Leeds East Academy Crowned 2019 NextGenLeaders Regional Champion For Yorkshire

On the 27th March 2019, the top school teams from across Yorkshire competed in the NextGenLeaders 2019 Regional Expo at Leeds Beckett University.


The dynamic, energy-filled event brought together over 60 students from six competing teams, teachers, and senior UK business leaders from local businesses including ASDA and Arla Foods in celebration of Youth Social Action and Social Enterprise.


NextGenLeaders school teams from Leads East Academy, Bingley and Batley High School for Girls competed for the title of 2019 Yorkshire Regional Champion, showcasing their social and community projects to business executives serving as judges. The students were evaluated on how successfully they applied enterprise solutions and an entrepreneurial approach to improve the quality of life of those in need.


During the awards ceremony, we recognized all teams for their efforts & celebrated their achievements for this year. Below is a list of results for each award category:


(1). Most Innovative Team: Leeds East Academy (Plastic Project Team)

(2). Team Leader of the Year: Kiera Heslop, Bingley Grammar School

(3). Outstanding Contribution: Rumaisa Yasser, Batley Girls’ High School

(4). Teacher of the Year: Iffat Ahmad, Batley Girls’ High School


We are thrilled to announce that Leeds East Academy won the competition after showcasing their inspirational social enterprise project to tackle the issue of single-use plastics in their school and local community.

Darin Mohammed (Student Team Leader, Leeds East Academy) said:

“To be part of the winning team and to win such an award as the regional champion award has been an amazing experience. Throughout the project I had to keep focused on the bigger picture and the problems that plastic causes to our planet. Putting in the hard work every single day and thriving on the challenges made the journey so memorable. It’s also about embracing the setbacks you face and not being afraid to be innovative. Presenting our project was rather daunting but as a team we delivered it with a simple and strong message with clear goals. During the project we have met and been inspired by many people and listening to their advice helped make the project what it is. Plastic is an issue which so many are passionate about and as a team we will strive to make all of our goals happen. I am honoured that our project was recognised and I am so incredibly proud of my entire team at Leeds East Academy.”

The regional expo event consisted of more than just the regional competition and included an Enterprise and Employability Fair with corporate and social sector partners and a “Pledge Pod” in which the students showcased their pledges to tackle local and contribution to solving global challenges such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Sarah Steel (Teacher and NextGenSchool Champion, Leeds East Academy) said:

“Watching the project grow and watching the team become more cohesive has been amazing. Their confidence grew throughout the process as well as their relationships with each other. They went out into the community several times and I was immensely proud of their approach towards communicating with businesses and also individually when working with the elderly community. Their passion for the topic was so obvious and due to each pupil being very different the project just kept growing with so many ideas introduced. Watching their presentation during the regional final I felt emotional as they delivered it beautifully and when they announced their name as champions I was overwhelmed with emotion. So proud of them and I believe it when I say that this project will keep going from strength to strength. NextGenLeaders were so supportive and the whole process has been amazing – bring on next year!”.

Leeds East Academy team members will now go on to experience the prize from Sky, a partner of NextGenLeaders, where the students will visit the Sky Academy and experience the challenge of developing and filming their own news segment.

Andrew Bacon OBE, CEO of NextGenLeaders was delighted with the success of the event. He said:

“Congratulations to the Leeds East Academy team and all of our teams in the Yorkshire programme who delivered so much social and community impact through their projects this year. Congratulations also to all the winners of the competitions and we hope they will inspire the involvement of more school teams to the programme next year .”

The Regional Expo event was hosted by The Carnegie Education school at Leeds Beckett university. Professor Damien Page, Dean of the School said:

‘As one of the leading Schools of Education in the UK, we’re delighted to be working with NextGenLeaders and Enactus on this inaugural social enterprise competition for schools. The quality of the presentation from the teams was outstanding and demonstrated not only a real commitment to social change but creativity and enterprise skills that would ensure that the ideas could be achieved. With this level of passion and talent among young people, there is real hope that the most pressing challenges facing our society could be solved’.

Rachel Bostwick, Senior Partnership and Enterprise Consultant, Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University, said:

The NextGenLeaders Schools Programme from Enactus has two parts; it gives secondary aged pupils the opportunity to make new friends and be a part of a team whilst supporting them with transferrable skills such as project management, fundraising, research and helping them to be more self-aware and confident. The programme also introduces the concept of Social Action and creating positive change.  It has been amazing to see the teams grow and represent their schools and wider community.


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