Ruth Ibegbuna

Founder, RECLAIM and Director, The Roots Programme


Ruth Ibegbuna was the founding CEO of RECLAIM, an award-winning social action and youth leadership programme with a focus on working-class young people being seen, being heard and leading change.

Prior to this, Ruth was a senior teacher in a South Manchester state school and supported young people in obtaining some of the best GCSE results in the country, for 3 consecutive years.

Ruth was named Manchester Peace Activist of the Year 2008 and received the Manchester City Council Women’s award for Outstanding Contribution 2009. Ruth was also awarded the 2011 National Business in the Communities award for best collaboration with business to benefit society.

Ruth was a member of the Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour. The Commission brought forward strategic proposals for the sustainable reform of relevant services for children and young people, including the youth justice system. She was a 2013 Clore Social Fellow and is an Ashoka UK Fellow, and wrote ‘On Youth’ to showcase the stories of five working-class young people.

Ruth was listed in The Sunday Times as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK, in The Debrett’s 500 in 2016. She was also listed by Virgin and Ashoka as one of the top six female change makers internationally.

Ruth’s latest venture is the Roots Programme, a radical cultural exchange programme for influencers from hugely different backgrounds, as well as for young people from state and private schools, to create a more compassionate, curious and united UK.