Common Purpose
Your Turn

Common Purpose Your Turn is our unique, challenging and fast-paced three-day educational programme which encourages leadership, raises aspirations, and increases confidence.

Upcoming student programmes

Common Purpose courses for student leaders

Programme Start date Audience

Your Turn is a student leadership programme for young people which 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 programme raises aspirations, increases confidence and opens minds, both for the young people and adults involved.

Your Turn Participant, Student, Blackrock College

“I’ve learned that there’s more to being a leader than being in charge. Your Turn helps you to develop your own kind of leadership. I’m going to take more initiative in my life and my community”.

Who is it for?

Common Purpose 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 Common Purpose 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.

Your Turn Participant, Student, St. Dominic’s Secondary School

“If you do this programme you will meet new people outside of your own social circle. I’ve learned to speak more confidently and I’m going to take more initiative from now on".

Programme Format and Location


Your Turn will not be delivered in Dublin in 2018. Please keep an eye on this website for more information in relation to future progammes.

The programme consists of three days. Usually there are about 30 participants on each course from on average 8-10 local schools and 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.

All of the programme days are held at local venues. For example, 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.

Impact: on Individuals

Donut Chart

94% of students say our programmes have helped them develop as leaders
93% say they are better able to Lead Beyond Authority
94% say they have clarified their purpose
96% say they have grown their Cultural Intelligence

Donut Chart

96% of students say our programmes have helped them gain broader networks
96% say they are better able to build relationships 
96% say their ability to spot connections has improved 
96% say they are better able to work in collaboration 

Donut Chart

95% of students say our programmes have helped them make better decisions
93% say they are better able to thrive in complexity 
97% say they are better able to widen context
95% say their ability to confront bias has improved

Donut Chart

95% of students say our programmes have enabled them to drive bold innovation
92% say they are able to think the unthinkable
96% say they are better able to leverage diversity 
96% say their ability to move to action has improved 

Applying to the programme

How to apply

This programme is on hold for 2018. Please get in touch using the online enquiries form or call 01 872 9322 if you wish to reserve places on the 2019 Your Turn programme.

Schools can reserve places prior to confirming the names of the students they wish to nominate, and the Common Purpose team will be happy to answer any questions and provide any information you might need about the programme.

We recommend that participants are selected from a pool of students already showing leadership potential in their class. Having been nominated by their school, each student also needs to return a completed application form to Common Purpose.

What does it cost to attend Your Turn?

Each school can nominate up to five participants for Your Turn, and the fee per participant is €50.

Schools or students 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 guidance or information, please contact us.

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."