Kevin Roberts, Lancaster born and bred chief executive of global creative agency Saatchi and Saatchi, revisited his alma mater, Lancaster Royal Grammar School, this week to open the new home to the school’s innovative primary outreach programme InspirUS.
InspirUS, which aims to stimulate, challenge and inspire local Year 3 and 4 children so that they fulfil their potential, is close to Kevin’s heart.
The idea was the brainchild of Mr Roberts and another former pupil Stan Hilling and thanks to their support and generosity, this pioneering programme was launched five years ago.
Since then it has gone from strength to strength, being shortlisted for a TES Enterprise and Community Award and seeing more than 1,000 primary school children through its doors.
It is dubbed the New York Classroom as the donors, all former pupils of the school, committed their support at an Old Lancastrian reunion in New York a year ago.
No longer in a portakabin, the new permanent home is in the heart of the school and is already making a huge difference to the children who attend.
Headmaster Dr Chris Pyle thanked all those donors who have supported InspirUS since it started five years ago, praising its aim to “ensure that every child in every street in Lancaster, Morecambe and the surrounding area should have the opportunity to fully reach their potential.”
There was a festive atmosphere at the launch, which was held to coincide with Kevin Roberts’ birthday.
Musical accompaniment was provided by Get Carter, featuring James Mackie (formerly of Madness, the popular ska band of the 70s and 80s) who is also an LRGS old boy.
Distinguished guests included former England rugby coach, Brian Ashton, who is one of the generous donors to the new classroom.
In addition to his rugby coaching duties at the Vale of Lune, Brian is also offering his unique brand of team building and coaching to the aspiring eight and nine-year-olds on the InspirUS programme.