What is the Make a Difference Challenge programme?

The Make a Difference Challenge is a child-led social action programme brought to you by the national charity Young Citizens to empower some of our youngest citizens. It provides them with an opportunity to identify and research a social or environmental issue that they feel passionate about, then make a difference to this through awareness raising, fundraising or taking practical action.

How long does it take?

The Make a Difference Challenge programme is most effective when run during lesson time as a cross-curricular class project. Typically, schools spend around 10-20 hours on project-related activities but these might take place in literacy lessons (e.g writing a letter to their MP would support persuasive writing) or other subjects.

Lessons can take place every week over a period of time, or be delivered through drop-down days over a few weeks, perhaps as an after-SATs project. Some schools run the project as an after-school club or with their School Council but it is important to ensure there is enough contact time with the group to develop an effective project.

How do children and schools benefit?

Independent evaluation of the programme has shown it increases pupils' empathy, problem-solving and understanding of their community as well as helping them to develop a more positive outlook. Teachers report that less academic and harder-to-engage pupils particularly benefit from taking part as the project puts learning into a real-life context making it more meaningful for children. Many schools also find the programme helps them to deepen relationships with parents and the wider community, supporting community cohesion. 

What is the Make a Difference Challenge Annual Licence?

This is the licence which gives you and your school permission to deliver the Make a Difference Challenge programme. It also allows you to access the support and resources to enable you to deliver the Make a Difference Challenge programme effectively in your school.

What is included in my licence?

Included in the licence is a range of support – including lesson plans to help you scaffold your challenge, useful sources of additional information and support, a certificate for your school etc. Also included is up to three free places on the CPD certified teacher training which takes you through how to deliver the Make a Difference Challenge in your school. Please note that we intend to keep developing your licence package – adding new resources and information as they become available.

Who should be the account holder for the Make a Difference Challenge Annual Licence?

You will need to identify who is best to lead on the Make a Difference Challenge programme in your school. This may be the PHSE or SMSC coordinator, a social or community action lead or any other member of your team. The account holder is responsible for liaising between your school and Young Citizens, although other teachers (up to 3 of you in total) will be able to access all the training and resources online.

What if we have additional teachers/staff who would like to run the programme?

We would strongly recommend that each teacher involved in the delivery of the Make a Difference Challenge undertakes the full training course. You can purchase additional places for the online teacher training course by visiting here. If they are unable to commit to the full teacher training please do ensure that they have completed this short introductory course to social action.

What information do you need from us?

Young Citizens received funding to develop the online training and support package from the Pears Foundation and #iwill Fund, and often receive pieces of funding from charitable organisations to help us grow the programme. As a result we would like to be able to tell them what difference their grant has made to teachers being able to support child-led social action. We will also use this information to help us develop the programme so it is genuinely useful to you. This is why we have included a brief questionnaire for you to complete at the end of your teacher training, as well as a short questionnaire for you to complete at the end of your licence year. Please note that you will need to complete the end of programme questionnaire in order to access your end of programme certificate to display in your school.

How long does the licence run for?

Your annual licence starts when your application is approved and it runs for a full calendar year. Full terms of use can be found here.

What happens if I decide not to renew at the end of my licence?

If you do not wish your licence to continue please contact us before the end of your 12 month period at [email protected] . Once cancelled you will lose access to all the resources and support included in your package. You will also be required to stop using the name ‘Make a Difference Challenge’ for any social action programme in your school and to stop using any related certification or branding.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about your Make a Difference Challenge Annual Licence do feel free to contact us either by emailing [email protected] or by calling us on 0207 566 4141.

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