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Resources and research

Learn about issues that are important to you, and access useful guidance and toolkits.

We have been supporting young people to make change since 2011 and have created a global community of almost 40,000 young people who have contributed to real, sustainable change. We want to empower you to make positive change by providing you with the tools to develop your skills and knowledge.

Use this page to read interesting research on youth volunteering and issues that affect young people, and access useful guidance on lots of different topics. This page is updated regularly with new information.

What kind of guidance would you like to see shared on this page? Tell us in the comments section at the bottom of the page. We’d love to hear from you!


ICS and Mental Health: Exploring the relationship between international youth volunteering and mental health

ICS prides itself on being inclusive, and reaching out to the broadest possible range of young people. As the world’s leading organisation that uses volunteering to tackle poverty, VSO is especially interested in understanding how we can best ensure that people of all sorts of backgrounds can access meaningful volunteering opportunities. This research shines a light on the experiences of young British volunteers facing mental health challenges. Download the summary report, ICS and Mental Health: Exploring the relationship between international youth volunteering and mental health (PDF)

ICS Social Return on Investment Evaluation

Research conducted by NEF Consulting found that, for every £1 spent on the ICS programme, an estimated £4.64 in social value is created. The ICS Social Return on Investment Evaluation explores the long-term return on investment of youth volunteering, and the socio-economic value that volunteers generate for themselves as a result of the skills and experiences gained from ICS. 

ICS Annual Report 2018-2019

This Annual Report is a celebration of ICS’ work over the last twelve months. Learn more about what we've achieved, and read the full report.

Guidance and toolkits

Raleigh International: Guidance on virtual campaigning and virtual fundraising

Raleigh have produced a series of downloadable guides on how to campaign and fundraise virtually. Now more than ever, continuing and moving these activities online is important, and these simple guides can support you to do that:

Black Lives Matter movement: Anti-racism resources

Addressing issues of social exclusion and injustice is core to our work on the ICS programme. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and our journey to tackle discrimination and oppression, including racism, will continue.

Only by informing ourselves and continuing to learn can we fight oppressive practices and hold duty bearers to account. This is everyone’s responsibility.

Learn more about ICS’ approach to anti-racism and how we are responding to some of the questions raised. We have also put together a list of useful online resources on anti-racism, including fiction, non-fiction, documentaries, films, podcasts, music and websites to help you learn about racism and discrimination, and to support your own well-being.

Youth Employment UK: Helping to tackle youth unemployment in the UK

Youth Employment UK's resources are also useful for young people from outside of the UK.

  • Online career support and skills development activities: visit the Skills and Careers Hub to access free resources, advice and guidance on skills development, opportunities, youth friendly employers and more. Designed with input from young people, the Skills and Careers Hub offers practical tools to support young people through education, transition into employment and beyond in a process of lifelong learning.
  • Downloadable skills and careers booklet: useful resources designed for young people aged 14-24 looking for work and in education, employment and training, who want to develop their skills, explore careers, and access work experience, volunteering opportunities and specialist career support.

Youth Power Toolkits

Working for a youth organisation and interested in understanding how to support positive youth development? Youth Power have created a series of toolkits to provide guidance, training, and resources on important topics like Gender and Social Inclusion, Youth engagement and empowerment, and Democracy, Human Rights, Governance and Peacebuilding. These toolkits are organised into 10 thematic areas, and support positive youth development for youth organisations.

This page is updated regularly, so check back soon!

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Funded by the UK Government.

ICS is funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which projects the UK as a force for good in the world, including reducing poverty and tackling global challenges.

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