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If you’ve ever wondered whether one person can make a difference, watch our alumni in action.

Whatever sectors of society they enter, whether on the world stage or closer to home, their influence can be seen, heard or felt in many different ways, using the opportunities we provide to blaze a trail for others to follow. Through their ideas, energy and integrity, they show that education can have a wider reach, opening the doors to change and creating greater possibilities for all.

Former England footballer and Edge Hill alumni, Sue Smith

It’s game-on: Former Lioness inspires the next generation of sports stars

Former England footballer Sue Smith has been one of the key faces and voices of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

And we’re proud to count the pundit and ex-Lioness one of our own. She originally graduated from Edge Hill in 2003 with a BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science before being awarded an honorary doctorate in 2009.

Her valued media and on-pitch experience, racking up 23 international caps and playing for teams such as Tranmere and Doncaster Belles, meant she was a natural choice for our ‘Game Changers’ panel event in 2022.

Botanist and former BSc Hons Science – Ecology student, Josh Styles

A blooming good career – Josh Styles, botanist and conservationist

Recent graduate Josh Styles is making a name for himself as an advocate for the natural world.

Since achieving his BSc (Hons) Science – Ecology in 2017, Josh has carved out a successful career as a top botanist and conservationist. This includes founding the successful North West Rare Plant Initiative (NWRPI).

You may have seen Josh on his regular appearances on Countryfile and various news programmes, including Sky News and Channel 4.

And Josh has been back to Edge Hill, speaking about his experiences at our Sustainability Festival in 2021.

Sir Jonathan Pryce

From chalkboards to treading the boards – Jonathan Pryce, actor

Sir Jonathan Pryce, star of stage and screen, could have taken a very different career path.

One of Britain’s leading actors – Golden Globe-nominated for playing Prince Philip in The Crown – took a teacher training course at Edge Hill in the 1960s.

His Knighthood in 2022 topped a list of accolades, including Tony Awards for Broadway shows Comedians (1977) and Miss Saigon (1991).

Sir Jonathan was acclaimed for his roles in Game of Thrones and Wolf Hall and has featured in big-budget films such as Evita and Tomorrow Never Dies.

Joe Ainsworth in graduation robes

Writing his own future – Joe Ainsworth, screenwriter

Award-winning screenwriter Joe Ainsworth studied English at Edge Hill, setting him up for his future career.

Since graduating in 1989, Joe has written over 150 episodes of Brookside, as well as scripting for dramas including The Lakes and Holby City, with one episode winning a BAFTA.

He returned to the University in 2011 to receive his honorary doctorate:

“My time at Edge Hill set me on the way to where I am now – if I hadn’t gone there, I wouldn’t have ended up as a writer; it’s as simple as that.”

An image of Ngunan Adamu on a white background.

An inspirational voice – Ngunan Adamu, presenter and journalist

Journalist Ngunan Adamu is a familiar voice to many, hosting African-Caribbean programme Upfront on BBC Radio Merseyside and our Lonely Arts Club podcast, which invites creative professionals to share their journeys. And the journalist, who graduated from Edge Hill in 2014 with a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education Training, does a lot away from the microphone too, using her 15 years’ in the industry to help others get on the career ladder.

Ngunan has helped train journalist for the BBC World Service and founded iWoman, a programme supporting unemployed women into media careers by developing their skills and confidence.

Entrepreneur, Associate Business School tutor and Edge Hill alumni, Rebecca Heyes

Supporting all children to thrive – Rebecca Heyes, inclusive learning entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Rebecca Heyes can’t keep away from Edge Hill. Not only has she taken four degrees with us, but she also works as an Associate Tutor in our Business School.

Since graduating with a BA Hons in Primary Mathematics Education with QTS in 2016, Rebecca has completed further qualifications in Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Inclusion & SEN.

She was shortlisted in 2020 for the Young Entrepreneur Award for her exemplary work with the Inclusive Learning Academy – a business she set up during her studies offering adults and children dyslexia and dyscalculia assessments.

Georgie Cunningham at the 2019 Scholarship Awards

Shining the spotlight on climate change – Georgie Cunningham, theatre company co-founder

“Combining our passion for sustainability with our love of theatre” was how Tenderfoot Theatre came to be, co-founded by 2021 drama graduate Georgie Cunningham during her studies.

Georgie was awarded an Edge Hill Excellence Scholarship for her commitment to innovatively raising awareness of climate change issues.

Working closely with the University’s Arts Centre, the eco-theatre company regularly plays on campus and offers guest talks and lectures. It also supported our community climate forum in May 2023 and provides an eco-theatre-making course with our Creative Arts department.

Computer in Tech Hub

From IT expert to iconic sportswear entrepreneur – Kieran Riddel-Austin, Montirex co-founder

Montirex is the must-have sportswear brand around Liverpool. Now stocked in sports stores UK-wide, the next step for co-founder Kieran Riddell-Austin is to go global.

Kieran graduated from Edge Hill in 2017 with a BSc (Hons) Computing Network, Security and Forensics, but his IT career was short-lived. Instead, he went into business with a childhood friend.

Montirex, which has become a multi-million-pound sensation in just four years, is based in Liverpool and employs 35 people. The pair are committed to keeping the company HQ local.

Headshot of Trish Armstrong

Helping our communities get the best clinical care – Trish Armstrong-Child, NHS Trust CEO

A registered nurse and Edge Hill BSc (Hons) Business and Management and Masters graduate, Trish Armstrong-Child MBE is a leading CEO in the NHS.

Trish was appointed Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in July 2021, after taking the helm at NHS Trusts covering Southport, Ormskirk and Bolton. Inspired to enter nursing by her mum’s work as a healthcare assistant, she was awarded an MBE in 2019 for her contribution to the profession. Trish is committed to strong clinical leadership, maintaining her clinical practice and credentials.