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Three awarded new EMBA Community Scholarship

29 September 2017

Sue McGraw, Chris Saunders and Ben Wainwright

Sue McGraw, Ben Wainwright and Chris Saunders

Three lucky students have been selected as the first recipients of the new Executive MBA Community Scholarship, aimed especially at not-for-profit organisations serving the Lancaster area.

Jane Binnion, Ethical Business Trainer and Founder of The Growing Club CiC, Ben Wainwright, who works in IT Strategy for Lancaster City Council and Sue McGraw, CEO at St Johns Hospice, all impressed the programme team and were awarded a scholarship worth 75% of the programme fees.

Ben Wainwright says that without the Community Scholarship, the EMBA wouldn’t have been an option for him, as the Council’s training budget would not have covered the course fees and he couldn’t afford to fund the programme himself.

Since being promoted, Ben, who comes from an ICT background, has been keen to build on his managerial and leadership skills.

“The EMBA was an ideal next step,” he said, adding that he feels an increased understanding of strategy will benefit him in his role.

“The ICT department has historically done a lot of firefighting. We've acted as support for other services.

“ICT will have a more strategic role in future. I would like to bring that forward and help the department drive change.”

Sue McGraw explained that she had been keen to work with Lancaster University for some time and thinks it is important to capitalise on the expertise available locally.

“For an organisation like us, winning the scholarship has given us the opportunity to work on some practical projects with the support of the prestigious local Management School,” she said.

Jane Binnion, whose organisation supports women in Lancaster and northwest in business, said: “I can't believe how lucky I am to get this opportunity. Running a local social enterprise I would never have been able to afford to do the EMBA.

“I am excited to be in this cohort - the group is full of amazing people and having just completed the three-day induction, I know that this is exactly what I need to ensure The Growing Club is solid and sustainable.

“I think this initiative of supporting local not-for-profit organisations in this way is fantastic.”

In order to win the scholarship, the three had to write an essay on how they would use their learnings from the programme to benefit their organisation and the local community.

Programme Director Chris Saunders said: "The EMBA Community Scholarship has been a great way for us to build really strong links with the local Lancaster community. A partnership like this between the University and local community organisations like this can really bring benefit to the people of the Lancaster area. I know that Sue, Ben and Jane will be using the skills and knowledge from the programme in ways that will have an impact across our community."