Young, Ethical Leaders Graduate from Manchester's Environmental Leadership Programme

Young, Ethical Leaders Graduate from Manchester's Environmental Leadership Programme

July 26, 2018

On July 5th, young people from across Manchester were welcomed by the Lord Mayor, June Hitchen and Afzal Khan MP as well as other senior figures at the National Football Museum, Manchester, to celebrate their graduation from the UpRising Environmental Leadership Programme. The UpRising Environmental Leadership Programme in Manchester is funded by Our Bright Future.  

UpRising Graduates and key supporters pose for a celebratory photo

The charity’s nine-month Environmental Leadership Programme has seen the group come face-to-face with some of region’s senior leaders, including Manchester Climate Change Agency, the Manchester United Foundation, Manchester City Council, Arup and many more from across the business and charity sectors. Young people learn from these experts and develop their own leadership skills and voice.  


Sacha Wynne, 24 a participant on this year’s programme said

“I joined the programme because I cared about the environmental issues affecting our society, but I didn’t feel like I had the confidence, skills or understanding of networking to make change happen. Being part of the programme supported me to develop those leadership skills and move forward with social action."

An integral part of the Environmental Leadership Programme is youth-led social action, in which young people work in teams to design and deliver social action campaigns on issues that they feel strongly about. The graduation event also celebrated the work that the young leaders had done to affect positive change in their communities. 


For example, Charlotte Banks, Sacha Wynne, and Joyce Cheng set up the ‘Manchester Sustainable Development Goals Network’This campaign aims to create a platform for sharing sustainable initiatives in the Manchester Northern Quarter, showcase Manchester’s sustainable businesses to consumers, and help strengthen economic growth in Manchester’s Northern Quarter through creating networks for innovation.


The Lord Mayor congratulated the UpRisers, saying it was "amazing to see so many young people aspiring to be the leaders of tomorrow”.


The Lord Mayor, June Hitchen, with Afzal Khan MP and Councillor Luthfur Rahman


The young leaders will continue to receive support from UpRising as they progress into the Alumni Network, which has seen more than 3,500 young people graduate in the last ten years. UpRising's Co-Founder and Chair, Rushanara Ali MP, reflects back on the last decade: 

"UpRising was established to identify and support a new generation of talented young adults from diverse backgrounds to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to take up leadership positions in major institutions across politics, business, the public and voluntary sectors. Thousands of young people go through our programmes, and this year we celebrate our 10th Anniversary. I’m incredibly proud of the achievements of UpRising Cymru and congratulate 2018 graduates.”


Rushanara Ali MP delivering her speech at the Manchester Graduation

The next Environmental Leadership Programme in Manchester begins in October 2018, alongside our Leadership Programme.

Applications are now open via