This Summer five students from Aldridge Foundation Academies across England took part in Global Social Leaders, our transformational leadership programme for up to 100 young people from across the globe who want to make positive social change.

Funded by their schools, Caitlin Biggs and Harry Eastham from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, Dace Reizupa and Jason Malik from Brighton Aldridge Community Academy and Talia Wooley from Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy spent  12 days at Wellington College with young people from 18 different countries.

Over the course of the programme they received intensive leadership training, listened to inspiring talks from social entrepreneurs and business leaders at the forefront of social change.

Testimonials from Aldridge GSL participants

I am really grateful for GSL and the experience it has given me. I met some extraordinary young people who are doing amazing things in their communities and made many lifelong friendships. What I really enjoyed was everyone putting aside any social, cultural or language barriers and just getting on with working and living alongside each other.Hearing about the incredible things young people my age are doing in their countries has really inspired me to develop my own social change project in Darwen for something I care deeply about.

Harry, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy

I was amazed how people I did not know on the first day could end up becoming so important. I loved the fact that everything was celebrated and I was genuinely inspired by so many young people my age planning ambitious social action projects. It made me realise that if they can do it then so can I, and so can everyone. It also taught me to be bold, don’t be afraid to think big ideas, seize every opportunity to make the world a better place and take risks.

Caitlin, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy

We were delighted to welcome DACA and BACA staff, Mr McWilliam, Mr Collett and Mr Davies (Heads of Sixth Form and Principal respectively) to our innaugrual GSL Teachers Summit in August and Foundation CEO Honor Wilson-Fletcher attended the final dinner.

Honor said: “Our students have excelled.  They want to create a Global Social Leaders network across our academies, and they want to change the world.  The energy, cheering, shared spirit, celebration and excitement in the room was extraordinary.  I asked them a bit about what they have learned and one said something that really stuck with me – that for the first time he understood that you can trust other people – and that you need to be open and honest yourself, too – that you have to be, if you are going to be a great leader.”

To book your place on Global Social Leaders 2016, click here.