Catalyst is a transformative leadership programme, offering free training to young people who are between 16 and 26 years of age.

The aim of the programme is to empower young people to act as positive role models in their neighbourhoods and communities. Catalyst emphasises the importance of religious and ethnic diversity in our country and encourages its students to be understanding and supportive to people of all backgrounds.

The Catalyst Alumni programme offers great employment prospects for those who take part, with access to an impressive job reference and a network of possible employers, our graduates are given a helping hand into the job market. Catalyst graduates have gone on to be Young Leaders for the US Embassy, work for their local MPs, study at Madrid University, set up a Syrian Kitchen and so much more.

Upcoming Catalyst Dates

Please check back for future dates.

Days normally run between 9:30 am – 4:00 pm, with all refreshments and materials provided.

Please let us know if you have any queries or special requirements (such as dietary or a need for a private prayer area), as we do our best to accommodate any request.

We release new dates regularly, please check back or call us for more information.


Catalyst Has Four Aims

To help young people:

  1. Develop the confidence and the commitment to act as agents of positive change
  2. Develop a positive identity for living in a multi-faith, multi-ethnic Britain
  3. Develop creative leaders to act as role models in local communities
  4. Develop the skills and experience to play their part in building a strong civil society and enhance their employability. 

How it works

  • Phase One: Recruitment

We do this with the help of local partners, faith based organisations, schools, youth and community groups, further or higher education institutions as well as our Near Neighbours networks.

  • Phase Two: Catalyst Learning

We bring together young people from different ethnic backgrounds, providing training, dialogue and facilitated learning on a range of topics related to leadership, media and communication, peace, identity, faith and social action.

Phase Three: Catalyst Futures

We provide ongoing connection with the programme through our events, further sessions and opportunities to apply for funding, social media and local and national networks, supported by Near Neighbours partners.

“Catalyst changed my life. It opened my mind in a way that I didn’t know before, it broadened so many horizons and opened so many doors.” - Jasmin,  Catalyst Graduate from Luton

Day One: Identity, Faith & Belonging


  • To explore concepts of identity and belonging and what they mean to young people in the UK, including key points of debate.
  • To reflect on and discuss the importance of living in a diverse society

Day Two: Exploring Leadership


  • To hear ideas about leadership from thinking and practice and explore how young people relate to this
  • To explore positive and negative leadership styles, behaviours and personality traits
  • To discuss the types of leaders who inspire and motivate young people to take on leadership positions
  • To explore the challenges of being a leader

Day Three: Media & Effective Communication


  • To explore the relevance and impact of modern media communication

  • To hear ideas about how to communicate more effectively and gain practical experience in presentation and public speaking skills

  • To learn how to use the same material, with different angles, for multiple platforms

Day Four: Social Action & Positive Change


  • To reflect on what we mean by social action and positive change

  • To explore what young people would like to change within their own communities

  • To outline a step by step approach to how young people can get organised and take action to transform their communities

Apply to Catalyst

If you're interested in applying for the Catalyst programme, please fill out the application form.

If you prefer to download and complete the application form, please fill in these files and return to [email protected]:

Catalyst Application Form

Parental Consent Form (for applicants under 18)

Catalyst Information

If you're looking for more information, you may be interested in the following resources:

1. Catalyst Brochure

2. Catalyst Flyer

3. Editable Catalyst Flyer for Partners

4. Catalyst Information for Trainers

5. Catalyst Evaluation Summary

Contact Us

If you have any questions about Catalyst, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Elizabeth Carnelley, Near Neighbours Programme Director:

T: 07812 984818

[email protected]