Press Release

Transforming Conflict Together: Building Resilience with Young People and Communities

Alicia Edmund
Monday 3rd February 2020

On Thursday 30th January, Leap Confronting Conflict welcomed 80 guests to Barings UK for the launch of its 2020-2024 strategy. Guests at the event included philanthropists, trust funders, corporate supporters, young ambassadors who have been through Leap's courses, community partners who have helped to shape Leap’s programmes, and representatives from government departments.  

Levels of violence and crime in our communities are at an all-time high, with the BBC revealing an increase of 7% in recorded knife crime offences in the year until September 2019. Now more than ever, Leap’s work is vital in supporting young people to build resilience and manage conflict in their lives.  

Over the next five years, Leap’s strategic direction is to: 

  • Expand its current programmes into new towns and regions, developing a place-based approach. 
  • Develop new curriculum around masculinity, safety, race and identity. 
  • Create a new programme for younger young people, especially those transitioning from primary to secondary school 
  • Influence the policy, practice and ideas of Government, Local Authorities and Violence Reduction Units. 
  • Develop and nurture new partnerships in towns across the UK. 

Five Leap young ambassadors that attended the event and shaped the strategy document.


Speakers at the event included Leap’s partners from its care and community programmes, Keeley Stephenson (MyBnk) and Emmanuel Baidoo (Spotlight). The event also featured a video from Leap Young Ambassadors, who played an active role contributing ideas and experiences during the formation of the strategy. Leap Trustee, Peter Olawaye, delivered a speech highlighting the challenges that young people are facing today, and Vice-Chair Rachel Sandby-Thomas chaired a panel discussion with questions from the audience. Leap’s Chief Executive, Ben Kernighan, closed the morning with a speech addressing the different elements of the new strategy.

Ben Kernighan, Leap Confronting Conflict Chief Executive says:

‘This new strategy confirms to me that there is hope: that working together we can make the world better for young people; that when young people are in the lead, they come up with kind, compassionate and creative solutions to the very big challenges they face. In this new strategic period, I hope that organisations and news desks will want to work with Leap and the young people we support to create a world in which young people are not only safe, but can also thrive.'


Keeley Stephenson, writer, public speaker and advocate for young people in care, spoke about her own experiences and Leap’s programme for young people in care and care practitioners, saying:

'I am a young person who grew up in care, and my experience of Leap’s training has supported me to make more positive decisions when it comes to my personal traumas and everyday life. I currently sit on Leap’s Advisory Panel for the Under our Roof programme. This role is important to me as I believe any work that is created to benefit the lives of young people should include the voices of young people at the heart of it. It is my view that every child within the care system needs to experience the extraordinary, life-changing and impactful work that Leap are doing every single day.'



Note to the editor

For over thirty years, Leap has designed programmes to transform the way conflict is managed by young people and the adults who support them. By developing creative and adaptable approaches, Leap supports young people to deal with immediate issues, whilst also addressing some of the longer term, systematic patterns of behavior that lead to violent and destructive expressions of conflict. Leap’s programmes are designed to support young people:

·         growing up in care,

·         in education and/or at risk of exclusion

·         in inner-city communities,

·         and within the secure estate or prisons.

If you are interested in partnering with us, or featuring one of our programmes in an editorial, please contact Alicia Edmund (Senior Communications and Policy Officer),

@leap_cc or #transformingconflicttogether

A huge thank you all at Barings who supported us in hosting our strategy launch on 30 January 2020. 

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