GUIDE
Your Action Day planning guide
Want to plan the best social action project of 2021? Here’s some guidance to help you on your way.
- Decide on a cause the whole team is passionate about
- Work out what each team member’s role will be
- Share out the jobs so everyone feels involved
Choose your cause
You may have got your team together with a cause in mind – but if you’re looking for inspiration, here are some points to discuss:
- What charities do you support?
- What causes are important to you?
- Are there any local issues that bother you?
- Can you see solutions to problems in your area?
- What common themes are coming up?
What’s the big idea? Think creatively about how you can solve the problem and make an impact.
Roles & responsibilities
Now is a good time to discuss everyone’s strengths and work out what their roles will be.
- Who will lead meetings and make sure all points are covered?
- Who wants to take notes?
- What will everyone do to help make the project a success?
- Can you involve more people to help out on the day?
Sum up the purpose of your project in one simple sentence.
What does success look like?
The way you measure success will depend on what your project is. Set yourselves a target that relates to your project’s purpose.
- How many people would you like to reach?
- Do you want to raise awareness nationwide? Worldwide?
- What kind of legacy do you want your project to leave behind?
The steps to success
Work out what your team needs to do in order to achieve those project goals. Here are a few things to consider:
- How much time can everyone commit to the project?
- How often will you need to catch up?
- What deadlines will you need to meet?
- How will you raise awareness of the project?
- Who do you need to contact to make your plans a reality?
- What equipment will you need?
- Will you need a venue?
- If you’re running an event, will you need invites? RSVPs?
When you have a good understanding of what your project will be, tell us about it! Register your idea online and we’ll add it to the Impact Map. Head to our Action Day page now!
Take a few minutes to go over what’s been discussed. Everyone should feel clear and confident about what they’re doing before the next meeting.
A little inspiration...
In 2018 a team in Exeter had an incredible social action plan! Their simple idea was to add ‘Priority Item’ labels to products their local food bank needed most. They worked with their local Sainsbury’s and managed to TRIPLE donations! Because their initiative was so successful, it’s been rolled out nationwide!
YOUR ACTION DAY CHECKLIST
Your Action Day checklist
If you know the who, what, why, when and how of your social action project, then great!
If you don’t, don’t panic! Here’s a guide to help you make meaningful change in your community for this year’s Action Day.
Build your team
It’s important you get your group right.
You could reunite your NCS team, bring together other NCS grads from your area, or simply build a team from your local community. But what does it take to be a dream team?
- Positivity: Every project has challenges, so a can-do attitude is key
- Passion: Do they care for the cause? This will help drive the project forwards
- Organisation: Staying on top of things will make life MUCH easier
- Support: People can have differing opinions...how will your team support one another?
- Creativity: Can they think outside the box? Can they see things from a fresh perspective?
The size of your project team must adhere to all government guidelines on social gathering.
Get them together!
Find a space (in line with government guidelines) where you can be creative and give yourselves time to think. If you don’t know where to go, your local NCS team should be able to help.
Don’t forget to give everyone an opportunity to speak.
Choose your cause
What are you ALL interested in? It’s important that everyone is passionate about the cause.
- What does your local community need help with?
- Does your team have connections with any charities already?
- What issues do you care about the most?
- Looking for inspiration? Check out our Action Day page
Plan, plan, plan!
How much time can you dedicate to this? What are you going to do on Action Day itself? And how will you make it happen? Consider everyone’s strengths and give out tasks to each team member.
If you need a helping hand, refer to our planning guide.
Register your project
Keep us in the loop by registering your project and we’ll add it to the NCS Impact Map. You’ll be able to see how your hard work supports the national movement and find out what everyone else will be doing on Action Day 2021.
Remember, you can always ask your local NCS team for help
HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR SOCIAL ACTION PROJECT
How to promote your Social Action project
It is commonly said that, “If you don’t market your business, you don’t have one.” Similarly, if you’re running a social action project and want to have a big impact, you need to get your message out there.
Whether you need to recruit some extra helping hands or you’re trying to raise awareness for your cause, here are some tactics to try out…
Turn to your friends and family
This one comes down to the maths really. If everyone in your group gets just three people shouting about your project, the knock-on effect could be amazing. You might even gain volunteers or pick up a donation or two.
Decide how to tell your story
If you’ve chosen a specific cause for personal reasons, don’t be afraid to open up and tell people. It will make your project all the more relatable and hopefully, encourage more people to get involved and support it in one way or another.
Befriend social media
From creating a unique hashtag that rallies supporters, to joining local Facebook community groups, social media could be your best friend. If you set up an account, try to post every day. Find (and re-share) facts and stats, show your team in action and give your followers exciting updates.
Making compelling content with relevant hashtags could even get your work in front of influential accounts, and fingers crossed, they might even give you a shoutout – it’s for a good cause, after all!
Make it headline worthy
Chances are the good work you’re doing deserves recognition. And any newspaper (local or national) is always looking to report exciting stories. Have a think about what headlines your project could create. For example, “Silent protest speaks volumes” or “A choir of young people bring cheer to dementia patients” – you get the idea... If you think you deserve the front page, get in touch with reporters (their names are always listed on their articles). And remember, you can always ask your local NCS team for help with this!
Don’t forget about ‘offline’
Yes, online activity can have a wider reach but old-school posters on lamp posts will still attract attention (just remember to ask your local authorities first). Consider using shop windows or local notice boards at coffee shops and supermarkets to raise awareness of your project too.
Tell us all about it
Every month we do social action shoutouts on the blog. If you like the idea of being featured, answer these questions and we’ll see what we can do!
And finally, think outside the box
Hopefully, this has already got those creative juices flowing. But how else can you make the most of your project? Think about your chosen topic or common themes, where else could you raise awareness, gather recruits and get your message heard?
Good luck. We’ve every confidence that you’ll create an incredible and impactful project!
POLISH YOUR PROJECT
What makes it impactful?
What is it that makes a project great? Well, lots of things. But it all comes down to five main ingredients…So when you start to think up your own ideas, here’s an easy way to sense-check your project and see if you’re onto a winner.
See what you can do to POLISH your idea. Here’s what we mean...
Is it personal? If the cause has some kind of personal connection to you or a teammate, you’ll all have that bit more drive, determination and dedication which is sure to lead you to success.
Is your idea original? Are you taking a fresh approach to an existing problem? Originality and creativity will help grab people’s attention and likely means you’ll have a greater impact.
Could it leave behind a legacy? Will it stand the test of time? Is your initiative able to continue without your involvement?
Have you found an insight? What’s the root cause of this particular problem? Look for a truth within it and you might just find an incredible solution!
Is it simple? There’s no need to overcomplicate things and overwhelm yourselves. Simplicity is key. Yes, ambition here is great, but also be realistic about what you believe you’ll be able to achieve in the time. Don’t commit to doing too much – just concentrate on doing one thing well.
Do you need help? If you find yourself unsure, stuck or going round in circles, ask for a bit of help. You don’t have to do it all. Your local NCS team are here to help, and we bet you’ll be surprised how keen the public is to support you too!