Chris Batten, Director, Francis C Scott Charitable Trust

Partners and Partnership Working

My closer involvement with the University of Cumbria began back in 2011 when the Francis C Scott Charitable Trust was searching for an academic partner to initiate and develop a unique leadership programme for the local charity sector. The principles underpinning what became the Aspiring Leaders Programme (ALP) was to provide a developmental path through which young community workers, from some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in our region, could access higher education, mentoring and personal development programmes and thereby be enabled to lead positive change in their communities.

The 3-year ALP is nearing the end of its fourth iteration and has continued to evolve and improve through the dedication of its two key delivery partners, Brathay Trust and the University of Cumbria.  Virtually all participants would not otherwise have been eligible to begin a degree programme and yet the pass rate remains among the university’s highest.  That in itself, let alone the benefit to our local communities, is a testament to the university’s commitment to inclusivity and tailored support.  I wish ALP and the commendable delivery partnership continuing success.