Newcastle teen activist champions refugee aid while pursuing future in politics

Eleanor Woolstencroft, Dame Allan's Schools, Newcastle

Above: Passionate Sixth Former Eleanor at Dame Allan's Schools, Newcastle.

Passionate youth activist Eleanor Woolstencroft has dedicated time around her A Level studies to support refugee communities in northern France as she sets her sights on a future in politics and international relations. 

The 18-year-old from Newcastle, who is heavily involved with a number of regional charities and serves as a Youth Officer for Newcastle Central Constituency Labour Party (CLP), has spent two weeks volunteering with refugee charity Care4Calais this year.

She dedicates much of her free time to supporting humanitarian causes while studying A Levels at Dame Allan’s Schools, in Fenham. Eleanor moved to the independent school Sixth Form in Year 13 to add Politics as a fourth A Level option, driven by her ambition to pursue the subject at university.

She said: “I want to do everything I can to make the world a better place. I’m passionate about activism and volunteering because I want to do all I can to help people.”

Eleanor admitted that her time with Care4Calais, a volunteer-run charity that provides vital support to around 700 refugees living in and around Calais, left an indelible mark on her.

“The difference I saw being made in Calais was immense,” she said. “The distribution of food packs meant Muslim refugees could observe Ramadan. Giving out tents after the French police destroyed them meant people had shelter for the night.

“The communities Care4Calais supports are comprised of the most kind and resilient people; their bravery and determination was inspirational.”

Eleanor's journey into activism began at a young age, fuelled by a desire to make the world a better place. At 14, she joined the Labour party and now serves as a Youth Officer and Social Media Coordinator for Newcastle Central CLP. She was the first under-18 graduate of Labour’s ‘Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme’ and will attend her second Labour Party Annual Conference as a delegate in September.

During term-time, the teenager volunteers each week at Newcastle’s Hadrian School, supporting pupils with a range of additional and complex needs, through Dame Allan’s co-curricular community service programme. She is also a trustee of award-winning Newcastle arts and community development charity, Moving Parts Arts.

Will Scott, Principal at Dame Allan’s Schools, said: “Eleanor's dedication to volunteering exemplifies the spirit of compassion and empathy we strive to instil in our students and her commitment to social justice and humanitarian causes serves as an inspiration to us all.

“With her passion for politics and determination to effect positive chance on a global scale, she is poised to become a transformative force in society.”