John Lyon’s Charity has been providing bursary support to girls attending GDST secondary schools in northwest London since 1997. To date, we have committed to funding 22 individual bursary awards at Notting Hill & Ealing High School, Northwood College and South Hampstead High School. When all the pupils we are currently supporting leave Sixth Form, the Charity will have given almost £1million in bursary funding.
Over the past two decades, we have worked primarily with members of the fundraising team and the colleagues responsible for allocating bursaries, but we have also engaged directly with senior staff members from the schools where our bursaries are awarded.
As an educational foundation, bursaries have always been an important strand of our giving. Working with a centralised body like the GDST has helped us to target our support to enable girls to have high quality educations at a variety of institutions.
In terms of the GDST’s mission, we particularly value the focus on developing character beyond the curriculum in addition to academic excellence.
Here at the John Lyon’s Charity, we believe it is very important that girls from every background are given access to a high quality education. Bursaries can transform lives. They can open doors to different worlds, ones that were previously unimaginable.
Now, more than ever, academic studies are not enough; students need to develop resilience and learn to make the most of the opportunities presented to them.
During our long-standing partnership with the GDST, we have benefited from the overview provided by the central team which has helped us work with more schools than if we had to engage with each one separately. In addition, we have learnt about the GDST’s approach to education and how this marries with our own ethos.
Collectively, the schools in the GDST family have a louder voice than if they were to operate independently; sharing learning and experiences across the schools has far ranging benefits for the students in the schools and also for the local communities where the schools are situated.
It is likely to become harder to fundraise for bursaries, but the need for them is absolutely going to increase.