Nottingham Potential has been made possible by a significant £2.1m donation from the David Ross Foundation, founded by David Ross, Nottingham law alumnus and co-founder of Carphone Warehouse. The Foundation has a breadth of experience in working with schools and setting up initiatives that aim to increase young people’s aspirations. The Foundation’s donation enhances the University’s own substantial financial commitment.
Nottingham Potential builds on the University’s successful work over the past decade within under privileged communities, and aims to provide earlier, broader interventions for young people to raise attainment and encourage progression to university. It will increase outreach significantly — particularly in regard to work with primary and lower-secondary school pupils.
Professor Alan Ford, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the University, said: “We are delighted to open our doors to the St Ann’s community. Following the success of the learning centre in Broxtowe, we are confident that we will be able to expand our support for the children in this area and open up new opportunities for them. With the generous help of the David Ross Foundation, Nottingham Potential will continue to raise attainment and encourage progression to university.”
The University has launched Nottingham Potential alongside a significant increase in bursaries for low-income students. Together these developments represent a doubling of the University’s investment in widening participation, from £8m to £16m a year by 2015-16. Nottingham Potential forms one project within the Nurturing Talent theme of ‘Impact: the Nottingham Campaign’, the biggest fundraising campaign the University has ever launched. David Ross is co-chair of the Campaign Board.
David Ross, an alumnus of The University of Nottingham, is providing significant financial support to help turn Nottingham Potential into a reality. Mr Ross is the co-founder of the Carphone Warehouse and is the Chairman of the David Ross Foundation, a national charity.
Mr Ross said: “Following the successful launch of the Nottingham West Centre last year, I am delighted to help mark the opening of this new centre in St Ann’s. These centres are providing children with a support network which they can use in order to fulfil any ambition they may have. These aims are central to the mission of my foundation and we are glad to be working with the University on such an exciting project.”
More information is available from www.nottingham.ac.uk/NottinghamPotential
The centre, which has been operating since November 2012, has already opened its doors to a number of children in the St Ann’s area.
Nine-year-old Bethany Frisby lives in St Ann’s with her mum and has been attending the centre since January this year. Her mum Leanne has already seen the difference in the quality of her homework and her enthusiasm for her school work since she started attending the centre.
“Bethany has always been eager to learn and enjoys school and is one of the most able readers in her class,” says Leanne. “Since she’s been coming to the centre though, I’ve noticed an improvement in her homework and she’s always excited about coming here. She used to rush so she could do something else, but now she takes her time. She did a really good book report a few weeks ago and even her teachers at school commented on how good it was. We are already seeing the benefit of her coming here.”
Bethany also enjoys the practical side of learning at the centre, she said “At school, science is just looking at a board and writing stuff down, but we do fun things here and I learn more. I want to be a scientist when I get older.”
IntoUniversity, the University’s award-winning charity partner, has been working in London since 2002, developing local learning centres and an innovative FOCUS programme to support children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in improving their academic achievement and attaining a university place.
IntoUniversity CEO Dr Rachel Carr OBE said, “This new centre reflects The University of Nottingham’s powerful commitment to the young people of the city and will offer exciting new opportunities to several hundred young people in St Ann’s.”
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World 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 for its research into global food security.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…