Last Friday, over 50 alums, staff and other champions of social mobility came together at the very first Sutton Trust alumni event.

The evening, hosted by the Alumni Leadership Board, gave alumni the chance to come together and meet each other, hear directly about the board’s plans for the development of the community, and be inspired by a speech from fellow alum Wes Streeting MP, all over a delicious plate of food from Mo’s Eggs.

Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North, spoke about how his week at Cambridge studying History on a Sutton Trust UK Summer School was a ‘sliding doors’ moment for him. He said it had a “transformational effect on my life, my direction, and my career.” He said, “having been given the opportunities we have, we now need to look at how we can carry that forward to others.”  Wes highlighted the importance of creating a community and stayed on to connect with other alums, answering their questions and giving advice.

Member of the Alumni Leadership Board Jamil Tuki (Pathways to Law 2016) delivered an update on the board’s plans. His speech was the beginning of a dialogue between the board and the wider alumni community. The board announced that they are planning to pilot a series of volunteer-run events around the country, so that Sutton Trust alums can start building communities wherever they are.

The response to the idea was very positive. One alum, Sofia Lewis (UK Summer School 2013) said “I’ve travelled a few hours from Port Talbot for this event, so I’m really excited about the idea of having more regional activities. I’m looking forward to getting more involved!”

Bev Dee and Amalia Mihailescu work in the widening participation team at UCL and help to deliver the UCL’s Sutton Trust UK Summer School. Bev said, “it was such a good event, really relaxed, and it was very easy for people to chat to each other. And for us it shows the impact of our work, which is amazing”.

Liam Jackson (Summer School 2013), travelled from Coventry. He summed up the feelings of many alums who travelled down, having not connected with the Trust since their programme: “I was a bit nervous to come tonight as my Summer School was so long ago, but I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Ibrahim Ozturk (Pathways to Law 2017) is about to start his degree in Law at LSE. He decided to come along in order to “network with other alums, meet other people who did something law related to get insights from them.  I also want to talk to other first year students and get their advice.”

If you’re an alum of the Sutton Trust and want to join the online alumni community, sign up at suttontrustalumni.com. Once you’ve joined you’ll be able to keep up to date with opportunities to meet other alumni, as well as volunteering and career opportunities, and news from the Sutton Trust.

Alumni can also access more photos on suttontrustalumni.com, all accredited to Alice Trott.