Movement Builders

Youth Organising Movement Builders Programme - July 2023

This July NEON is excited to host our latest Movement Builders programme specifically for the Youth Organising Movement!

Core details:

  • Details: Movement Builders, Youth Organising Special
  • Dates: Friday 28th July to Monday  31st July 2023
  • Location: College Court, Knighton Rd, Knighton, Leicester LE2 3UF

About Movement Builders:

A mix of practical tools and theory, this Movement Builders  brings together leaders from across the youth organising movement to reimagine, strategise, and build relationships that last, whilst developing a deeper understanding of how change is won.

What does it involve?

Movement builders is a four day residential training programme with between 25 - 30 participants. 

The programme takes you through a range of models and theories which we’ll explore as a whole group and in smaller groups through interactive activities, workshops and discussions. We have a team of trainers and facilitators to help you unpack the learning and apply it to your own organisations and the wider movement.

Click on these links to download a word or pdf version of this webpage

Apply now

Deadline to apply

May 21, 2023

This programme's applications are now closed. Check back later to apply for the next round.

In partnership with
Blagrave Trust

Key outcomes

Our training is inspired by the world's most effective social movement groups. Participants on our programme will gain:

  • A shared language to discuss and understand their social movement
  • A shared set of tools to analyse the movement, and how change is won
  • A relational culture that fosters collaboration, and budding relationships from across the movement

Who is this training for?

This Movement Builders residential course is for people in the UK who centre youth-led change in their work and hold the shared belief in young people as a priority of change making in society.

The programme will be youth centred, and we welcome applications from people holding a range of different roles and spaces across the youth organising movement. Whilst we will priortise young leaders between 18-30 years old, we recognise that there are many movement leaders, co-conspirators, and elders that are key to the movement and see the residential being an intergenerational space. The programme is open to organisers, leaders, campaigners, service providers, youth workers, educators, policy makers who are 18+ and active either within the youth organising movement or at the intersection of youth organising and other issues 

We particularly welcome applications from people of colour, people with lived experience of migration, disabled people and trans people, who are currently underrepresented in leadership positions in the movement. In terms of selection, we’ll be prioritising those who have experienced injustice first hand, have direct experience of the issue they are organising around, and are keen to organise with others in their community who are marginalised by structural inequality.

We are seeking applicants who: 

  • can demonstrate a strategic approach to making change happen
  • are either currently a leader in their community or have the potential to become a leader
  • understand the importance of self-development/transformation as part of the work
  • can demonstrate practical application of anti-oppression and liberation thinking
  • whose skills/knowledge gaps match up with Movement Builders course content, and so might benefit most from the training

In addition, we will be looking for a cohort of people who come from across the movement ecology: those who are challenging dominant institutions, those who are supporting individuals with personal empowerment, and those who are building alternatives.

Movement Builders cohorts are made up of people who understand the importance of both self and collective care to the work we do, and believe that building and sustaining a culture based on anti-oppression, deep understanding and solidarity is central to the change we want to see. We would also hope that participants would be open to being a part of an ongoing community of practice with NEON after the training, supporting and exploring collaborations with other Movement Builders alumni.

How long is this training?

Four day residential training from Friday 28th July to Monday 31st July 2023

Who will be in the space

The NEON delivery team will be made up of 3 trainers, 4 facilitators (supporting smaller group work), a lead facilitator (responsilble for pastoral and conflict support e.g.dynamics around race, gender etc), 1 operations lead (leading on the logistical support) and our programme lead responsible for the overall programme. Prior to the programme starting, at least one person from the team will check in with you.

When selecting participants for the programme, we try to ensure that the cohort is representative of the different groups and organisations within the movement creating change in different ways. We also prioritise applications from people from marginalised groups, and during the training we will arrange break out groups to ensure people aren’t isolated.

opening quote
I really valued the knowledge of trainers, the space that was created was one of the best learning spaces I have been in. I valued having time to build relationships with other people in the movement.
Rebekah Ross, Grassroots Organiser, London Renters Union and Harringey Streets Kitchen
closing quote

Application process

You can apply via Google Form here, or alternatively if you would prefer to answer your questions via voice note, video or telephone call, let us know.

During the application process, if you require support with the application process, or have questions about access support on the programme, please contact  

The venue for the residential is College Court Leicester. College Court in Leicester is a recently refurbished conference venue, with access ramps and a portable hearing loop. During the training programme, we can provide printed slides and our workbooks in other formats. In the application form there is space to tell us about what additional support you may need to participate in the programme.


  • Applications close at 23:59 on the 21st May 2023
  • w/c 22nd May participant selection 
  • w/c 29th May - all applicants will be notified if they have a place on the programme or not

Apply for Movement Builders


Movement Builders is free to attend, and we will provide accommodation and your meals during the programme. This year, NEON is partnering with the Blagrave Trust to deliver the training (you can read more about Blagrave below). To support organisations to access the training, we will be offering grants of £1000 per attendee recognising that especially for unpaid organisers or groups with little to no income, attending a 4 day residential training is a big commitment. These grants could cover your transport, childcare, time away from delivery etc.

Running date

Friday 28th July to Monday 31st July 2023

Additional information

Blagrave Trust is the funder of the project. 

Blagrave Trust along with Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation have a shared interest in supporting the growth of youth organising and its field of practice in the UK. They are communicating closely to increase investment and support for youth organsing, guided by young people, practitioners and leaders in this field.

About NEON

Key Definitions

- Youth-led change

Youth leadership that drives social change. Young people realising their agency and power, igniting their lived experience, and self-organising to drive and lead external and systemic change for their communities. This is NOT youth social action or youth voice, which are both rooted in young people stepping up to serve existing institutions and structures. Youth-led change is instead rooted in community organising principles, empowering young people to self-organize to challenge these institutions and structures, driving long term change for their community be this incremental, structural, or transformational change.

- Youth organising

Grounded in racial, gender, and economic justice, youth organising is the process of engaging young people in building power for systemic change. Proximity to the issues is key, so lived experience is essential. There is a focus on the development of individual young people as well as the cohort within the community, which requires an asset-based approach and the building of skills. Youth organising includes the opening of space for those affected by injustice to come together as a community to critically analyse power relations and allocate responsibility.

Adults play a role in youth organising by acting as co-facilitators, administrators, or allies. This approach has a ‘triple bottom line benefit’, positively impacting the community involved, individual leadership development of young activists as well as the issues they are working to change.