Benenden was proud to launch its ambitious bursary and partnerships campaign, Be the Change, at a reception in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal in London last night.
Around 200 people attended the Benenden Society event at One Great George Street, where guests were introduced to the exciting new campaign and heard about the transformative impact of bursaries.
Through its Be the Change campaign, the School will dramatically expand its bursary programme and also further grow its important partnerships work.
The first phase of Be the Change seeks to triple the number of fully-funded bursary places by the end of the School’s centenary year in 2023-24. Currently standing at eight, the aim is to have 24 bursary funded students in the School at any given time.
These bursaries are fully means-tested, meaning they benefit students who would not otherwise be able to afford an education at Benenden and for whom such support will be truly transformative. Benenden awards up to 110% of fees, so that bursary pupils can experience all aspects of a Benenden education, with the additional funds covering School uniforms, educational trips and other ongoing learning and living expenses.
Benenden Headmistress Samantha Price said: “We were honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to the launch of our Be the Change campaign.
“At Benenden we have always been proud of our commitment to bursaries and partnerships – and we are determined to do even more. We know that these issues are close to the hearts of our incredibly supportive community of parents, Seniors and friends and that together we will be able to make our Be the Change campaign an enormous success, which will benefit generations of young people at Benenden, pupils in our partner schools, our local community across the South East and our society as a whole.”
Last night’s event was hosted by Elizabeth Fairweather, a Benenden bursary recipient who left the School in 2020 and is now studying Medicine at King’s College London.
The keynote speech was given by Ali Henderson, Chief Executive at the Royal National Children’s Springboard Foundation , before Miss Fairweather led a discussion about the transformative impact of bursaries with a panel which featured Her Royal Highness, who is President of the Benenden Society and Patron of The Royal National Children’s Springboard Foundation, as well as Ms Henderson, Miss Fairweather’s father Andy Fairweather, and Mrs Price.
Guests then enjoyed the premiere screening of the Be the Change campaign video, in which recipients of bursaries and their parents discuss their experiences of bursaries and Mrs Price describes the life-changing impact the campaign will have.
Afterwards guests met Her Royal Highness, heard beautiful music from some of Benenden’s outstanding musicians, and enjoyed refreshments.