Pocklington School support group set up to assist former pupils and staff
PUBLISHED: 00:00 05 January 2018
Would-be entrepreneurs still at school are offered support and advice
A new careers and business support group has been set up by Pocklington School Foundation to help not only current and former pupils but also parents and staff.
The Careers and Business Network aims to share advice and expertise to help each other thrive in a highly competitive world. The Network has been developed in conjunction with the Old Pocklingtonian Association, who have been offering careers and mentoring support to former pupils for a number of years.
Old Pocklingtonian Martin St Quinton, now a renowned businessman and owner and chairman of Gloucester Rugby Club, returned to the school for the launch.
Headmaster Mark Ronan said he hoped the new Network would provide lifelong inspiration to the Pocklington School community. He added: ‘The Network is something quite special because it brings together a community of incredible people, each with their own story to tell and their own paths to follow. The common thread which unites us is the Pocklington School Foundation.
‘The PSF Careers and Business Network will help us all take forward the “spirit of Pock”, building on our past achievements and making the most of future opportunities.’
Martin St Quinton, who attended Pocklington School from 1965-75, started a private office equipment company in 1980, not long after leaving Durham University. He sold it to Danka PLC in 1993 and served as CEO of Danka’s International Operations until 1999, acquiring over 50 companies in 30 countries over that time.
In 2000 he founded Azzurri Communications, which grew to 700 staff and £150 million turnover. Martin was named Ernst and Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003.
In 2008, he acquired a 40 percent stake in Gloucester Rugby, and acquired the remaining 60 percent stake in 2016, taking over as owner and chairman. He also spearheaded the successful fundraising efforts for Cheltenham Racecourse’s £50million redevelopment. He is a keen sportsman and has served on the board of Hull City FC and Epsom Downs Racecourse.
In a question and answer session, Martin spoke about how much he’d enjoyed his career, how he’d advise people to persevere if you have a business idea you believe in, and to focus on working in a sector you are really interested in. He told how he’d made mistakes along the way but said the most important thing was that he’d learned from them. He also stressed the importance of having a trusted business network, as a sounding board and source of advice.
Pocklington is an independent, co-educational school in East Yorkshire providing day and boarding education from three-18 years.