Future First appoints its first Programme Innovations Director

Future First has appointed Leon Ward as their first Programme Innovations Director. 

This role will lead on the growth of our national intervention: ConnectEd – our new programme which supports secondary schools and colleges to build, engage and sustain a thriving alumni network. Leon will be responsible for the further development of ConnectEd, with its strong focus on individual school goals, benchmarking and tracking impact, and adding value for the most disadvantaged pupils. He will also lead business delivery in the North and Midlands.

Lorraine Langham, Chief Executive of Future First said: “I am delighted to have appointed Leon Ward as our new Programme Innovations Director, following a highly competitive, multi-stage recruitment process supported by our Board of Trustees. 

“Leon Ward was a unanimous choice. He joins us from Speakers for Schools where he is Head of Wales – a comparable role, in a similar organisation. Prior to this, he was Programme Manager for a youth charity, First Give, leading on the West of England and Wales.  In both roles, he has delivered significant transformation and growth. He is also Deputy Chair of national youth charity Brook and has helped several others to expand their reach and impact. 

“Originally from Grimsby, Leon brings a strong track record and an extensive network to the role, together with energy, drive, ideas and ambition”.

Leon said: “2020 marked the 10th anniversary of Future First and I am really excited to get stuck in and help guide the ConnectEd programme as we charge into the second decade. Alumni offer fantastic opportunities to help young people realise their ambitions, passions and skills and guide them to carve out their future paths. 

“We must never underestimate the power of this work and I look forward to working with teachers, students and alumni communities to realise Future First’s ambitious vision: where a young person’s start in life does not limit their future.’

Schools interested in our programmes please contact info@futurefirst.org.uk