BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra today announced plans for #1MillionHours – a year-long volunteering campaign that will see both stations motivating their young listeners to pledge 1 million hours of time to good causes over the next 12 months.

Kicking off on 1st December with the first drive in the lead up to Christmas, and running throughout 2016, the stations will shine a spotlight on all things volunteering in a bid to highlight the benefits of volunteering for young people.

#1MillonHours is one of Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s most ambitious social action programmes to date, working with featured charities Age UK, Barnardo’s, Cancer Research UK and Oxfam to highlight volunteering opportunities.

As well as asking the stations’ young audiences to pledge 1 million hours of time to volunteering, Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s #1MillionHours campaign will include:

  • Radio 1 and 1Xtra Stories: Volunteer Town – in this hour long documentary for Radio 1 Stories, to be broadcast at 9pm on 22nd December, Chris Stark will head to the town of Corby in the East Midlands to investigate just how many people it’s possible to sign up to Radio 1’s #1MillionHours initiative in 48 hours. Chris will explore the volunteer opportunities that exist in the town and meet the people already doing it. He will also take to the streets, shopping centres and clubs of Corby to persuade people to pledge their time to the #1MillionHours campaign.
  • BBC iPlayer documentary – a 20 minute visual documentary following the emotional journey of three young people that will be volunteering for the first time.  To go live on Radio 1’s BBC iPlayer channel on 4th December.
  • Radio 1 and 1Xtra DJs, and staff volunteer – during December, Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s daytime DJs – Adele Roberts, Nick Grimshaw, Clara Amfo, Scott Mills, Greg James, Twin B, Yasmin Evans, Trevor Nelson, A.Dot and Charlie Sloth – will spend time volunteering, and reflecting their experiences on air across Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Radio 1 and 1Xtra staff will also donate their time to worthy causes in December.
  • Radio 1’s Surgery: What’s in it for me? On 9th December (9-10pm) Radio 1’s Surgery will be a volunteering special, with presenters Gemma Cairney and Dr Radha, looking at why it’s good to volunteer, speaking to some volunteers from Mind, who explain why it’s good for your mental health and wellbeing.
  • Radio 1’s Surgery: What do I have to do? On 16th December (9-10pm) Gemma Cairney and Dr Radha host a volunteering special, talking to some of the star volunteers from one of the featured charities involved in Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s #1MillionHours campaign. The pair will also speak to some of the people that have benefited from others volunteering and talk about what’s involved.

As well as pledging hours to the featured charities via the Radio 1 website, listeners will also be able to pledge their time to good causes on social media using the #1MillionHours hashtag. By including in their social media post, the number of hours that the listeners have been inspired to donate, pledges via Twitter and Instagram will also be counted towards the 1 million hours milestone.


Radio 1 and 1Xtra are the leading voices for young people in the UK, tackling relevant issues through our documentaries, Radio 1’s Surgery, Newsbeat as well as our social action and outreach campaigns including Radio 1’s Academy, 1Xtra Live: The Sessions, Radio 1’s Anti-Online Bullying week and Radio 1’s Youth Council.

Ben Cooper, Controller, Radio 1 and 1Xtra said: “I want BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra to be a force for good in the UK and magnify all the positive work that young people do for others, so we’re very proud to be working alongside some of the most experienced organisations in the country to reach 1 million hours of volunteering.”

A wider BBC volunteering season will be announced next year which will encourage the nation to Do Something Great in 2016.

To sign up to Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s #1MillionHours campaign please visit from 1st December.