Leap believes in the potential of all young people, no matter their past decisions or history. We support them to manage conflict constructively, change the direction of their lives, and become leaders in our society. 

Supporting young people

Being young isn’t easy.

It's a time to work out who you are, what you think, experiment and take risks. It can be exciting but also daunting.

For some young people it's a challenging time and badly managed conflict can become destructive. Conflict can come in many forms - a chaotic home life, a break down in relationship with family and friends, bullying, agression, low self esteem and low aspirations. Without the skills to manage this conflict, it can lead to poor decisions, violence, anti social behaviour or self harm. 

Where Leap can help

We believe in the potential of all young people, no matter their past decisions or history. 

We have 30 years' experience providing training and support for young people struggling with conflict which can spiral into destructive or offending behaviour. 

An award-winning national youth charity, we have an extensive understanding of conflict. Our training methodology - shaped and informed by young people - has been developed using action research and reflects our experience and learning.

Our support is focused on 11-25 year-olds who will benefit from our training the most: young people at risk of exclusion from school, in or on the edge of gangs, in care or involved in the criminal justice system. 

Building young people’s skills 

We help young people to recognise their worth and capacity to change their own life. By drawing on their own skills and personal resources they are better able to address the conflict in their lives more successfully. Through our training, young people see the benefits of making different decisions, leading to better outcomes: for them and those around them. Our communities become safer as we support the development of the next generation of role models and leaders. 

What young people tell us

I get so frustrated when people don't listen 

Sometimes it's just easier to give up

When I get angry - it's over

I have a lot to get angry about - things never seem to go my way

I know I'm a lot for my mum to handle

I'm not a violent person. Sometimes I just get overwhelmed

It's really hard not to get sucked into drama when all your friends are involved

I want people to respect me

I want to be able to help when my friends are going through stuff


“During the course I learnt about my conflict triggers and how to manage them, which has helped me enormously with my anger issues. ”

Chelsea, Young Trainer

“The training I went on with Leap means that young people now feel safer with me because they know I can deal with the difficult issues they bring up. ”

Caroline, formerly Brighton and Hove Youth Offending Service

Our history


Leap Confronting Conflict began life as LEAP (Leaveners Experiments in Arts for Peace), established in 1987 by Alec Davison as a project of The Leaveners (Quaker Community Arts Charity). We worked with young unemployed adults, using theatre projects to help them deal with the conflict in their lives.


In 1998, Leap Confronting Conflict was launched as an independent charity.


The new charity began ground-breaking work with young people involved in gangs in 2000, and set up the country’s first national network of young mediators (the YMN). Our projects were short-listed for Philip Lawrence Awards and the Whitbread Young Partners Awards.


In 2004, New Philanthropy Capital recommended Leap to funders as one of 45 organisations across Britain whose interventions are likely to produce positive, well-targeted results. In the same year, Ofsted recommended that more young people and organisations should have access to Leap’s programmes.


In 2006, we published our ground-breaking manual, Working with Gangs and Young People. The Institute for Public Policy Research recommended our work in educational institutions and we launched the £1.3 million PeerLink project to promote and support peer mediation


In 2007, we held the first ever National PeerLink Awards that celebrated the achievements of our network of peer mediations and moved to new, larger premises in London’s Finsbury Park.


In 2008, Leap was awarded Pathfinder funding by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and opened its first regional centre in Leeds.


In 2009, Leap won the overall national Charity of the Year Award, and the award for Children and Young People’s charity of the year.


In 2012 Leap wins a National Partners Award from NCVYS for involving young people in the planning and decision making processes of their work.


In 2013 we launched the first Lighting the Fire – The Leap Annual Excellence awards to recognise the achievements of young people and professionals managing conflict in our communities.


In 2014 Leap launched a pilot in partnership with HMPYOI Swinfen Hall that trains teams of inmates and staff to deliver Leap training to other prisoners


In 2015 our flagship course for young people was rated in the top 10% of programmes evaluated by Project Oracle, London’s first evidence hub on children and youth, funded by the Greater London Authority


In 2016 Leap launched two new initiatives: Peaceful Prisons, an action research project to pilot and evaluate new models for reducing violence in prisons and Leadership and Enterprise, a whole group approach where gang members support each other to make positive changes in their lives