Next year, two alums will be cycling 400 kilometers for one reason: to improve social mobility.

Twins Elle and Abbie Winfield will be facing the February chill as they cycle all the way between London and Paris to raise money for the Sutton Trust.  As they cycle, their dad will be providing moral and logistical support as he leads them in a support car.

Originally from a small village in Doncaster, the twins took part in a Sutton Trust Summer School at UCL. Then, later, Elle continued her journey with the Sutton Trust by taking part in our US Programme.  After spending a year exploring US education, she applied to Duke University where she was a Robertson Scholar.

Now, having both graduated from their undergraduate studies and pursuing their careers, they have decided to raise money for the Sutton Trust.

In Elle’s own words, this is why they’ve come to this decision ….

“Five years ago, I had just finished up an interview with that would completely change my life. I sat in front of five people, spilled my guts out and talked about how afraid I was. At seventeen, I was full of big dreams and terrified I’d never live up to a single one of them.

When I graduated from Duke in May, I spent a lot of time reflecting about that journey from then to now, and the village of support it took to get me to here; a Masters Student with no debt, free to choose her path according to passion, rather than financial necessity.

More than anything, I think about where I might be if that journey never happened. Most of us know that the UK has one of the highest income inequalities in the developed world, but we don’t think a lot about how that plays out in education; of all the kids our system leaves behind. Even today, Oxbridge recruit more students from eight private schools than they do nearly 2900 other schools combined.  If you think about the pipelines these schools have to the most prestigious offices in the world- including our Parliamentary system- the consequences of this divide are staggering.

And it isn’t because working class or first gen kids aren’t smart; over 5000 low SES students received over A*A*A in their A levels in 2018. No- it’s because their success remains systematically unseen and unheard. Our system still refuses to even offer them the option to go forward and the opportunity to become all they deserve to be.

And that’s exactly why I’m fundraising for The Sutton Trust; the charity that not only empowered me personally but one that works tirelessly to redistribute resources to the students that need them the most. Through their work on social mobility, over 35,000 young adults have been given the chance to reach higher, dream bigger and go further. At a time when social inequality in our country (and world!) is at an all-time high, the value of this programme is infinite.”

You can support Abbie and Elle by giving to their fundraising campaign.  Supporting them will also go towards supporting the 5,000 young people who are supported by the Sutton Trust each year and funding our agenda-setting research and work to influence key decisions in government and Parliament.

Read Elle’s alumni story.

Media enquiries

If you're a journalist with a question about our work, get in touch with Hilary or Ruby. If it's out of office hours, you can call or text 07917 462 164.

E: [email protected] T: 020 7802 1660

Keep up to date with the latest news