Ex-Hedingham pupil takes up Unicef role

Michael Penrose has been appointed as the future Executive Director of Unicef UK. ANL-160127-130444001
Michael Penrose has been appointed as the future Executive Director of Unicef UK. ANL-160127-130444001
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A former Hedingham School pupil has been named as the future executive director of Unicef UK.

Michael Penrose, who left the school in 1991, will take up the prestigious role in May.

Mr Penrose has previously worked as humanitarian director at Save the Children International, at the Department for International Development and at Oxfam.

He has also worked as a consultant to several UN agencies.

The former Hedingham pupil said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Unicef UK. At a time when so many children’s lives are being torn apart by war, poverty, disease and hunger, the work of Unicef has never been so important and I can’t wait to begin doing my part.”

Mr Penrose and his family lived in Ridgewell and then Great Yeldham when he attended Hedingham School.

He currently lives in Paris with his wife and son as he is chief executive of Action Contre La Faim.

He has previously returned to Hedingham School to award the prizes to students at the school’s certificate evening.

His mother Mrs Yvonne Penrose, who now lives in Bungay, said: “During his youth I was told at another school that, due to his dyslexia, maybe Michael should consider a job in market gardening.

“Hedingham School never gave up on him and during his years there he was treated with both care and affection despite his somewhat lively behaviour.

“We feel we have a lot to thank the school for as Hedingham School played a major part in forging Michael’s future life decisions.”

A spokesman for the school said: “There is no doubt that Michael is a shining example of someone who has overcome any educational difficulties he may have had and followed his dream.

“As a school we are extremely proud that one of our ex-students has such an important position with a charity that does so much for children around the world.”