A STUDENT from Knighton will represent Wales as part of Future Leaders Connect, the British Council’s prestigious programme for young leaders.

Jack Gillum is currently a third year student at the University of Reading studying for a degree in Politics and International Relations.

He is one of 50 young people from around the world chosen to take part in the nine-day leadership and policy skills programme, which takes place in London and Cambridge.

As part of the programme, he will meet The Elders, including Ban Ki-Moon, former United Nations Secretary General. He will also attend meetings at the BBC World Service, Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s residence, Lambeth Palace.

“The British Council are providing me with a great opportunity to develop my leadership potential and meet inspirational people from around the world,” said Jack.

“The programme also gives me the chance to develop my professional skills.

“I’m very pleased to have the opportunity, as I’ll be able to take the skills learned and apply them to situations in my work with UK charities.

“I’m particularly looking forward to the chance to network with other future leaders and policy makers, as there is such a wide variety of policy topics among the group that it will allow for further exploration of ways to solve global challenges.”

Jack joins the programme with the other Wales representative, Cardiff based Nikki Giant, founder and director of Full Circle Education, a social enterprise that connects children and young people to their potential.

Both Jack and Nikki won their places through a stringent application process, which asked them to put forward a policy proposal that they then had to present to a British Council selection panel.

Jack’s proposal looked to increase the level of civic participation in the policy process at all levels of governance, as he wants to “close the ‘loop’ and make sure that citizens have the ability to be heard at all levels of the policy process”.

Jack was recently awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to research the role of Civil Society in policy making.

He also sits on a number of charity boards focused on working to raise youth engagement, including the Campaign for the Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales (CYPAW) and the Smart School Council Community.

As a Trustee of CYPAW he campaigned for the creation of a Youth Assembly in Wales, which received support both from the United Nations and the National Assembly for Wales.

He has a range of experience of the UK political system including campaigning during elections and is currently interning for a Member of Parliament.

Future Leaders Connect members were chosen from 11,000 applications from around the world. Applications to be part of Future Leaders Connect 2018 will open in February at www.britishcouncil.org/future- leaders-connect

Through the scheme the British Council aims to support a network of emerging leaders whose global visions and values will help them tackle the challenges they face in their regions.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, working with more than 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society.