Breaking the cycle of educational disadvantage

09 Aug 2012 13:59:32.297

PA 229/12

Twelve amateur cyclists from The University of Nottingham have so far raised over £130,000 to provide young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with the opportunity to enter higher education.

Led by Vice-Chancellor Professor David Greenaway, the Life Cycle 2 team hope to raise over £250,000 by completing a 1,100 mile sponsored bike ride this autumn.

The team have received support from hundreds of individuals and key corporate supporters: Lucozade, Gleeds, Santander Universities and UPP. The riders will travel from Cape Wrath in Scotland — the most north-westerly point of the UK mainland — to Dover on the south-east coast of England.

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The 14-day journey, starting on Friday 24 August, follows the successful completion of the first Life Cycle challenge in 2011. On that occasion members of staff rode from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for the University’s Sue Ryder Centre for the Study of Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care.

A worthy cause

This year’s cause, Nottingham Potential, closely reflects the University’s commitment to driving motivation and providing financial provision to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

It is a commitment which has been driven by Professor Greenaway, who now oversees the University’s ambitious outreach activities, as well as the £7 million investment in bursaries and scholarships which the University makes each year to ensure financial concerns do not limit the ambition of those with the ability to achieve academic excellence.

Ahead of the ride, the Vice-Chancellor explained: “Last year was an amazing experience. But a new goal is now in our sight. Raising the aspirations of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and supporting them financially to achieve their ambitions is something I feel passionately about. It is a cause which will provide real inspiration for an even tougher challenge, and the motivation to succeed.

“With just over two weeks to go before we start, we are in pretty good shape on the fund raising front, with more than £130,000 raised in donations or commitments. That is an excellent position to be in and gives me confidence that we have a great chance of reaching our target of £250,000 for initiatives targeted at raising participation of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in further and higher education.” 

Corporate support

Simon Freedman, Brand Director at Lucozade Sport said: “Lucozade Sport is committed to fuelling grassroots sport. We look to champion healthier lifestyles and inspire Great Britain to get up and do more in everything we do. The Nottingham Life Cycle is a fantastic example of this and we are pleased to be providing energy and hydration to support the cyclists in fundraising for such a worthy cause.”

Stuart Senior, Chairman of the Directorate at Gleeds, continued: “At Gleeds, we recognise the importance of inspiring the next generation to achieve their full potential and so we are incredibly proud to be supporting this fantastic initiative.

“Life Cycle 2 will not only benefit those who may have never dreamed they could get to University, but will also highlight the advantages of living and working in the City of Nottingham. This campaign was a perfect fit for us, combining our on-going commitment to the University, sport and the City. We are sure it will be a huge success and are delighted to be involved.”

Community participation

Members of the public will also have the opportunity to get involved on Sunday September 2 2012. This year there will be three, free community events to mark the riders’ arrival in Nottingham. To find out more or for entry details, please visit:

More information can now be found about:

• Life Cycle —  
• Life Cycle on Twitter —  
• The Life Cycle Team —  
• Impact: The Nottingham Campaign —  

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United KingdomChina and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Life Cycle 2: The money raised by the Life Cycle 2 project will go towards the Nottingham Potential strand of Impact: The Nottingham Campaign. Nottingham Potential will raise aspirations and support achievement by working with young people, teachers, schools and colleges in Nottingham and the East Midlands.

The University commits £8 million a year to widening participation. Nottingham Potential will build on this to significantly expand the University’s commitment over the next five years.

The full list of riders taking part is:

• Professor David Greenaway
• Professor Karen Cox
Mr Steve Wright
• Mr Chris Jagger
• Mrs Kate Robertson
Professor Chris Rudd
• Professor Nick Miles
• Dr Penelope Griffin
• Dr Neville Wylie
Mr Gavin Scott
• Mr Michael Carr
Professor Andrew Noyes

Story credits

More information is available from Kelly Newman, Corporate Marketing Manager, at
Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

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