Common Purpose
Your Turn

A unique, challenging and fast-paced three-day educational programme which encourages leadership, raises aspirations and increases confidence.


Local courses which take young people to the heart of leadership in its many forms.

A student leadership programme for young people, Your Turn challenges participants to think in new ways about the place where they live and the world around them, to examine how decisions are made and see how they can make change happen.

Students examine topical current affairs, community issues and they go into professional environments to provide consultation advice to businesses and to ask hard-hitting questions of community leaders.

The course is a unique, challenging and fast-paced programme which raises aspirations, increases confidence and opens minds, both for the young people and adults involved.

The transferable nature of Your Turn allows young people to develop as leaders in sport, community roles and extra-curricular activities, resulting in positive, well-informed young people in school communities and beyond.

Who is Your Turn for?

The Your Turn programme is designed for talented young leaders between 15 to 17 years old, who have already displayed their leadership in school or the community and aspire to take more of a lead in the future.

These young people may be recognised as potential leaders, not necessarily for their academic achievements but because of their initiative and enterprise.

The ideal Your Turn participant should be:

  • able to engage in activities, debates and team exercises
  • active in their community
  • active in school life, maybe as a member of the school council, a Class Representative, a sports team captain or through voluntary work or fundraising.
    interested in current affairs and social sciences
  • keen to make a difference and independently keep the momentum going on their leadership development once they return to school
  • respected and listened to by their peers

Why Your Turn?

Participants will develop their skills through activities, discussions and visits which push them beyond their comfort zone, but within a safe and supportive environment. They must be willing to engage with a challenging course, which will require them to mix and communicate maturely with their peers and adult leaders, be willing to express opinions and challenge themselves.

Young people taking part in Your Turn can:

  • develop more confidence initiating action and taking the lead.
  • find their voice on consultation panels, trustee boards, advisory groups and user forums.
  • develop clear goals to bring about positive change in their local communities.
    increase their understanding of - and sense of belonging in - their local community.

Schools take part in Your Turn because it:

  • Delivers passionate, knowledgeable and inspired teams of young people in the school willing to hand on their knowledge.
  • Develops young people with an enhanced capacity to lead in the school.
  • Allows young people to develop - in a safe and exciting environment - the key skills they will need to become change makers.
  • Builds new links for the school in the local community.

Fr. Patrick Relihan, Pobalscoil na Trionoide Youghal

"Our students were deeply appreciative of the opportunity to participate in the Your Turn programme this year, as indeed we are. They wrote up a project afterwards for their Transition Year Portfolio which was very impressive and I have no doubt that it will be to their advantage and the advantage of the school and wider community into the future. We look forward to being able to participate again in the future."

Programme Format and Location


The Your Turn programme consists of three days. Usually there are about 30 participants on each course from on average 8-10 local schools. It is delivered within school hours - usually 8.30am to 3.30pm.

A Your Turn programme day often includes:

  • behind-the-scenes visits to workplaces.
  • open conversations with local leaders from diverse backgrounds.
  • real life challenges that require the groups to work well together.
  • key skills workshops with experts.
  • structured reflection time to identify the learning and how to apply it.

Your Turn courses are delivered in Dublin, Cork and the Mid West.

All of the programme days are held at local venues. Participants could spend a morning with the Fire Brigade, lunching with local Councillors in the City Hall, and then do a crash course on how stocks and shares work.

For more information on Your Turn, contact the Common Purpose team.

Upcoming student programmes

Common Purpose courses for student leaders

Programme Start date Audience
Frontrunner 20, 21 February & 1, 2 March 2018 Third-level students Contact us
Your Turn 24, 25, 26 April 2018 Transition Year students Contact us

Applying to the programme

How to apply

Download an application form using the link in this page's header and send it via email or post to your local Common Purpose Dublin office.

For more informations about the overall application process or for general questions, please get in touch using the online enquiries form.

Financial assistance

There are a number of almost full- (every participant must make some contribution) and part-bursary places provided on every Common Purpose course for participants who are genuinely unable to meet the full fee. 

Applicants who cannot pay the full fee should not be deterred from applying. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please fill in the section of the application form for bursary candidates. For guidance or information, please contact us.

Everyone who has completed a Common Purpose programme will be offered a 20% reduction on the fee of any future courses they attend. Please notify us in your programme application if you wish to apply for this reduction.