6 Music DJ Lauren Laverne aims to inspire pupils at her old Sunderland school

Former St Anthony's pupil Lauren Laverne.

Former St Anthony's pupil Lauren Laverne.

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Almost 300 former students of two Sunderland academies have joined an initiative inspiring current pupils.

Doctors, solicitors and stars of sport and media are among the ex-students of St Anthony’s Catholic Girls’ Academy and St Aidan’s Catholic Academy registered with Future First.

The national education charity enables state schools and colleges to harness the talents of alumni to motivate the current generation of students.

Now the schools are looking for more former students to join their alumni networks.

Television and radio presenter, Lauren Laverne, is among the former pupils of St Anthony’s, along with Dame Kathryn Mary Thirlwall QC and Emma Lonsdale, an U19 England netball captain.

St Aidan’s boasts former footballing brothers Lee and Steve Howey among its alumni, as well as Dr Chris Steele, of This Morning fame, and Seamus Conlan, an internationally-renowned photographer.

St Anthony’s and St Aidan’s are among more than 400 schools working with Future First, who are are supporting the schools in a number of ways, such as career and education role models, mentors or e-mentors, work experience providers, governors, donors or fundraisers.

Madeleine Hope, Director of Finance at St Aidan’s said: “We’re delighted to have so many of our former pupils sign up to our alumni network and to hear of the diverse careers they’ve gone on to do since leaving us.

Frances Collins, Director of Post-16 Education at St Anthony’s, said: “We are always looking for opportunities for our current students and hope to be able to benefit from the experience which our former students can offer.”

Any former students who would like to support St Anthony’s should contact frances.collins@st-anthonys-academy.com and for St Aidan’s contact madeleine.hope@staidanscatholicaademy.co.uk.

Former students can sign up to Future First’s alumni scheme by clicking on the “Former Students” link on the website www.futurefirst.org.uk.