Prince Charles: I want army of two million young people
The Prince of Wales wants to create a two-million strong army of young people to stop a "lost generation" drifting into crime and unemployment. The Prince, who celebrated his 65th on Thursday, is due to announce his plan, called Step Up 2 Serve, or SU2S, alongside the three main party leaders at Buckingham Palace this week. He wants to double the number of 10- to 20-year-olds volunteering for activities including clearing up the countryside and helping the disabled and elderly. The Prince believes that a chance to "unlock their talent and unleash their energies" would cut crime and help their job prospects. Writing in The Mail on Sunday, the Prince of Wales said he was moved to act after being inspired by the family of Jimmy Mizen. Related Articles Camilla: happy birthday Prince Charles, you're exhausting 14 Nov 2013 Prince Charles does the Hokey Cokey 16 Nov 2013 The 16 year-old former alter boy was killed outside a bakery in London in 2008 after refusing to have a fight with his attacker. Prince Charles said: "The Mizens are convinced - as I have been for the past 40 years - that part of the solution is in providing more structured activities for young people. "In my opinion, tragedies such as the murder of Barry and Margaret's son are the extreme result of too many young people no longer guided through a rite of passage; young people who would benefit from the guidance and help of organisation such as the Guides, Scouts, cadets and other youth organisations. "However these groups are hampered in their growth by a lack of adult volunteers." He said he hoped the scheme would help young people acquire a "sense of constructive purpose, motivation and service". As part of the project, the Prince will launch an online pledge campaign call #iwill. "Young people have an immense contribution to make to society, but we are failing to do enough to unlock their talent to help tackle all sorts of challenges," the Prince wrote. "Young people are the solution to so much and yet, too frequently, they are seen as the problem. In the nearly 40 years that I have been supporting youngsters, many of them have told me they also want the chance to put something back and assist their communities. "If you think that all over our country there are thousands of lonely old people who need company, younger children who need alternatives to hanging about on street corners, crucial environmental work that needs doing, and local causes that need espousing, it is not difficult to see how any small voluntary contribution can help." The project will cost £4 million over seven years.