Making the most of the Queen's Young Leaders Residential programme: expert advice from some previous winners
Queen's Young Leaders support group, working to make the Residential a success.

Making the most of the Queen's Young Leaders Residential programme: expert advice from some previous winners

It is part of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust’s mission to discover, support and celebrate young people from across the Commonwealth who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives. Each year for four years, the Trust honours exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth with a Queen’s Young Leader Award. A highlight of the Award is a ten day residential programme in the U.K that includes workshops with prominent businesses and social enterprises, and meetings with high profile leaders

With the Residential programme upon us, we asked some Queen’s Young leaders from 2015 and 2016 how participating in the U.K Residential programme helped them to develop their own projects. We also asked them what they would advise the Queen’s Young Leaders of 2017 to do in order to get the most out of their time together in the UK. 

Alicia Wallace

Alicia is 30 and from the Bahamas. She is a Queen’s Young Leader from 2015. Her work helps women to reach their potential and to play a full role in society. Before the Residential protramme, Alicia was most excited about meeting her fellow Queen’s Young Leaders from all over the Commonwealth, learning about their projects and exploring ways in which she could collaborate with them. The Residential programme “is a rare opportunity to meet likeminded people, have the space to pose questions, and to challenge the ways you usually think and act”, she said. To make the most of the Residential programme, Alicia recommends the current Queen’s Young Leaders to take some time to think about what they want to get out of the week, and aim to think of three ways they can do this each day. “The week goes by quickly, so being intentional and clear about what you want goes a long way in making it a personal success.”

Nushelle De Silva

Nushelle is 28 and from Sri Lanka. She is a Queen’s Young Leader from 2016. Having been deeply affected by her country’s civil war, she now works on peace and reconciliation projects. Her project is called Building Bridges; it uses a series of weekly arts workshops that encourage dialogue between young people in communities most affected by the civil war.  The Residential programme has given Nushelle the confidence to be more ambitious in her dreams for Building Bridges. “The Residential is packed”, said Nushelle, “so it helps to remind yourself of why you’re there and what you hope to take home with you at the end… so take a little time before it starts to clear your head and picture your goals for your time in the UK.”

Salman Ahmed

Salman is 28 and from Pakistan. He is a Queen’s Young Leader from 2015. Salman’s work encourages young men and women to become more involved in enterprise. For Salman, the Residential gave him a sense that his work was being recognised at higher levels; meeting business and political leaders, ‘living legends’ such a David Beckham and of course Her Majesty The Queen, gave him the motivation to continue his project. Speaking to the current Queen’s Young Leaders, Salman said: “The Residential is going to be the best week in your lives, but it completely depends on you as to what you take away from it... the networks that you will build will help you a lot to succeed in your projects and achieve your personal and work related goals.”  

Teocah Dove

Teocah is 27 and from Trinidad and Tobago. She is a Queen’s Young Leader from 2015. She works on projects which focus on gender, vulnerable women, HIV/AIDS and youth development. Talking about the Residential programme, Teocah said that it provided her with the opportunity to fine-tune her vision and to think more clearly about how she executed her work. “Through the engagements, workshops, and networking, I grew into a better version of myself, personally and professionally.” The Residential is a hectic and sometimes overwhelming, Teocah went on, to make the most of it always ask yourself “What do I want to achieve through my learnings and engagements today”. Answering this question allows you to remove all distractions, be present, and make the most of your experiences during your time in the U.K.