Common Purpose
Frontrunner for Disabled Students

Frontrunner is a leadership development programme designed for university students to broaden their networks and develop skills to succeed in the future.

What is Frontrunner?

We run Frontrunner programmes specifically for disabled students in partnership with universities across the UK. Students take part in challenging discussions with senior leaders and visit organizations across different sectors to tackle real-life challenges. They gain a deep insight into the world of work, broaden their networks and unlock the skills they need to succeed in the future.

The programme runs for three days, for up to 50 students.

What happens on the programme?

Students explore their personal leadership journeys and develop their skills through:

  • understanding how to thrive in diversity
  • meeting leaders from across sectors who share how they succeeded
  • exploring the concepts of power and influence, and the link between leadership and power
  • visiting organizations to develop solutions to challenges they face.

Our impact

How do we ensure the programme is accessible?

Prior to delivering the programme, we ensure we understand the accessibility requirements of each individual student through corresponding with our university partner and with the students, and ensure these are met during the programme.

Why Frontrunner for Disabled Students?

Common Purpose has been running Frontrunner for Disabled Students for over five years, with over 650 students participating from over 100 universities.

We know that broadening professional network opportunities can often seem inaccessible to disabled students. That’s why whilst Frontrunner focuses on developing the key skills all students need, we work with universities to ensure we understand each student’s accessibility needs throughout the programme. Through developing their skills, confidence and networks, students have a better chance to break down barriers and succeed in the future.

Why Frontrunner?


94% of students on Frontrunner say it is excellent value for time.


In the next year over 4500 students worldwide will take part in Common Purpose programmes.


97% of students would recommend the programme to a friend.

What is the impact of the programme?

Adokiye Benebo, Coventry University

“This course has changed my life. I will use the skills I have obtained along with my developed confidence to pursue future prospects including setting up a mentor programme for people with disabilities. It has served well for an Aspergers student such as myself.” 

Abigail Taylor, University of Oxford

"My confidence has increased dramatically, and my enthusiasm and belief that I can develop the skills to lead in my community and make an impact has been boosted."

Matthew Heathcote, University of Warwick

"I am not an easy person to understand; shy, emotionally volatile and self distrusting which never helps me to build strong connections. However, thanks to the in depth conversations that this course offers, I have been able to adapt both my inner and outer social skills. Thanks to the varied and wonderful talented members of the course and staff, I hope that all of us have developed  new skills in leadership.”


87% strongly agree they have increased confidence in their leadership skills


87% were strongly inspired to take more risks and make change


87% strongly agree they feel better able to make new contacts and build networks