On Wednesday 22nd March, twelve thousand young and incredibly inspiring people descended on SSE Wembley Arena to celebrate WE Day UK. We were able to head down to the event and if you weren’t in attendance yourself we’ve given you a run through of this very special day. The star-studded line up for the event flaunted artists including The Vamps, Fleur East and Jessie J alongside speakers such as Kate Winslet, Craig and Marc Kielburger and Margaret Trudeau.
Before we explain just why the day was such a memorable one we feel it’s important to explain a little bit more about what WE Day actually stands for. Each person in that room didn’t buy a ticket for this brilliant line up instead they’ve earned their ticket by performing an action on a local and global cause – from global warming to water pollution to mental health the issues being tackled have been varied. Inspiring young people to become active citizens within compassionate communities they learn that they have more power within the world than they may first realise.
The events presenting team of Becca Dudley, Tallia Storm and Yasmin Evans warmed up the crowd with cheer alongs, screaming competitions and their loveable upbeat personalities. Young people were given some of the most inspiring and motivational words from a variety of sources throughout the day. Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet being one of these, storming onto the stage and introducing herself with ‘I am Kate Winslet’ to which many laughs as if we didn’t know who she is! This was Kate’s first time on the WE Day stage but she was a natural speaking out about self-esteem and a positive body image explaining her own struggles when at school of being told she would never become an actress but she proved them extremely wrong. Many may feel they’re in similar positions, reaching for a career which feels out of reach but as Kate explained ‘You have to be indestructible to do what you love and believe you’re worth it’. Also tackling the importance of how social media is overwhelming our lives that we must take a step back from it.
Think about what truly makes you happy. Take time and make time to figure out who you want to be
As the day progressed we found ourselves becoming more and more inspired thanks to the speakers giving us such valuable insights. Julius Ibrahim of Second Shot Coffee giving those who are faced with homelessness a chance to gain valuable skills by employing them and teaching them coffee skills for future jobs and applications. Whilst Maria Munir explained how she spectacularly revealed her non-binary status… by coming out to Barack Obama at a London conference in 2016 a huge feat but even huger in front of one of the world’s biggest and most inspiring leaders. North London voice artist Shakii spoke about living in Aleppo and being torn away from his home in My House in Aleppo providing a different yet still moving section of the day.
The energy at WE Day was infectious with regular chances to pull our best moves during the We dance (see below and learn it for yourself) before musical acts Fleur East, Conor Maynard, Jessie J and The Vamps took to the stage. We don’t need to tell you just how great Uptown Funk is and Fleur’s version got everyone on their feet singing along at 10am in the morning! You’ve probably heard us raving about Conor Maynard and his 24K medley is firmly on our favourite covers list. It’s been far too long since we’ve seen Jessie J performing live and Who You Are summed up perfectly the theme of the day. Too many times we hesitate on doing things we love, following our hearts or sticking to just who we are but Jessie and her motivational speech and performance reminded us that sometimes we might not be okay but can make it through it. Jessie J telling each and every one of us that she’s proud of us saw many faces lighting up at one of their idols saying this to them.
You have no idea but you waking up and putting your heart into the world is making everyone’s life better so congratulations
Closing the show was CelebMix favourites The Vamps, performing latest single All Night and fan favourite Somebody To You we got rid of all our remaining energy as did the 12,000 young people there having the time of their lives. The quartet win the award for the most upbeat set of the day even if Brad Simpson did confuse us a bit by asking the crowd ‘how are you this evening?’ at 2 in the afternoon… We couldn’t help but note the variation in performers and their walks of life, watching how each has a different background yet their hard work and sticking with who they are has led them to such fruitful careers.
A highlight of the day, however, was WE co-founders Marc and Craig Kielburger talking to the crowd about the movement, the importance of it and how important that everyone there continues the hard work which they are doing. As Marc explained WE is ‘a movement for change, born of the idea that we can do anything when we come together’ and being surrounded by 12,000 young people who have used their power for good everyone has come together and made a change. During the day we got taken on a journey with four stops; LIVE WE at Home and School, Living WE in the Community, Living WE across the UK and Living WE Globally to make global change providing an insight into ways the inspirational young people in this room have changed the world.
This year’s event has truly been a moving experience for all in attendance and we’d like to thank WE Day and sponsors Virgin Atlantic for making it such a memorable day. To find out more about the WE Movement head to their website here.