Bright Stars 2021

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson responded to questions from Bright Stars kids in his constituency about campaigning and leading change, about his plans for the local area, and how he aims to get Prime Minister Boris Johnson to visit Cumbria once lockdown finishes.

Cumbria’s six MPs are all backing Bright Stars and took part in online Q&A sessions with primary school pupils.  The schools are taking part in the Bright Stars programme which this year challenges them to lead a campaign on something that want to make better or improve, to ‘make a difference’. Bright Stars is about nurturing the leaders of the future and getting kids excited about the world of business by setting up and running their own companies.   

Mark explained to pupils how working together is important to bring about change, and also talked about the tough challenge of persuading people to be patient while they are waiting for change to happen, and what he liked best about his job.

Key takeaways from Mark’s Bright Stars session:

‘Patience while waiting for change’

“It is difficult; when you spy something you want to change, you want to change it as quickly as possible.  As long as people can see something is happening, it is much easier for them to stay patient.”

‘Work together to change things’

“The big changes that we want to see need a lot of people to come together, work together to get the outcome that we want.  And I think that the most important part of that is trying to bring those people together.”

The MP will be tracking the progress of the various teams as they select their worthy causes and develop campaign ideas.

Throughout the 8-week programme schools are partnered with local businesses and charities that provide advice and guidance.  Setting up and running the campaign dovetails with areas of the curriculum including English, maths and design & technology.

Bright Stars is about empowering kids to show leadership, to have their voices heard, to lead change and make a difference. Understanding the various roles and the breadth of skills needed to succeed is critical, alongside exposure to positive role models.  Encouragement from the county’s MPs who are very much our local leaders gives a terrific boost to their confidence.

The programme is delivered by the Centre for Leadership Performance in partnership with businesses and schools, and financed by those businesses taking part.  For 2021 a record 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.

CfLP is celebrating ten years working with young people and businesses across Cumbria to develop and encourage leadership.  Executive Director Sarah Glass explains: “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.”

This is the full list of schools taking part in Bright Stars within Mark’s Workington constituency and the companies that are partnering with them to develop the digital campaigns.

  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School – Florence Mine (NNL sponsor)
  • Flimby Primary School – Next Generation Sellafield
  • Ewanrigg Junior School – Armstrong Watson
  • Dearham Primary School – Next Generation Sellafield
  • Northside Primary School  – Allerdale Borough Council
  • Derwent Vale Primary School – Age UK West Cumbria (BEPT sponsor)
  • Dean CofE Primary School – Atkins
  • Thursby Primary School – Foodbank (Cumbria Community Foundation Sponsor)
  • St Patricks Primary, Workington – Hospice at Home (Cumbria Community Foundation Sponsor)
  • Victoria Junior, Workington – NSG Ltd
  • Holme St Cuthbert School – La’al Collective