WE Day, the greatest celebration of social good, returned to The SSE Arena, Wembley in celebration of over 12,000 young people and teachers who’ve created a lasting difference in their local and global communities.
Coming together from across the UK, they shared in a day of powerful, life-changing experiences which featured renowned speakers, innovative thought leaders and energizing performers including Naomi Campbell, Iskra Lawrence, Liam Payne, Nicole Scherzinger, Tom Walker and The Duke of Sussex who ignited the room with a standing ovation. Joined by WE co-founders, Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger, the exciting line-up celebrated their collective passion for doing good, motivating young people to continue to take action on pressing issues to affect positive change at home in the UK and around the world.
The Duke of Sussex spoke in the capacity of his role as President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, a new organization launched last year that is working in partnership with young people in the WE movement and around the world. His Royal Highness is a keen advocate for young people to be seen as leaders and equal partners in making the world a better place.
“Your optimism is inspiring – you see opportunities where other people see challenges, you seek solutions when others just focus on problems,” said The Duke of Sussex at WE Day UK. “You are the most engaged generation in history. You care about values, doing the right thing, and championing the causes that will shape your future.”
After sharing some inspirational words to the students and teachers in attendance, The Duke of Sussex invited The Duchess of Sussex to the stage and proclaimed, “I am with you, we are with you!”
Students can’t buy a ticket to WE Day — young people from across the UK earn their way through the actions they take on one local and one global cause of their choice. WE Day is free of charge to students and teachers across the UK, thanks to the generous support of partners led by UK Title Supporter Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic believes in empowering young people to build a brighter, more sustainable future.
Speakers and performers at WE Day UK energized the crowd through a day full of powerful speeches, inspirational moments and empowering performances. A few highlights included:
World-renowned model, actress and activist, Naomi Campbell shares an empowering message to the crowd about perseverance and achieving their dreams. “You are the worlds future. You are tomorrow’s leaders and YOU are going to make a massive difference. Your time will come …just be ready”, said Naomi Campbell.
Grammy-nominated singer, Nicole Scherzinger, took to the stage to introduce Creator of Nikki Lilly on YouTube and inspirational speaker, Nikki Christou who addressed the young people in attendance on the importance of self acceptance and embracing ones’ true self.
Internationally acclaimed, multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter, Liam Payne closed the show, performing fan favourites Get Low and Polaroid.
“I’m thrilled to be at WE Day UK to recognize and celebrate the work of the thousands of incredible young leaders here today. Each student and teacher has challenged themselves to give back in remarkable ways and make a real difference in their local and global communities,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “We’re honored to provide tools to build the confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills of young people and to encourage the next generation of engaged citizens. From tackling the stigma surrounding mental health, to fundraising to improve access to clean water and eliminating local homelessness, today’s young change-makers are more fearless than ever when it comes to taking action on timely issues. Their unwavering commitment to doing good never ceases to inspire me.”
More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to the free, year-long program WE Schools. Designed to enhance a school or community’s existing social initiatives or spark new ones, WE Schools provides participants with curriculum, educational resources and action campaigns, encouraging students to further their curricular learning and develop life skills to succeed beyond the classroom. In the 2017/2018 school year, over 4,000 UK schools and groups volunteered over 860,000 hours and collected over 115,000 kilos of food for local foodbanks through WE Schools. Together, finding their passion for taking action on causes including homelessness, food security, the environment, education and access to clean water.
WE Day is supported in the UK by Co-Chairs Holly Branson, Leadership Team Virgin Group, Virgin Unite and Founder of Big Change; Lord Rumi Verjee, Founder of The Rumi Foundation; and Kees Kruythoff, President Home Care, Unilever. Globally, WE Day is supported by, Dave I. McKay, President and CEO, RBC; David Aisenstat, Chairman, President and CEO, Keg Restaurants Ltd.; Hartley Richardson, President and CEO, James Richardson & Sons Ltd.; and Craig Burkinshaw, Co-Founder, Audley Travel.