Once Upon a Time on the UpRising London Leadership Programme

Once Upon a Time on the UpRising London Leadership Programme

January 29, 2019

Here at UpRising we’re celebrating #NationalStorytellingWeek by sharing with you some of the amazing stories of our alumni from the London Leadership Programme, in their own words.


Sheetal Mistry graduated from the London Leadership Programme in 2015:


"Before I started UpRising, I had just graduated from university and had no idea what I wanted to do next. Surrounding myself with so many like-minded people on the programme helped me to build my confidence and ‘find my space’ in society. I now work in the charity sector, supporting young people both academically and pastorally. Additionally I have co- founded my own community project, creating a platform for South Asian women in the UK.

UpRising was such a huge turning point in helping me to believe in myself and finding the right people to support me."

Follow South Asian Sisters Speak on Twitter: @weare_sass


Areeq Chowdhury, Leadership Programme alumni and Founder & Chief Executive of Webroots Democracy:

"I first got involved with UpRising when I joined the Leadership Programme in 2011. It was a great way to get involved with the community in Birmingham and to learn valuable skills about campaigning and social action. The best thing about UpRising for me however, is the networks and friendships I’ve made by being involved. Even now, 7 years later, I continue to make new and inspirational friends as a result of UpRising. I’m now the founder and chief executive of Webroots Democracy, a think-tank focused on democracy and technology. The skills I picked up from UpRising have undoubtedly helped in this endeavour."

Follow Webroots Democracy on Twitter: @WebRootsUK


Bola Koleowo, was part of a social action campaign called ‘Generation Mindset’ in July 2018. 



The group delivered workshops on mental health in schools. Bola said: "We’ve had a bigger impact than we’ve expected - kids that didn’t even attend were impacted. We had kids who wanted to join in the morning but couldn’t because of space. And in the afternoon,  kids were asking why they weren’t asked to join; they hard heard about the coping mechanisms from their friends and wanted to learn them themselves. They all really wanted to join in as their friends had told them about the workshop. This made us really awestruck because we want these skills that we teach to be disseminated by their student’s peer systems. Additionally, the impact that it has had on teachers realisations of how important these topics and issues were, that was also a win for us."

Follow Generation Mindset on Twitter: @GenM_UK