RECLAIM – 2015

What’s the Big Idea?

RECLAIM’s goal is to to end leadership inequality within a generation. They aim to nurture and galvanise the talent of young people aged 12-15 who are natural leaders at risk of failing to reach their potential.

They believe that children from all communities must be represented at all levels and in all sectors of society as adults, and that we need more pioneers who inspire others to achieve.

Sam 3The Big Change Needed

Leadership inequality in the UK is undeniable. There are not enough leaders from working class backgrounds. Working class young people face constant obvious and often invisible barriers to achieving their leadership potential and few make it to the top. It does not make ethical or economic sense to waste the talent of such a large section of the population.

In 2013, just 37.9% of pupils who qualified for free school meals achieved five GCSEs, compared with 64.6% of their paying peers

-Department of Education, 2014

The Solution

RECLAIM has successfully worked with young people from marginalised communities for a number of years. Their flagship programme, LEAD identifies young  leaders and helps them develop their skills so that they go on and engage their local community or find work.

Big Change is working with RECLAIM to build on their experience and extend their impact to national scale through the Fairer Futures campaign. This programme has set out to bridge the gap that exists between young natural leaders from working class backgrounds and business, media, politics and education.

The project will consult researchers, sector experts and business leaders to publish a manifesto for change and a campaign to ensure that the findings are seen, heard and change is implemented.


Impact on Young People

Through the Fairer Futures campaign, Reclaim will be working with us at Big Change to create a manifesto for change that will include tangible actions that could be taken to reduce leadership inequality.

They will also work with a network of youth organisations working with working class leaders, helping them engage in forming the campaign, and giving them the platform to have their voices heard.

RECLAIM armed me with belief, a belief that with confidence, not shackled with the limitations of circumstance, I can do anything. RECLAIM allowed me to make bad decisions but reassured me that my mistakes will not limit me. RECLAIM provided the space for my talents to develop, my personality to bud. It filled the gaps that were in my life. I’m at a point now where I am a very open and principled person but I always know who I am. I’m still working on it but I’m now headed in the right direction.

– Terry, Reclaim Participant

What is Big Change doing?

We are granting £149k to support all three key stages of the project:

  • Planning  – hiring a researcher and project lead to develop a clear picture from RECLAIM’s members on where we are suffering from leadership inequality;
  • Research – consulting with researchers, campaign planners and social mobility experts on how to run the campaign most effectively, as well as building an influential cross-sector network of supporters to help advise and support the campaign
  • Campaigning – publish the research and launch a sustained campaign to deliver results against the issues identified in the research