At last week’s Philanthropy Dinner, members from all corners of our school community gathered to celebrate the eclectic diversity of RGS, in a bid to drum up continued support for RGS Bursaries and RGS Partnerships. Students showcased their creative ability through a range of musical, artistic and dramatic pieces which interspersed the formal dinner and conversations about guests’ shared ambition for social mobility in the North East.
Attendees, comprising Old Novocastrians, current and former parents, RGS students, as well as donors and corporate partners, were enthralled by the evening's entertainment.
A vibrant showcase of talent and passion created an atmosphere of appreciation, recognising the 1 in 16 students whose ability to attend the RGS is made possible through the support of many present at the event.
Perhaps the most captivating welcome was by our guest speaker, who shared his RGS experience and unwavering ambition, starting his speech declaring: “Good evening, my name is Charlie and I’m going to build rockets!”. As an exceptional, Y13 means-tested bursary student, Charlie relished the opportunity to express his sincere thanks for the generosity of donors, who have shaped his life into a trajectory once unimaginable.
During the drinks reception, over 100 Junior School students eagerly represented the school with an awe inspiring performance of two uplifting songs. RGS’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) students formed a guard of honour whilst Sixth Formers greeted guests and later served food.
RGS Bursaries are a cornerstone of our social mobility mission. Since the establishment of the RGS Bursary Campaign in 2002 hundreds of deserving young people have been awarded these highly sought after funded places. As we approach our 500th year in 2025, Nigel McMinn, Governor and Chair of the RGS Bursary Campaign, reminded everyone during his speech of how:
'Thomas Horsley, five-time mayor of Newcastle, founded RGS as the City’s first school as a free education for the brightest students in Newcastle – those with the most potential – just like Charlie. That early philanthropic vision of ‘doing good’ in the City has been a constant throughout, and the social purpose of the school still today is absolutely front and centre in everything we do and will be in the future.'
Operating in a region facing many challenges, we've also initiated RGS Partnerships projects to address academic disparities. Funding received from The Reece Foundation, British Engines and TSG enable the school to employ specialist Partnership teachers in areas like robotics, mathematics, physics, and computer science, showcasing the impact of collaboration. In the past year over 100 schools, 10,000 students, and 750teachers have benefited, demonstrating direct positive outcomes of our RGS Partnerships work.
The evening encouraged reflections upon how everyone's contribution plays such a crucial part in our how we collectively improve the North East’s education landscape:
‘It is the cumulative impact of small acts of generosity to the campaign which leave an indelible fingerprint on a child’s life.’
If you are interested in our newly launched campaign: RGS Gives or joining our network of instrumental donors, partners and volunteers, please visit our website page or get in touch via email@example.com.