YOU London Leadership Conference

The inaugural YOU London Leadership Development Conference took place at Harrow School over the weekend of 2-3 October 2021.  70 intrepid young people, put forward by their respective uniformed organisations, had the opportunity to listen to and engage with very high-level speakers, to get to grips with challenging and unusual practical experiences and to work in discussion groups with young people their own age from different organisations to develop their own leadership practice.

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Alastair Land, Head Master of Harrow School said, “It is a great honour for us to work closely with YOU London to bring together young people from across London and the uniformed organisations to develop leadership. I am deeply committed – as is Harrow School – to work together with partners near to the Hill and across London to improve opportunities for young people and to share the resources we are fortunate to have.

My aspiration is that, over the two days, the young people will feel more encouraged and enabled to exercise leadership as an everyday social interaction, to see leadership as something which takes skill and training but is also something that is unexceptional that needs to be universal and a responsibility for all of us.”

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Some of the practical stands on offer included firefighting drills led by LFB Fire Cadets; assessing and dealing with a road traffic collision, led by the MPS Volunteer Police Cadets; and a variety of leadership challenges delivered by the Royal Navy.  The weekend also saw the delegates challenging themselves over an obstacle course; debating the different types of leadership, facilitated by Middlesex and North-West London Army Cadet Force; and being privileged to hear from some exceptionally impressive speakers.0260_YOU London Leadership Conference - Day 1_021021

Vice-Admiral Jerry Kyd, Fleet Commander, Royal Navy, set the tone for the weekend, greatly inspiring the attentive delegates with his insightful thoughts on leadership (“leadership is like baking a cake – it is about bringing together the right blend of ingredients in the right way to produce the result you want”).

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Despite a particularly challenging week, Dame Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, shared her thoughts on leadership and answered questions from the captivated young people; the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, Sir Ken Olisa, shared his experiences of being a St John Ambulance cadet and on Sunday, Kathryn Stone, Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, addressed the young people on the Nolan Principles – the Seven principles which outline the ethical standards officials working in the public sector are expected to adhere to.

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Alastair Land concluded the conference, with the words, “I am on a high, a genuine high, so excited and energised by what I have seen and heard.  It has been incredibly uplifting to see all the elements of our civic society as adults and as young people come together around a common task and to make it so successful.

I have learned such a lot and I have learned we are always all still learning. You have reaffirmed the conviction in me that young people are the most inspiring, hopeful positive people: thank you for participating fully, engaging cheerfully and for being waterproof and resilient!”

To see the rest of the images from the weekend, click here.