RECLAIM is a youth leadership and social change organisation. We are a small but bold charity, using our experience and platform to support and amplify the voices of working class young people.
We exist to create a society in which being from a working-class background no longer presents barriers to achievement, success, or influence.
Our long term goal is to create a Britain where those from working-class backgrounds are proud of – and not held back by – our roots. We want working-class people to be represented in places where decisions are made about their lives and to be recognised for their talent, strength, and diversity. We want to see working-class young people at the heart of this, in a country that ensures that they are seen, heard, and leading change.
Not familiar with the term working class?
Working-class means different things to different people but for us at RECLAIM being working-class is characterised by a few key factors:
You're on, or grew up on, a low income with limited access to wealth.
You don't have many family connections to people with well paid, professional or powerful jobs.
You find it harder to 'fit in' in middle-class spaces, interests and conversations.
You're proud of your background and want people to see it as a strength, not a weakness
While working-class people have many of these things in common, we're a diverse bunch too. Working-class people are white, black and brown, LGBT+, disabled, recent migrants or refugees or from families who can trace their roots in the UK back generations, of various religions or none, women, men and non-binary. We're many things but we share the experience of growing up facing those four factors above.
Thanks to RECLAIM, and the wider movement we are a part of, here are some headlines you will hopefully see in 2030:
Country elects first working class Prime Minister of 21st century
Social class made ‘protected characteristic’ in new law
Record number of accents heard in senior management and no longer seen as a barrier
Youth leadership and tackling class barriers added to curriculum
Record number of employers hire working class talent
Young working class to sit on Government’s education policy review
Councils agree charter for putting working people at the heart of decision-making
Not a flat cap in sight – national event celebrates Britain’s diverse modern working class
Class reclaimed – the inside story of the powerful multi-racial working class movement built out of our Brexit divisions
Founder, Ruth Ibegbuna, set up RECLAIM in Moss Side in 2007 out of frustration at seeing so much wasted potential in young people; often written off due to their postcodes or through appallingly low expectations of their outcomes.