Future First was delighted and honoured to have been chosen as charity of the year for this year’s MJ Awards. The awards, hosted by The MJ, on Friday 2 October 2020, celebrated the best in local government services.
In this year of increased uncertainty for pupils, we launched a crowdfunding campaign aimed at setting up more alumni programmes in state schools, to increase pupils’ confidence, motivation and resilience. Normally, there would have been a raffle at a glittering MJ dinner awards event, but this year, attendees were asked to support Future First’s campaign virtually. Over £2,000 was pledged on the day of the event, almost enough to fund a whole school network, extending our reach and impact to hundreds of pupils.
We would like to thank everyone who donated on the day – and before the event – exceeding our highest hopes for the crowdfunder, which was our first ever. There’s still time to donate with one week left – and we have almost funded 7 networks benefitting thousands of young people, including those who are most disadvantaged.
Future First works to support state schools and colleges develop alumni programmes so current pupils can benefit from the life experiences of former students, as relatable role models. Only one in eight children from a low-income background is currently likely to become a high earner and our research shows that nearly half of pupils from the poorest backgrounds don’t know anyone in a job they would like to do. Meeting former students helps to change this, boosting young people’s confidence and motivation, and helping to transform their life chances.