Bedford & LutonBedford & Luton

Bedfordshire and Luton

Bedfordshire and Luton

UpRising came to Bedford in 2011 and in 2013 our programmes expanded into Luton. We have delivered a range of our leadership and democratic engagement projects in the region - reaching a massive 250 young people; with thanks to the Harpur Trust, amongst our other amazing supporters and funders who have enabled us and our young people to have an incredible impact in the region.

Current Programmes

Leadership Programme - Applications for this years programmes open in August 2019. Programme starts in October 2019. Express your interest here

Environmental Leadership Programme - Applications for this years programmes open in August 2019. Programme starts in October 2019. Express your interest here.

Surviving to Thriving - Find Your Power - January, April and June 2018. 

We will also be hosting a Surviving to Thriving programme in Cambridgeshire in February 2018. 


"Taking part in the programme in Bedford has been wonderful. I am passionate about Bedford and so the chance to meet key figures in the area has been engaging - particularly the opportunity to grill my local Mayor and MP! Through the programme I have also had the opportunity to speak on BBC radio encouraging people to register to vote, something I had not done before". - Grace, Bedford UpRiser


Our Friends


In Bedford and Luton, we work with a wide range of global, national and local organisations who deliver sessions on our programmes, host visits or mentor our young participants. These include:


Corporate: Virgin Money - NESTA - Charles Wells Brewery - Brandbyme  - London-Luton Airport - BodyTalk UK

Cultural: - Luton Culture - Bedford Creative Arts

Third:  - NOAH Enterprise - YMCA / Prince's Trust Bedfordshire - CVS Bedfordshire - Polish British Integration Centre (PBIC)

Media: BBC Three Counties Radio - Luton Today

Education: University of Bedfordshire - Bedford College - Luton Adult Learning - Intergenerational Foundation

Government: Bedford Borough Council - Luton Borough Council - Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire - Civil Service - Institute of Economic Affairs

Public: Bedfordshire Police




Our Bedfordshire and Luton Programme participants have gone onto achieve big things from getting jobs in world-renowned companies, moving onto education, starting businesses or joining trustee boards. Some examples of success include:


  • Policy Advisor, Department for International Trade

  • Trainee Solicitor at Norton Rose Fulbright

  • Environmental Sustainability Scientist at Unilever

  • Working in corporate communications for Portland PR agency

  • Campaigns and Communications Officer at Hertfordshire County Council

  • Prince’s Trust Team Leader

  • Inside Account Manager at SHI International Corporation UK

  • Senior Programme Manager for Luton charity, CYCD

  • Junior HR Advisor at Monarch Airlines

  • One of the first models to wear a hijab at London fashion week


“The Dragon's Den pitch was great experience. Securing funding and forging a partnership with Luton Culture for our Social Action campaign has been one of the most positive things throughout the programme. Plus, the opportunity to have a coach, who happened to be a global leadership coach. She told me lots about working abroad, which was useful as I’m looking to deliver workshops in Europe in the future. UpRising has helped immensely”. Haleema, Luton UpRiser


Social Action


Whilst on the Programmes our UpRisers have developed and delivered a massive range of Social Action projects direct in their communities. Recent themes have included: promoting arts and culture, increasing financial awareness of young people, reducing food waste and challenge negative perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers.

You can see more Bedford and Luton social action projects on our campaign site here.


“It was a genuine thrill to see the young people performing to such a high level. Everyone I spoke to was very impressive. You are all doing an extraordinary job in helping these young people develop their leadership skills." - Helen Nellis, The Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire


The Team 

  • Ryan Gray - Programme Manager & National Social Media Coordinator
  • Matthew Pearson - Senior Programme Manager


“It is organisations like UpRising that help young people see how they can make a difference to their communities, and learn the realities of campaigning and influencing.” - Bill Rammell, Vice Chancellor at The University of Bedfordshire




If you would like to apply to be on any of our programmes please do so here.

For more information about our Bedford & Luton programmes, or if you would like to be involved as a speaker please contact Ryan Gray -