WE Day at Wembley Arena

London F41

“I am WE”, was the chant heard bellowed from tens of thousands of young people in the SSE Arena at Wembley on Wednesday 22 March 2017. From across the country, children had come together to celebrate the charitable contributions they had made in the preceding months. It was all part of WE Day, an event that has evolved over eight years into a series of 14 stadium-sized events held across the UK, Canada, and the USA.

WE Day, at first glance, seems like a live concert but the entertainment is broken up with extraordinary stories of leadership and perseverance as well as empowering speeches by award-winning performers. The day forms part of the WE Movement, which was founded by Canadian brothers, Marc and Craig Kielburger, who were present at the UK WE day to kick off the event. Essentially a rally for social change, the aims of the day, and the movement itself, are to ‘empower, educate and, above all, inspire’ the young people in our communities.

The year 10 students at MPW London have worked hard this year to make their own contribution to the community as well as further afield. Their incredibly successful Bake Sale raised £547.00 for Free the Children and their contribution at the Carol Concert also helped to raise £591.70 for Hands up for Syria. This hard work earnt them the event tickets to WE Day!

Although a fine drizzle had begun when we arrived, this did not deter the students waiting outside for The Vamps' arrival! The students were then fortunate to hear from Paula Abdul, Bruce Dickinson, Kate Winslet, and sisters Nughsi and Tashi Malik who have a multitude of world records for mountaineering and exploration. They certainly gave our students something to think about, particularly Kate Winslet’s plea to ‘put down your phones once in a while!’ Entertainment was provided, much to our students’ delight, from the well-known names of Connor Maynard, The Vamps and Jessie J, who sang her popular song ‘Price-Tag’.

At WE Day we were also able to hear stories from other schools, how and who they have helped this year. With every student gaining a better understanding of the issues within the UK as well as across the globe.

Before the final and much anticipated act The Vamps, Maria Munir, a young girl from Syria, came on stage to tell her story of her fight for her education, and why she campaigns for other children, particularly girls, to also be given this chance no matter where they are, even if this is a refugee camp like herself. Her final word, when asked to give just one to sum up the world, seemed to address the very reason these young people had come together: “HOPE”.

Sarah Blake