Virgin Atlantic Foundation funds the UK WE Schools' programme across the UK making it 100% free of charge to schools. Aimed at children aged between 7 and 18, it has three guiding principles: educate, engage and empower. The yearlong programme, which includes educational resources and support staff is designed to enhance the existing school curriculum. The aim is to spark at least one local and one global action in support of causes young people care about. The result is that young people are showing, every day, that by taking small steps, tangible actions, the world will become a better place.
Students from the entire school programme have the opportunity to compete for a place on Virgin Atlantic’s annual international scholarship trip to one of the international funded villages. Each year, finalists are chosen by the airline’s staff committee representatives. Judging is extremely tough and entrants were whittled down to the final 30 students who went to India. The 18-day experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity to volunteer oversees. It helps the students to understand global issues and provide them with tangible leadership skills.
This year, we launched the Virgin Atlantic Change is in the Air award. We invited students to share their solutions for making their local or global communities more sustainable. Open to primary and secondary schools, the five winning applicants will each be awarded up to £1,200 to use towards developing their sustainability initiative.
WE Day is an annual, stadium sized event and it’s a celebration of students coming together to lead local and global change. You can’t buy tickets to WE Day, students earn them by taking social action. More than just a one day event as it empowers young people and teachers, giving them the resources to transform school culture and take action in the causes they care about. They will hear inspirational speeches from global leaders, activists, and performances from entertainers and world celebrities.