Debate Mate partners with a range of organisations to support them in exploring important topics and delivering student training in creative ways. Please see below for some case studies of the exciting partnerships we have had in the past.

We are always looking to partner with organisations on innovative projects, so please get in touch at with your idea, and hopefully we can work together!

Comic Relief & The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Debate Mate partnered with Comic Relief and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to present The Big Debate with Young People. The event brought together Debate Mate students from around the UK to talk about some of the most challenging global issues facing their generation.

Hosted by Ore Oduba, with a performance from George the Poet, and judged by a star-studded and expert panel including Jamal Edwards, Tina Daheley, Emma Thompson, and Jon Snow, the event saw the Robert Clack School of Science from Dagenham, London take on Mount St Mary’s school from Leeds, on the motion – “This House believes that, for people in developing countries, the world is getting better.”

The event, ‘Comic Relief presents: The Big Debate with Young People’, was inspired by Debate Mate and run in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was the final ‘showcase’ in a series of debates run during Debate Mate’s national Urban Debate League competition, where students debated issues around the 2017 Red Nose Day campaign. 

Bill Gates was in the audience, and after listening to the debate, he surprised the room with an inspirational talk focused on the progress that has been made in improving the lives of those in some of the world’s poorest communities. He then took questions from students in the audience, before the Robert Clack School of Science – who argued for the proposition – were named winners of the debate.

Royal Parks Foundation

In 2017 Debate Mate partnered with the Royal Parks Foundation to deliver Speak Up! The Hyde Park Debating Challenge. Speak Up! worked with over 100 Year 8 and 9 students from across London, developing key skills through Debate Mate’s Student Training, and inspiring young people with the history Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and the principle of free speech.

The programme consisted of a launch event, two half-day student training workshops in 10 schools, and a live public debate competition in Hyde Park.

Speak Up! was sponsored by the generous support of Almacantar.

Downing Streets Debates

In 2016 Debate Mate partnered with Number 10 Downing Street to deliver the Downing Street Debates. The programme engaged 2,500 secondary school students across the UK, and concluded with a debate competition in the State Room at Number 10, introduced by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Speech & Debate

In 2017 Debate Mate partnered with Defibrillator Theatre Company on their production, Speech & Debate, to deliver a series of interactive post-show debates. Written by Tony Award Winner Stephen Karam, the show follows three teenagers as they navigated high school life, exploring themes of isolation, aspiration, and technology. Debate Mate worked with Defibrillator to host a series of show debates after performances, which included members of the cast as well as Debate Mate’s star debaters. The events provided an opportunity for audience members to reflect on the production and its themes in an engaging and exciting way. The partnerships also provided an opportunity for Debate Mate students across London to attend the show.

If you are interested in partnering with Debate Mate please get in touch at