Cumbria Crack

Fully funded degree for young adults working in Cumbria and North Lancashire charity sector

The group of young adults on the aspiring leaders programme, gathered at Brathay Hall
The group of young adults on the aspiring leaders programme, gathered at Brathay Hall

[Y]oung adults, either working or volunteering for a local charity or community group are being encouraged to put themselves forward for a FREE degree in Social Enterprise Leadership.

Those behind the ‘Aspiring Leaders Programme’ (ALP), which is now recruiting for its third cycle, say it is a long term commitment to the area’s young adults who could revitalise the charity sector and raise community aspirations. It is, they believe, a way to ensure that services to those most in need are maintained and developed in the future.

Past students have gone on to set up groups to respond to their community’s needs, from autism support to adult education. They have taken up management and leadership roles in local charities and the Alumni are also providing positive role models to teens in their community. Twelve young adults pioneered the first ALP (2011-2014) and 13 more are due to graduate from the second round (2014 to 2017) this summer.

The search is now on for the next group whose three year programme, leading to a BSc (Hons) in Social Enterprise Leadership, begins this September (2017).

Nominations are invited from 20 to 32-years-old, who are new to higher education and have the backing of their local charity or community group.

Aspiring Leaders Programme Director Helen Carter from Brathay Trust, which helps deliver the course, said: “This degree is like no other. The content is pioneering and holistic with a real focus on personal development and business leadership. It includes residential courses, diverse work experience and visits, unique networking opportunities, your own mentor – a manager or leader from the business or community sector – and 16 taught University modules over three years. It’s all about growing leaders who really care about, and know, their communities and who want things to be better for themselves and for those around them.

“We would like to hear from young adults who want help to develop their skills and confidence and who have had little, or no, opportunity to do this. That may be a young parent, someone who struggled at school and wants to try learning again but, most of all, anyone with an ambition to contribute positively to their community” Helen Carter added.

Programme director Helen Carter explained the thinking behind the course, she said: “Dynamic, transformative change is happening in and to the voluntary and community sector.

“The ability to anticipate, adapt and thrive is crucial. The vision behind this unique programme is to grow our future leaders – young adults, who need help to discover their talents, which will ultimately serve the needs of their communities. As the programmes run, we hope to see a generational improvement in the leadership capability of the charitable sector, particularly in the most deprived areas of Cumbria and North Lancashire.

“Having been involved with ALP since it started, I have had the privilege to get to know some amazing young adults who are having an impact on those around them” continued Helen.

The programme is delivered by University of Cumbria, Brathay Trust and Common Purpose. Largely funded by the Francis C Scott Charitable Trust (FCSCT), ALP3 also has the support of Rathbones Investment Management, who have backed it from the outset, the Sir John Fisher Foundation and Langdale Leisure. They provide all the University of Cumbria degree course fees; a contribution to support, travel and IT costs each year; dedicated 1:1 mentoring support; two leadership training residential courses a year at Brathay Hall; membership of an on‐line learning network and visits to meet inspirational business and community leaders. In return, participants are asked to complete all the assignments, attend at least 80% of the programme, support fellow learners and leave with the intention of working in, or supporting, their local community in North Lancashire or Cumbria after graduation.

The closing date for applications is Monday 15 May. Places are limited and will be offered after an interview and assessment weekend at Brathay Hall, Ambleside.

Further details and an application form can be found on the FCSCT website:

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