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Are you a changemaker living or working in Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast, Newham in London, Slough, or Bradford?

Do you long to connect with other changemakers in your city and across the UK? Do you want to learn new skills, feel re-inspired about your work, and be supported by others working for common goals?

Changemakers in Turbulent Times is designed to support people working for social change, to foster connections, and encourage creative responses to the challenges of our times.

Join our free 10-week programme and workshops designed for people working for social change

Engage with world-renowned activists and changemakers from the UK and globally

Apply for up to £2,000 in seed grants for your ongoing or upcoming social cohesion projects

Why our programme is for you:

• You work for change in the UK and feel isolated, under-funded or overwhelmed by the challenges facing your community.
• Your community is facing growing challenges and needs positive leadership.
• You’re burnt out and need to revive your changemaker instincts.
• You want to help your community or the world but don’t know where to start.
• You’re looking to connect with fellow changemakers and extend your resources for a healthier community.

Jo Berry

“Changemakers In Turbulent Times is designed very specifically for this moment, when we’re all being asked to respond to the challenges of our times in creative ways. We aim to resource participants, to help them build new connections and to midwife the birth of exciting new projects into the world.”

Jo Berry
Acclaimed speaker and Programme Lead

Our Guest Speakers

Selina HalesSelina Hales
Scottish mum-turned-activist and founder of a unique refugee organisation

John Paul LederachJohn Paul Lederach
One of the world’s best-known conflict transformation experts

Mark Prince OBEMark Prince OBE
Inspirational speaker, former professional boxer and award-winning charity campaigner.

Dr Scilla ElworthyDr. Scilla Elworthy
Founder of Plan for Peace and three-times Noble peace prize nominee.

Rob DeeksRob Deeks
A passionate believer in youth-led change and community organizer in Slough

Aina J. Khan
Writer and journalist for The New York Times, NBC News, The Guardian, and Al Jazeera English.

Ryad KhodabocusRyad Khodabocus
Heart-centred leadership and interfaith champion

Jo BerryJo Berry
Acclaimed public speaker who demonstrates the power of listening and empathy in her life-changing work

What you can expect:

Through six online and four in-person sessions, you will be guided through our 10-week programme alongside inspiring well-known changemakers who have overcome their own challenges to change lives.

Participants are assisted by a highly motivated team of local Community Connectors and Facilitators who lead sessions in their town or city.

Everybody who takes part in this course can apply for a seed grant of up to £2,000 to deliver their own local initiative.

Key themes we will cover:


Anger to Action Icon

Learn how to harness the power of what breaks your heart and use the pain to fuel your efforts.


Transforming Conflict Icon

Negotiate conflict peacefully through deep listening and mastering non-conflict communication.


Heart Led Leadership Icon

Master new heart-centred leadership skills to support effective change in communities.


Taking a Stand Icon

Connect with fellow changemakers who have created massive positive change in their communities.

Changemakers in Turbulent Times is inclusive

From longtime social activists to young graduates who are only just setting out, from new migrants to established minority communities – our programme is cross-generational, diverse, and expansive in its reach.

Please note that, at this time, our programme is only available to those working or living in Glasgow, Slough, Belfast, Bradford, Newham in London, and Cardiff with hopes to expand.

Have questions? Read our FAQs below.

What is the Changemakers During Turbulent Times programme?

Changemakers During Turbulent Times is a 10-week programme that will inspire, upskill and connect people working for change across the UK. It combines online workshops delivered by leading UK and global changemakers, with face-to-face sessions facilitated by our team. 

Who is the programme for?

The programme is for anybody working to make a positive change in their community, or for people who would like to make a change but don’t know where to start. You could be working to address any issue – the only requirement is that you are committed to making a positive difference! 

Those taking part must live or work in one of the following places: Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, Bradford, Slough or Newham in London. You can also apply if you plan to work in one of these areas in the future, and live nearby. 

The programme is for anybody aged 18 to 100!

I don’t live or work in Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, Bradford, Slough or Newham in London can I still apply?

You must live and/or work in one of the following places: Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, Bradford, Slough or Newham in London. You can also apply if you plan to work in one of these areas in the future, and live nearby. 

This is a pilot project. We hope to offer opportunities in the future to people living in other parts of the UK. Please join our mailing list to be kept informed. 

I have no previous experience of being a changemaker, can I still apply?

Definitely. This course is for anybody wanting to make a difference – including people who would like to do something but don’t know where to start, or need support to get a new initiative off the ground.

Do I have to pay to take part?

No, the programme is free.

What are the dates of the programme?

This is a ten-week programme (2 hours per week), delivered both online and through in-person workshops in each of the participating local areas. We are offering the programme twice in 2023 – you can apply to join one of the following courses: 

  • 7 March – 9 May 2023 (APPLICATIONS CLOSED) 
  • 16 May – 18 July (application deadline noon, 17 April)

On what days/times will the programme run?

Online sessions for the first course will run on Tuesdays, as follows: 

Tuesday, 14 March 10am-12pm (online) 

Tuesday, 21 March 10am-12pm (online) 

Tuesday, 4 April 10am-12pm (online) 

Tuesday, 11 April 10am-12pm (online) 

Tuesday, 25 April 10am-12pm (online) 

Tuesday, 2 May evening session to accommodate US Speaker, time TBC (online) 

Face-to-Face Workshops will run in Belfast, Bradford, Glasgow, Cardiff, Slough and Newham in London as follows: 

7 March 10am-12pm* (face-to-face workshop) 

29 March 10am-12pm* (face-to-face workshop) 

19 April 10am-12pm* (face-to-face workshop) 

9 May 10am-12pm* (face-to-face workshop) 

*Sessions in Glasgow may take place on Tuesday afternoons, please contact us if you need further clarification about this

How many people will take part?

There are 48 places available on each course – 8 per location. 

How do I apply?

Please apply using this simple application form, or get in touch to send us a video application: 

When’s the deadline for applying?

Deadline for applying for our summer course is noon, 17 April 2023 

What’s the time commitment required?

You will be required to commit a minimum of two hours a week to this programme. 

There will be opportunities to get involved in additional activities if you would like to deepen your experience – so you could dedicate up to four hours a week if you wanted.

I can’t attend all of the sessions, should I still apply?

It’s important that you attend as many of the sessions as possible, however we understand that you may not be able to attend them all. Please only apply if you are confident that you can attend most of the sessions. Particularly if you’d like to apply for a seed grant, it’s important that you attend all or most of the sessions. 

How is the programme delivered?

This is a hybrid programme, delivered both online and offline – six online sessions, four in-person workshops in your local area (Bradford, Belfast, Slough, Glasgow, Cardiff, Newham in London). 

Where will the in-person workshops take place?

The in-person workshops will take place in a location that’s as easy as possible for each of the 8 participants in your local area (Bradford, Belfast, Slough, Glasgow, Cardiff, Newham in London) to access. Our Community Connectors will be organising a venue and will be in touch once you’re accepted on the programme to discuss and share details. 

I don’t have good technical skills, should I still apply?

The online sessions are delivered over Zoom and we also use an online platform called Sutra to stay connected. Most people find it easy and straightforward to use. Our Community Connectors and Project Manager will support you as much as possible to access the online sessions if you feel unconfident about your online skills. 

If you’d like to talk to us about this or about any other access needs you have, please contact our Programme Manager, Ruby 

I don’t have access to the internet and/or a computer, can I still apply?

Please get in touch if this will be a barrier to you taking part and we can see if there’s a way to support you with this.

English isn’t my first language, should I still apply?

If you can follow a TedTalk in English on YouTube, and speak in English with a group of friends about things that are important to you, you should be able to follow the programme. 

We will enable ‘closed captions’ on the Zoom platform to enable anyone who needs that support to access it during the live sessions. 

There will be minimal reading and writing required. There will be some supporting course materials in English, but reading these is not a requirement. 

Please don’t let concerns about your English hold you back from applying and get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about this:

Will Welsh translation and interpretation be available?

Yes, we will provide Welsh translation of accompanying course materials and can provide Welsh interpretation if required. 

Is this programme just for young people?

No, this programme is for people of all ages, including older people. We encourage people of all ages to apply. 

Will I be reimbursed for expenses for taking part in the in-person workshops?

Yes, we will reimburse reasonable travel expenses for taking part in the in-person workshops delivered in your local area.

What will I get out of taking part?

– You will meet people from all over the UK working on pressing issues – from climate change, to food poverty, to tackling knife crime and supporting asylum seekers and refugees – with opportunities to share learning and gain support 

– You will hear from inspiring changemakers from the UK and globally who will share their skills and experiences with you, helping you to overcome the challenges you face in your work 

– You will become part of a supportive local and national network of UK Changemakers, with opportunities for ongoing collaboration 

 – You can apply for a seed grant of up to £2,000 at the end of the programme to continue your existing work or to get a new initiative off the ground

Who are the people leading the programme?

The project is led by a team of people with many years experience between them of working for social change in the UK and globally. We’re joined by at least seven inspiring speakers, predominantly from the UK, but also from the US. 

Will I get a seed grant at the end of programme?

Everyone who goes through the programme can apply for a seed grant at the end. You can request a seed grant to get a new initiative off the ground, or to continue your existing work in a way that integrates your learning from the programme. 

We’ll share detailed information about the seed grants shortly. The main criteria will be that you can show that the grant is going to support you to become, or to continue to be, a changemaker in your community. 

We have £47,000 of seed grant funding to distribute.

How much are the seed grants for?

You can apply for a seed grant for up to £2,000. 

How is the programme funded?

This programme is funded by the National Lottery Bringing People Together Fund. The seed grants are funded by donations from our sister organisation, Business Plan for Peace. 

I’d like to have a chat with someone about the programme - who should I contact?

We’d love to hear from you! In the first instance, please email our Programme Manager, Ruby, and she will put you in touch with the Community Connector in your area:



John Paul Lederach

John Paul Lederach is a living legend in the field of conflict transformation and peacebuilding, working with and championing the power of the grassroots to bring about lasting change. He has won many prestigious awards, including the Martin Luther King Order of Peace Medal in 2006.

He is Senior Fellow at Humanity United and Professor Emeritus of International Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame. He works extensively in conciliation processes, active in Latin America, Africa, Southeast and Central Asia. He is widely known for the development of culturally appropriate approaches to conflict transformation and the design and implementation of integrative and strategic approaches to peacebuilding. He served as the director of the Peace Accord Matrix research initiative at the Kroc Institute and currently a member of the Advisory Council for the Truth Commission in Colombia. He is a widely published author and editor of 24 books and manuals, including Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies and The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace.

Rob Deeks

Rob Deeks is a renowned social cohesion expert in the UK and CEO at Aik-Saath- Together as One, the multiple award-winning young people’s charity based in Slough that is widely credited with having ended bitter intercommunal violence in the area. For 20 years, Rob has supported young people to move their ideas and aspirations forward, leading to his involvement in diverse spheres of work, including race, identity, conflict resolution, specialist services for young carers and young people from various backgrounds, and the arts and heritage.

Under his leadership, Aik-Saath- Together as One has won numerous awards, including The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2006 and The Guardian Charity of the Year in 2009. Rob is a prominent local figure in community events and has spoken in Parliament on issues such as the value of multiculturalism and what deprived urban areas need from central government to support their young people.

Mark Prince OBE

Dr Mark Prince is a much-loved inspirational speaker and former professional boxer turned award-winning charity campaigner. All too familiar with overcoming adversity, the once drug-abusing youth became a world-renowned fighter, to later reinvent himself once more as a campaigner after the death of his son by knife crime.

In May 2006, Mark’s son passed away, a teen victim of knife crime. Driven by the desire to prevent knife crime, Mark founded The Kiyan Prince Foundation in 2007, which used his platform and experiences in sport to create positive change. Awarded an OBE for his services to tackling gang crime in London, Mark has solidified the legacy of his late son and influenced a generation. Mark is a qualified personal trainer who continues to work predominantly with youths. Highly regarded for his authority as a speaker on knife crime, he has been the executive producer of Put the Knives and Guns Down and spoken for the Metropolitan Police Operation Trident Program. He has also spoken with Mayor Sadiq Khan on London’s knife crime epidemic and been a guest speaker at the National Governor Prison Association Conference and the National Black Crown Prosecutors Association Conference.

Jo Berry

Jo Berry is an acclaimed global leader, speaker and expert in conflict transformation and empowering positive change. She is the founder of “Bridges for Peace”, a charity dedicated to promoting peace and conflict transformation around the world. Jo advocates that unbounded empathy is the biggest weapon to ending conflict. She has actively been involved in resolving areas of conflict in countries including Lebanon, Rwanda, Ireland, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Myanmar, Australia, Mexico, USA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and throughout the UK as well as numerous occasions in Northern Ireland.

Jo’s deep commitment to ending violence comes from personal experience – her father Sir Anthony Berry was killed in the 1984 IRA Brighton bombing. In November 2000 she met Patrick Magee, the former IRA activist responsible for her father’s death, and the pair have since toured the UK together, speaking about their experiences. Jo has participated in documentaries including “Beyond Right and Wrong”, “Soldiers of Peace” and “Facing the Enemy” and has been the topic of two plays; “The Bomb” and “The Bombing of the Grand Hotel”.

Selina Hales

One of Scotland’s best-known activists, Selina Hayles is the founder and CEO of Refuweegee, a community-led charity in Glasgow providing a warm welcome to forcibly displaced persons. Her passion is to create social change through Refuweegee.

Currently, the organization provides personalised aid to meet each individual Ukrainian refugees’ needs. They also have educational workers support the children in schools and prepare teachers to deal with the trauma they’ve experienced. Selina is an all-rounded leader who occasionally holds up the positions of volunteer, trustee, cause founder, project manager, fundraiser, researcher, operational director, business development manager and social entrepreneur. In 2022, she was nominated for the Scottish Influencer of the Year’s Inspiration award.

Ryad Khodabocus

Ryad Khodabocus is an Integrative Health and Wellness consultant, specialised in lifestyle medicine and energy psychology. He is a certified HeartMath® Coach, Trainer and Practitioner. He researched in Emotional Intelligence and holds a master’s degree in Psychology of Health and Management. He created the P.E.A.C.E system for health and wellness inspired by his work in peace and reconciliation.

Ryad heads a non-profit working around peace and reconciliation and community development for the last 15 years. In 2018, he was awarded as one of the 21 leaders for the 21st century as agents of reconciliation in the UK, supported by the Prime Minister’s Office. A multiple award winner, Ryad is popularly known for his spirit of integration, cultural and collective intelligence and has penned over 500 newspaper articles. In 2020, Ryad’s charity won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the only one to win in Luton for the county of Bedfordshire in that year.

Lucia Rijker

Considered by many to be the greatest woman in boxing history, known as “the Dutch Destroyer”, Lucia Rijker was a combat sports prodigy who is today an inspirational speaker for people around the world. Born in Amsterdam in 1967, Rijker trained in judo and fencing before becoming a world class kickboxer. She started her professional boxing career in 1996, knocking out nearly every opponent she faced and winning the Super Lightweight title in 1998. She stepped away from boxing in 1999 to pursue a career in Hollywood and appeared in 2004’s Oscar-winning, female boxer-based film Million Dollar Baby.

In 2019, Rijker became one of the first three women boxers (and the first Dutch woman boxer) elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Today, she is known as an motivational speaker, giving lectures and seminars to athletes and people from all walks of life to perform their best, while still maintaining her top physical form.

Dr Scilla Elworthy

Dr Scilla Elworthy

Dr Scilla Elworthy is a three times Nobel peace prize nominee and visionary whose peacebuilding experience spans many countries and conflicts. She has worked with notable peacemakers such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, advised heads of state in nuclear non-proliferation talks and is a vocal advocate for business as a force for peace.

Aina J. Khan

Aina J. Khan is a British journalist who has worked as a reporter or correspondent for The New York Times, NBC News, The Guardian, and Al Jazeera English. She has reported from the UK, the US, the occupied Palestinian West Bank, and Tanzania.

In 2021, she became the first International Fellow at The New York Times. She is also a writer. In 2019, she was selected to take part in the BBC Writer’s Room, Northern Voices Writers scheme. Her first short play about a British-Pakistani teenager’s love for Michael Jackson’s music and traditional Pashtun dancing, Pashto Thriller, debuted at the Bradford Literature Festival in 2019.