University supports The Queen's Young Leaders Programme

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The University of Cambridge Institute for Continuing Education (ICE) will be leading the University’s major contribution to an initiative launched at Buckingham Palace today which will celebrate talented young people from across the Commonwealth over the next four years.

The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme has been established by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and is run in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society

It aims to discover, celebrate and support young people aged 19 to 29 from every Commonwealth nation. They will be chosen for having transformed their own lives and the lives of those around them, despite challenges they may have faced along the way.

In recognition of the 60 years that The Queen had served as Head of the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee, 60 inspirational young leaders from across the Commonwealth nations will be selected each year from 2014 to 2018.

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry were joined today by former Prime Minister Sir John Major, as Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Kevin Cahill, Chief Executive of Comic Relief, Lord Howell of Guildford, President of the Royal Commonwealth Society and Dr Rebecca Lingwood, Director of ICE.

The Award recognises and celebrates the achievements of a diverse group of exceptional young people and supports them to reach their potential and create real change in their lives and in the lives of those around them.

The Programme will further strengthen the skills and confidence of Award winners so that they are ready to change the lives of those around them and to inspire the next generation of young leaders through their own actions and values.

ICE will be making an important contribution to the Programme, in conjunction with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Cambridge University Press, by providing tailored support to the award winners to develop their skills as leaders, equipping them to lead change in their chosen sphere in their communities and countries.

This will include an annual two-day residential leadership course at Madingley Hall, Cambridge, to which the 60 annual award winners from the 53 Commonwealth countries will come as part of a week-long visit to the UK.

Their visit will culminate in the presentation of their awards at Buckingham Palace

Dr Lingwood said: “Our goal is to promote the enormous impact of the Commonwealth on young people and their communities by nurturing the young leaders of the future and enabling them to become ambassadors for others. It is an ambitious and exciting project, and one that promises to be not just a useful contribution during its lifetime but part of a lasting legacy.

Speaking on behalf of the partnership Sir John Major said: “We wish to identify and nurture the talent of the younger generation across the Commonwealth. We’re inspired by the belief that one talented individual can be a positive force for good within their community.

“This programme will celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary individuals and help develop their skills, thus creating a lasting legacy – benefiting the whole of the Commonwealth – to honour the long and successful reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

Over the next five years, at a time when the Commonwealth is home to the largest generation of young people ever in its history – over 1.3 billion of a total 2.2 billion citizens – The Queens’ Young Leaders Programme will support thousands of young people to make their visions of a better society a reality.

Comprising two parts, it will create a lasting legacy for the Queen through:

• An awards scheme to recognise the achievements of 240 inspirational young people and provide support enabling them to take up leadership roles and inspire future leaders.

• Grants to support organisations in selected countries across the Commonwealth that work with young people top transform their lives.

From today, young people from across the Commonwealth can apply or be nominated to win an award and become a Queen’s young Leader.

For more information visit  # TheSearchIsOn

ICE is a Department of the University, based at Madingley Hall, which provides part-time and short courses for adults.

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