OG Samuel Chan named one of the “Forbes Elite”

OG Samuel Chan (k & F 1998 – 2007) has this week received special recognition for his work from Forbes China, the leading international business magazine.

Samuel is an entrepreneur and innovator within the field of education. He has been named one of the “Forbes Elite” this year, in recognition of what he has achieved with his company Britannia StudyLink.

Based in Hong Kong, Samuel has grown his education agency from a start-up to a household brand in Asia, all in a little over a decade. Initially a consultancy, offering guidance to Asian families trying to choose schools for their children in the UK, his company now provides everything from comprehensive tutoring to ground-breaking school exhibitions and high-tech marketing services across a range of industries. And he attributes his success to the drive and confidence instilled in him by his education.

Reflecting on this special recognition from Forbes, he said: “I am delighted! And I feel that much credit is due to my teachers at Gresham’s. I wasn’t the most academic of students. I did OK, but I always jumped at any opportunity to miss lessons! But it’s the extra-curricular activities that I think really gave me confidence. I was involved in anything the school offered, from sports to music and art – I was a very keen artist. I learned grit and resilience from rugby and cross-country in the winter, along with team work and communication skills.”

He added: “Everything I learnt at Gresham’s helped me in the business world. Negotiation, thinking on the behalf of others, what to do when things don’t go well – things often don’t go as planned in business! The school didn’t just educate me academically, but it also gave me good values – traditional, yes, but very applicable in the 21st Century.”

Samuel plans to continue to grow his business, and is currently taking his company into the world of property and finance, working with some of the biggest firms in Hong Kong.

OG Toby Sutton receives OBE

Congratulations to OG Toby Sutton (T 1989 – 94) on receiving an OBE in the New Year Honours List.

Co-founders of one of the UK’s leading assistive technology companies, Scanning Pens, were both honoured with an OBE on Friday 30th December. Jack Churchill and Toby Sutton received this honour as a result of ‘services to international trade, and to the dyslexia, and special educational needs and disabilities community’.

Over the last 20 years, Jack Churchill – who himself is dyslexic and Toby Sutton have built an assistive technology powerhouse at the heart of the dyslexia and special needs communities. Scanning Pens is an organisation that provide portable text-to-speech pen scanners which empower young and adult readers by giving them the tool to instantly access printed text anywhere.

This assistive technology is now used daily by thousands of schools, in the workplace, and even in prisons. The organisation has for many years been active both in the UK and in more than 100 countries. More than 50% of the company’s business is attributed to international trade; this success has been reflected in two BETT award wins: Exporter of the Year 2019, and Company of the Year 2020. In 2021, Scanning Pens received the most prestigious accolade in British business when it received The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

The recipients made a shared statement: “To say we are honoured by this announcement is an understatement. When we first started this venture over 20 years ago, we saw the opportunity to establish a business that could help millions of individuals with their literacy needs. Looking back, it is fantastic to know that through our technology we have supported so many to succeed. The success of Scanning Pens has allowed us to establish a goodwill organisation, Succeed With Dyslexia, which has made a reality of our wish to spread awareness around dyslexia through positive stories within this often-forgotten community. Without the support of our families and the whole team, neither of us would be receiving an OBE today. We look forward to many years ahead as we drive our business forward, whilst at the same time helping even more individuals in their daily lives.”

OG Cricket – The Ramblers vs Norfolk Invitational XI

The Ramblers won the toss and elected to Bat with ‘Matthew Bromham’ & ‘Tom Beckett’ facing up to the first over of this fixture bowled by ‘Robert Wilson’ from the Invitationals. The two openers had a job to do and saw off the new ball with fantastic grace in an opening stand of 40. ‘James Buxton’ was in at 3 for the Ramblers and top-scored with great elegance and panache. The Ramblers were teetering at 85-6 when ‘Tom Lomax’ was dismissed by a stunning one handed ‘Fred Combe’ catch, the spectators and opposition brought to their feet, erupting in amazement and applause. Some last-minute maximums from ‘O.J Flux’ though knocked the wind out of the invitationals, but former Uppinghamian, ‘Cameron Mcfadyen’ had other ideas, striking regularly, finishing with figures of 5-14 from his two overs. The Ramblers bowled out for a respectable score of 127.

A fantastic lunch, watered down with plenty of Rosé nearly saw the Ramblers to a famous victory. ‘O.J Flux’ thunderbolts restricted the invitationals to 124-9 with 4 to win. Man of the match Mcfadyen finishing things off for the Invitationals to secure a famous win. A seriously fun day made possible by Gresham’s and the OG club – one hopes this can be made an annual fixture.

Edmund Parker (T 2013 -15)