Bright Stars 2021

Westmorland & Lonsdale MP Tim Farron fielded questions from Bright Stars kids in his constituency about how to start a campaign and how to change people’s minds about an issue, and revealed his passion for music when he was part of a band as a teenager.

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.   

Tim talked about why he became an MP, his campaign for cancer treatment at Westmorland General Hospital, his passion for music and the friends who were part of his teenage pop band, and advised the children on how to get people to back their campaigns.

Key takeaways from Tim’s Bright Stars session:

‘Changing the mindset of people’

“The first thing is to establish what it is you want to change their mind about, and what to?  And you need to understand what they think.” 

‘Involving people in a campaign’

“What you’re doing there is involving people in a campaign, and because you are doing something a bit newsworthy it makes people ask questions about why you are doing it.  So, your opportunity to persuade people in public is much greater.”    

‘Changing minds’

“Work out who it is whose minds you’ve got to change, and then you’ve got to do the public and the private stuff to change their minds.”

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 Tim’s Westmorland & Lonsdale constituency and the companies that are partnering with them to develop the digital campaigns.

  • Flookburgh CofE Primary – St Mary’s Hospice (Cumbria Community Foundation Sponsor)
  • St Marys & St Martins, Windermere – Family Business Network (Cumbria Community Foundation Sponsor)