The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme

  1. What is The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme?

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society, has established The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years of service to the Commonwealth.

Over the course of its five year life span, the Programme aims to discover, celebrate and support young people from every Commonwealth nation to transform their own lives and the futures of others around them.

This unique, life-changing Programme has two parts:

  • An Award Scheme that celebrates the achievements of exceptional young people who have proved themselves to be inspiring leaders in their communities and have overcome challenges in their lives to do so.
  • A Grants Scheme that supports organisations in selected countries across the Commonwealth that work with young people to help solve the problems affecting their lives and the communities in which they live with innovative, youth-focused solutions.
  1. What is the Programme aiming to achieve?

The Programme is seeking to celebrate the achievements of young people and support them to develop their leadership skills and improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth. It aims to ensure that:

  • Young people are better qualified to secure employment and apprenticeships or create sustainable enterprises.
  • Young people are able to effectively express their needs and aspirations in order to influence decision makers.
  • Clear evidence is collected that demonstrates the unique contribution young leaders make in improving society.
  1. Why young people?

60% of the Commonwealth are under 30, which is 10% higher than the global average. This means the Commonwealth’s youth population is currently the largest it has ever been, and these young 1.3 billion young people represent a huge opportunity.

Young people have the ideas, energy and talent to make a huge difference to the communities in which they live – and to the Commonwealth as a whole. Despite this, young people are often not given the opportunity to shape society and rarely have access to the resources required to make their visions a reality. The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme has been created to help change this.

The Awards Scheme

  1. What is the criteria for an Award winner and how will they be chosen?

Each application/nomination must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants need to have proven experience of working to improve their communities locally, regionally or at a national level and be able to show evidence of their achievements.
  • Applicants must be aged between 18 and 29 throughout 2018: your date of birth must fall between 1st January 1989 – 1st January 2000.
  • Applicants must be citizens of and working in a Commonwealth country or citizens of an Overseas Territory (of a Commonwealth Member).
  • Applicants need to demonstrate evidence of their leadership qualities.
  • All applicants need to be supported by a suitable referee (a professional in one of the following occupations; a teacher or counsellor; a registered physician or nurse; a church or community leader; social worker or family services; or business leader). Referees must not be related to you.
  • Priority will be given to individuals who have overcome challenges to achieve their goals.

All applications/nominations will be considered based on the young person’s achievements to date as well as their potential and their future ambition. Award winners will be shortlisted by a panel made up of young people from across the Commonwealth. The shortlist will then be presented to The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme Board, which contains members from all three partner organisations, for final selection and decision.

2. When will the Awards applications open?

Applications are now closed and the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders Awards winners and highly commended runners-up will be announced in December 2017.

3. What is the package of support that Award winners will receive?

Award winners will receive a year-long tailored package of online-learning, mentoring and networking, and provided with a one week residential programme in the UK, during which they will receive their Award from Her Majesty The Queen. This programme will strengthen the skills and confidence of Award winners to equip them to further change the lives of those around them and inspire the next generation of young leaders through their own actions and values. Please note that the Awards package does not include a financial reward or grant.

4. Can translation tools be used when submitting an application?

Yes. If you do use a translation tool when making your application, please state so on the form. This will not affect your application.  Also, please note that the awards scheme, including online learning, mentoring and the residential week, will take place predominantly in English.

5. What are Award winners expected to deliver?

With the support offered by the Award Programme, winners and runners-up will be expected to continue and develop the amazing work they are already doing in their communities. They will deliver a social change project in the area specified in their application, under the guidance of their mentor.


The Grants Scheme

  1. Who will be able to receive Grants?

Grants will be available to selected organisations in six countries across the Commonwealth (Bangladesh; Jamaica; Sierra Leone; Solomon Islands; UK; and Zambia). Projects will be supported that are led by, or focused on, young people. They will provide opportunities for young people to learn new skills, enter employment or enterprise, or have a say in decisions affecting their future. Each project will place young people at the heart of their communities, working with them to help solve the issues that affect their lives.

  1. What is the process for the Grants programme?

The Queen’s Young Leaders Grants Programme is a proactive scheme, and after a thorough and detailed scoping process, which included participative workshops with organisations, partners, businesses and stakeholders, we invited selected organisations to apply. Therefore, unfortunately we will not be engaging with any potential new applicants at this time.

In addition, in each country we will be supporting one organisation to run a fully open Small Grants Fire-Starter Initiative – to support smaller innovative youth-led organisations and groups.