New Chair for the Friends of St. Mary's
The organisation for former students and staff of St. Mary’s College has a new man at the helm. Southport businessman and ex-pupil of the school, Jonathan Cunningham, has been appointed as the Chair of the Friends of St. Mary’s, succeeding Tony Bradshaw who spent more than four years in the role.
The new Chair is a well-known member of the St. Mary’s community whose own children also attend the college. Major Jonathan Cunningham (retired) enjoyed a distinguished 16-year career in the armed forces, serving in hotspots including Basra in Iraq before being honoured with an MBE for his military achievements in 2009.
On his return to civilian life in Birkdale he established what has since become a very successful health and safety, event management and emergency planning company, STORM Consultancy.
Mr Cunningham is also the founder and Chair of Sefton business networking organisation Plan B for Business, and founder of XtremeSTORM, the UK’s toughest urban obstacle endurance event.
Commenting on his new role at St. Mary’s Mr Cunningham said, “It is a great honour to be the Chair of the alumni organisation of a great school like St. Mary’s, and my job now is to build on the success of the Friends to date. There are people throughout the UK and in many parts of the world with a connection to St. Mary’s, and we need to get the message across to as many of them as we can that the Friends organisation is available as a focus for their links with the school.”
Mr Cunningham also paid tribute to his predecessor: “Tony Bradshaw has put a lot of time and effort into making the Friends organisation what it is today, and I am looking forward to building on his achievements over the past four years."
These achievements included spearheading a fundraising campaign which resulted in the purchase of a new school minibus, and the creation of several new student bursaries.
The Friends of St. Mary’s runs regular events throughout the year, including its popular annual reunion dinner. VIP guests at previous events have included distinguished ex-pupils of the school such as former BBC Director-General Lord John Birt, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols and poet Roger McGough.
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