International creative agency boss Kevin Roberts was back on home ground this week to open a New York Classroom at his old school.
Kevin Roberts, the Lancaster born and bred chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, revisited his alma mater, Lancaster Royal Grammar School, to open the innovative primary outreach programme InspirUS.
InspirUS, which aims to stimulate, challenge and inspire local junior school pupils so that they fulfil their potential, is close to Kevin’s heart.
The idea was the brainchild of Kevin and another former pupil, Stan Hilling, and thanks to their support and generosity, the pioneering programme was launched five years ago. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, with more than 1,000 seven to 10-year-olds passing through its doors.
It is dubbed the New York Classroom as the donors, all former Lancaster Grammar pupils , pledged their support at an Old Lancastrians reunion in New York a year ago. It was originally housed in a portable classroom but now has a new permanent home and is already making a huge difference to the children who attend.
Headmaster Dr Chris Pyle paid tribute to the donors who have supported InspirUS, 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”.
The official launch celebration was timed to coincide with Kevin’s birthday.
A musical treat was provided by Get Carter, featuring James Mackie (formerly of Madness) who is also a Lancaster Grammar School old boy.
Other leading guests included former England rugby union coach Brian Ashton, who is one of the donors to the new classroom.
As well as his rugby coaching duties at the Vale of Lune, Brian is also offering team building and coaching to youngsters on the InspirUS programme.
Kevin also took time out to give a motivational talk to sixth-formers.