Rachael Gibbons

Programme Lead, Power at the Periphery & Working Class Heroes

Rachael is a 25-year–old Mancunian with council estate roots and passion firmly placed in tackling class inequality. She works for RECLAIM, a youth-leadership and social change charity, working with working class young people with an aim of ending leadership inequality.

Most of her work is centred in the belief that too few social change leaders come from the backgrounds of the problems they seek to address – particularly from personal experience, she wants to promote the idea that lived experience should be valued as expertise.

She co-authored a report in to the barriers faced by working class people accessing positions of leadership within business, media and politics sectors. Now leading two programmes focused on activism and gentrification.


Power at the Periphery – Where are our Working Class Leaders? 

What happens when we don’t consult working class people on issues that affect them? How often do we lock out ‘authentic’ voices from conversations? Why did 19 Prime Ministers come from Eton and 0 come from a council estate in Manchester? Rachael will discuss the complex class relationship we have in the U.K. She will use her personal insights to challenge the stigma that surrounds working class communities, with a hope to shift the perceptions of young people and instil hope in a future generation.

Rachael has been supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Ideas and Pioneers Fund. Paul Hamlyn Foundation are a Being the Story Partner.