Almost 50 primary schoolchildren across the county quizzed their local MPs as part of the Bright Stars challenge programme.
The live online question-and-answer sessions between Cumbria’s six MPs – Copeland MP Trudy Harrison, Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell, Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, Carlisle MP John Stevenson, Penrith and The Border MP Neil Hudson and Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron – and schools in their constituencies focused mainly on how they support their communities and lead change.
Subjects ranged from how to start a campaign and make it successful, the best ways to work as a team, changing people’s mindsets and involving them in campaigns, to working with Boris Johnson, creating publicity, and an MP’s favourite soup.
Bright Stars partners primary schools with local companies to help pupils set up and run their own mini businesses, encouraging leadership and a culture of aspiration and enterprise.
For Bright Stars 2021 the focus has shifted from making a profit – to making a difference by creating digital marketing campaigns to champion the worthwhile causes chosen by the children.
The innovative eight-week programme is delivered by the Centre for Leadership Performance in collaboration with businesses and schools and finishes on Monday June 28.
Bright Stars is funded by local businesses passionate about nurturing the leaders of the future and getting kids excited about the world of business.
For 2021, 49 schools are involved with extra support from BAE Systems and Sellafield to encourage supply chain companies to join the programme, and from Cumbria Community Foundation to enable more charities to partner with schools.
Sarah Glass, executive director, said: “We are hugely grateful to Cumbrian businesses and our local MPs for supporting Bright Stars and enabling children to gain the full benefits of this fantastic opportunity.
“CfLP believes we can all step up and show leadership, and Bright Stars empowers children as young as five with the opportunity to make a difference and develop their leadership skills, confidence and self-belief.
“Bright Stars offers young people the opportunity to be inspired and see that their actions will be recognised and their voices will be heard.
“Pupils meet positive role models from the world of business and the programme encourages leadership, building confidence as they showcase hidden talents and develop new skills.”
Now in its ninth year, the programme enables children to learn through experience about key business principles like innovation, budgeting, problem solving and delivering to deadlines, while linking with core curriculum subjects such as English, maths and design and technology.
CfLP is celebrating 10 years working with young people and businesses across Cumbria to develop and encourage leadership.
Sarah Glass added: “We demonstrate through a huge variety of initiatives and programmes that we can all show leadership, and that better leadership leads to better lives. It can start at primary school and is part of a lifelong journey through further education and university to the workplace and the boardroom.”