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Brandon Doherty

University of Birmingham alumni, supporters and volunteers are joining forces to help change the lives of young people across the West Midlands by encouraging them to enter Higher Education.

The ‘10,000 Lives’ appeal is the first university appeal in the UK to count the number of lives changed rather than the amount of money raised.

Launched by the University of Birmingham , the appeal is about extending opportunities to thousands of young people, to raise aspirations in 11–18 year olds, develop confident and employable students and support young alumni as they start life after university.

The appeal calls on former students and people with a passion for education to donate money and time to help change 10,000 young lives across the region over the next few years.

The 10,000 Lives appeal spans the whole student journey, from school pupil to new graduate, with a range of programmes including outreach and widening participation activity with local schools, scholarships, work experience, and mentoring. 

University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood said: “We are proud to launch 10,000 Lives - the first University appeal in the UK measured on the number of lives it changes rather than a monetary target. 

“Our aim is for any student bright enough to come to Birmingham to be able to study here and go on to a successful career, regardless of their circumstances. Like many regions across the country, the West Midlands is dependent upon the skills and talents of its young people, particularly those coming out of universities, to contribute to the region’s success.

“Long-standing civic universities, such as Birmingham, are ‘anchor institutions’; strong and consistent contributors to regional economies and communities. This appeal will help us to transform lives further and help our young people contribute to our region’s success.”

The appeal is supported by current and former students – all keen to help other young people enjoy the benefits of Higher Education, in general, and the University of Birmingham in particular.

Brandon Doherty, who graduated last year thanks to scholarships, commented: “I feel incredibly grateful to have studied at Birmingham. I grew up in the city and feel passionate about the outreach work the University does to help young people from local families with little or no history of higher education get to university. 

“The University’s supporters want any student bright enough to come to Birmingham to be able to study here and go on to a successful career, regardless of their circumstances. Growing up, it can be difficult to make the grades and push through some of the challenges you face. The support that the University of Birmingham provides is unlike anywhere else.”

Watch the appeal video from Friday, narrated by Honorary Graduate Benjamin Zephaniah, to see how education is bringing people together from across the region, and find out how to donate. 

Over the past decade, donors have helped almost 1,000 young people through the University’s Access to Birmingham scholarships and the University has seen an 82% rise in applications to this scheme. 

For more information or interviews , please contact Tony Moran, Interim Head of Communications, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or  +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165.  

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.