Democracies and dictators. Empathy and equality. Resilience and respect. Just a few of the topics of conversation that buzzed around Carlisle Racecourse on Wednesday 7 November.

Students from six of the Trust schools gathered and faced the mission of creating their own communities. The first hurdle was meeting their groups; a scary few minutes for some, as they encountered eight faces they didn’t know. Yet it took only moments before the ice was broken and imaginations were running wild.

With only 2 hours, students embarked on the many jobs they needed to complete; Rome needed to be built in a day today. Vision statements, manifestos, and entry requirements sprang into action as the groups split into pairs to attack each task. The level of focus and determination to produce the best possible community was a spectacular sight to witness.

The afternoon saw the future world leaders faced with their final challenge; the budget. Philip Hammond would have been very impressed with their thoughtfulness and maturity towards the process.

As the day reached the final furlong, the groups added their final touches before presenting their newly designed communities to Mrs Sanderson, a local Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning. Confident, composed young people took to the stage and shared their creations. Everyone in the room was astonished and inspired by the detail, compassion and imagination.

Students should be incredibly proud of their amazing achievements and the smiles and wholehearted goodbyes showed just how quickly new friendships can be formed. A great day to be part of, well done to all.