Inspire2INVOLVE to support social mobility in Plymouth

Downing College and Villiers Park Educational Trust launch a new partnership Inspire2INVOLVE today, working in one of the College’s link areas, Plymouth, to equip bright students with the skills needed to overcome the barriers to success.

In the UK today the group least likely to fulfil their potential are bright students from lower-income backgrounds.  These students frequently fail to realise that potential at every stage – GCSE, A-level, progression to higher education, access to the professions, breaking through corporate glass ceilings.   

The Inspire2INVOLVE project has been made possible through a generous gift from Jamie and Louise Arnell, both Downing College graduates, who are passionate about ensuring that every young person reaches their full academic potential.

Students will be empowered to develop key personal and academic skills, such as resilience, confidence, self-motivation, teamwork, communication skills and high aspirations, to ensure they are prepared for university, to thrive once there, and to embark on a successful career on graduation.

Richard Gould, Chief Executive, Villiers Park Educational Trust, outlined the importance of this new partnership, “The UK has one of the lowest rates of social mobility of any advanced economy.  The outcome is unfulfilled potential which is a tragedy for each individual, their family and their community, as well as a social and economic disaster for the nation.  We are delighted to be in partnership with Downing College, Cambridge, to work together to transform the life outcomes of young people in Plymouth.” 

Dr Guy Williams, Senior Tutor at Downing College, commented, “Downing has been engaging with schools and colleges in the South West region since 1999, and our relationship with Villiers Park Educational Trust brings a welcome new dimension to our work in widening participation and access.”

For more information on the outreach work undertaken by Downing College and the role of our Schools Liaison Officer, see our Discover Downing website.

Villiers Park Educational Trust is a registered charity.  Over the last fifty years more than 26,000 students have benefitted from one of the Trust’s initiatives.  Of the 2017 cohort, 76% of students accessed a leading university, demonstrating that the programme is successfully empowering students to overcome the barriers to success and helping them on the path to become tomorrow’s leaders.  For more information see the Villiers Park Educational Trust website.

Published 9 November 2017.