The LEAD Pioneers Programme (year one of LEAD) is most young people’s first engagement with RECLAIM.  The programme is delivered within working class communities, and asks Year 8 pupils to nominate themselves as young leaders who are interested in social change.

LEAD engages single-gender cohorts of 30-40 young people, all from the same community, for eight months. We deliver intensive one-to-one support and regular group activities; and all sessions are structured around Leadership, Enterprise, Activism and Development (LEAD). We engage intellectually, bringing young people of mixed academic abilities together to develop collective solutions.

“Since I've come to RECLAIM, I've realised that actually I could be something, and help other people. No matter what background you've got you can always achieve and you can always progressSalford Boys participant, 2015

Young people build their skills and their networks, developing strong relationships with local mentors and role models. The programme begins with a week-long conference, and then is continued through regular events, visits and mentoring sessions – with all activities delivered outside of school time and based within the community. 

The opening five-day conference results in a democratically prepared manifesto that identifies the priority issues within their area: the programme is truly youth-led and tailored to each cohort. Strong feedback loops and the manifestos ensure the programme is focused on young people’s needs, interests and skills.

“I've learnt that no matter what I can do, any chance I get grasp it. I want to show everyone the real me.” Moss Side Girls participant, 2013

The LEAD Programme has a significant impact on young people’s lives. At the end of the programme, we see emerging young leaders who are on the path to success. The programme supports participants develop their skills, resilience, networks, leadership techniques, critical thinking and pride – ensuring they are able to understand themselves and the world around them at the start of their leadership journey.