Our Story

January 2016 marks the 5th anniversary of the passing of Adnan Jaffery, the founder of One Degree.

Many reading this may have been fortunate enough to know him, others may have known about him only through the charity. However, both will be left with no doubt that he was a remarkable person who left a phenomenal legacy behind.

Adnan had a very a successful career in the City but what really defined him was his passion and ability to connect with people from all walks of life and form life long bonds of trust and friendship. Adnan was always there for others and willing to help and support people in need. His charitable work started in 2009 with the Princes Trust charity, Mosaic, which aimed to inspire children from disadvantaged backgrounds through the use of successful role models.

In 2010, Adnan decided the approach used by Mosaic was too limited and a more hands-on programme over a longer period of time was necessary to really help children struggling at school and lacking in confidence and ambition. Adnan understood the empowering nature of education to transform lives and One Degree was born!

He took on a group of challenging students at Crest Academy with low predicted GCSE results and persuaded his friends to join him in working with these students at weekends. Using a combination of study and sport, he built up a great sense of camaraderie between mentors and students and dramatically improved the actual exam results achieved.

Crest Academy were so impressed with the outcome, they invited Adnan to make the One Degree programme a regular mentoring programme at the school. See 2009-2015 academic results here.

Adnan’s personality was key to his success. He was kind and genuine with a sense of humour that could leave you in stitches and melt hearts. His own life had many challenges and crossroads and he always showed great strength of character in the face of adversity and set an example for others to follow.

He was very passionate about One Degree and forged a unique bond with each student and their story. His biggest quality was that his charitable work was genuinely to help others less fortunate and not for publicity or attention. He was very understated about his contribution but he would surely beam with the great pride on seeing how far his vision has gone today.

Adnan had a dream and a vision to help disadvantaged children realise their potential through education. His friends and family have worked very hard to fulfil his vision and a permanent legacy to his work is now taking shape with the opening of the One Degree Academy.

Adnan Jaffery and UK Apprentice winner Tim Campbell talking to One Degree students

Adnan Jaffery and UK Apprentice winner Tim Campbell talking to One Degree students

Such was Adnan’s passion and charm that One Degree began to attract the attention of celebrities the likes of – UK Apprentice winner Tim Campbell (pictured left with Adnan), who to this day is a still a One Degree guest speaker; former Arsenal and England footballer Sir Ian Wright (pictured below with Adnan); Actor Riz Ahmed; former Australian cricketer Shane Warne; and a a whole host of incredible London professionals and entrepreneurs who make up One Degree’s gust speaker list.

Former Arsenal Footballer Sir Ian Wright Talking about Adnan Jaffery in 2011

Former Arsenal Footballer Sir Ian Wright Talking about Adnan Jaffery in 2011

On the 8th January 2016 it will be the 5th year anniversary of Adnan’s passing. His vision combined with the hard work of the One Degree Academy and One Degree mentoring boards has led to one of our most exciting years to come. 2016 will be a year we will think back to the steps Adnan began to make, and the strides we will continue to achieve.

Listen to Adnan talk about One Degree here: