Lincolnshire schools sign up to alumni initiative as crowdfunder aims to develop more across region

District council and charity Future First team up so former pupils can return and inspire today’s students to success.

University Academy, Holbeach and Thomas Cowley High School in Donington have become the first schools in the region to sign up to an exciting new initiative aimed at inspiring and helping local pupils to succeed.

South Holland District Council has teamed up with national education charity Future First to launch a crowdfunding campaign aimed at raising funds for alumni networks in schools across the region, and the two schools are the first to sign on the dotted line. The charity specialises in recruiting past pupils to act as mentors and inspirational speakers, to help with career choices and provide links to employers and universities, to bring learning to life, fundraise for schools or help with homework.

The council has invited all South Holland secondary schools to join the initiative.

University Academy’s Principal, Sheila Paige, said: “I’m delighted we will now be working with Future First and South Holland District Council to develop a thriving alumni network. The confidence, learning and support former pupils can bring to current students will be invaluable and will make the transition from school to higher education or work so much easier.”

Thomas Cowley High’s Headteacher, Ian Dawson, said: “It’s so important to us that our pupils believe in themselves so they have the confidence to strive for success when they leave Thomas Cowley. Working with Future First will help us to do even more to prepare them for life after school and make that transition as easy as possible.”

Lord Porter, Leader of South Holland District Council, said: “If I can make it into the House of Lords after a career as a builder there’s no limit to what every child, in every school, can achieve.

“This has been a very difficult year for pupils across South Holland and the wider region, especially those who’ve taken exams, so it’s vital they have the opportunity to hear from people who’ve left their school and made a success of their lives.

“It’s something private schools do extremely well and it’s vital children in our state schools have the same opportunity.

Future First, which is committed to making sure a young person’s start in life does not limit their future, already works with hundreds of state schools and colleges across the country to link young people with alumni and employers.

The charity’s Chief Executive, Lorraine Langham, said: “We can’t wait to start working with the teams at University Academy and Thomas Cowley to harness the power of alumni so we can help current pupils on the road to success.

“It’s also fantastic to be working with Lord Porter and South Holland District Council on this exciting crowfunding initiative which will allow us to build alumni networks in more Lincolnshire schools.

“Alumni show young people a world of opportunity and a future that could be theirs. We want to give Lincolnshire’s current crop of students hope for the future and the confidence and motivation they need to succeed.

“We’d love everyone out there, whatever their connection with South Holland and Lincolnshire, to sign up to support their former school or donate to our crowdfunding campaign. We know that meeting past students can make a significant difference.

“It would be wonderful for as many young people as possible, whatever their circumstances, to have the reassurance that comes from hearing what it took for  someone who sat in the very same classroom to make a success of their lives.”                                                     

For further information or to arrange interviews with Sheila Paige, Ian Dawson, Lord Porter or Lorraine Langham please contact Paul Marinko at or on 07779 029 569.

Note to editors:

Future First crowdfunder link –

Future First’s vision is a world where a young person’s start in life does not limit their future. Our mission is to see every state school and college in the UK supported by a thriving and engaged alumni community, which improves students’ motivation, confidence and life chances.