Working with young people

Awareness, Focus, Creativity, Integrity, Perseverance and Service are our values and they’re at the very centre of our work. Each leadership academy is slightly different, but they all start there.

What happens on a leadership academy?

Young people change. Open up. Connect to their values. Grow into leaders. Become makers of change. And that creates a ripple effect that’s felt across the whole of society.

Here’s how:

  • By building confidence, motivation and determination
  • By improving health and wellbeing
  • By creating better relationships
  • By developing leadership skills

No young person is an island. That’s why we work with teachers, parents and other important adults, who work and learn alongside young people. There’s no generation gap at Columba 1400 – instead, our work creates a deep, shared understanding.

To find out more about our Young People’s Leadership Academy please email us at: [email protected]

Our Young People’s Leadership Academies have made a huge difference to more than 12,000 young people in Scotland. But we’d like to reach even more – you can help us by supporting our work. Find out more here

Teenagers presenting with a poster titled 'Values of a Leader'
Large group of teenagers with instructor gathered round a campfire

Our Residential Leadership Academies take place over six to nine months and include a five-day stay at our beautiful leadership centre in Staffin on the Isle of Skye.

Our Place-Based Leadership Academies are delivered entirely within the young people’s local community. This model of delivery is particularly suited to young people who may not be attending school, have a caring responsibility or may not feel able to participate in our residential leadership academy.


The outcomes

After taking part in a Young People’s Leadership Academy:


Increased their confidence


Increased their resilience


Increased their self-esteem


Improved their leadership skills


Embraced a leadership role in their school or community

According to an independent evaluation by McKinlay Consulting, 2022

“I will be eternally grateful for this opportunity to invest in our young people who will undoubtedly go on to be the leaders of a brighter, better future.”


“Columba 1400 will change your life and your outlook on life in the best way and it will open up so many doors for you.” 



What We Do

Young People’s Leadership Academy

Head Teachers’ Leadership Academy

Place-Based Leadership Experiences

Social Leaders’ Leadership Academy