Donation boosts care leavers fund

LJMU’s fund for care leavers has been boosted by £50,000, thanks to one of our honorary fellows and alumni.

Gary Millar has made the generous donation via the Cornerstones Foundation in memory of his brother Leslie.

The support for LJMU students who have been in care is named the Imagine Programme, initially established in 2009 with a gift from Yoko Ono in her late husband’s name. John Lennon was a student at the LJMU art school in the late-1950s and was brought up in the care of his aunt Mimi, following the death of his mother.

The Imagine Programme has become a beacon of good practice in higher education and has received national recognition.

Making a difference

The Cornerstones Foundation is a unique local charity that exists to make a difference to the lives of young people in Liverpool by helping them create the future they want and deserve. The Foundation works to improve the skills, career and employment outcomes for children and young people looked after in Liverpool.  

Gary (pictured below) said: “The support structure that LJMU has put in place for students who have been in care is phenomenal, they approach this cohort of students with highly personalised care and attention which is exactly what they need.  

“I am so pleased to be able to provide some additional financial backing to the Imagine Programme so that the university can continue to deliver such a bespoke and thoughtful package of support.

“The university changed my life for the better so I am pleased to do what I can to help others by paying it forward in my dearly departed brother’s name.”

Ambition and aspiration

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark Power says: “Gary has always been generous with his time and enthusiasm for LJMU and this gift in memory of his brother is testament to his continued commitment to LJMU and our students.  

“We are grateful for his dedicated support for our Imagine Programme, we can only improve our support network for students with additional gifts and funding from our community.

“Gary has always led by example and he continues to be a positive role model for all of our students but especially by identifying so closely with individuals from care backgrounds, he is giving those students his personal story as a blueprint for ambition and aspiration.”

Support the programme

Anybody wishing to support the Imagine Programme can contact the university by email or by ringing 0151 231 3292.


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