Skip To Main Content

‘Life-changing impact’: Tonbridge’s Giving Day raises more than £500,000

Tonbridge’s second Giving Day has raised more than half a million pounds.

With donations still coming in, the current total stands at £509,000, which surpasses the £422,000 raised during the inaugural event last year.

On Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 June, many hundreds of people across the School community worked together to help support Tonbridge’s mission of doubling its number of Foundation Award recipients by 2028. 

That year will mark the 475th anniversary of the founding of the School by Sir Andrew Judde. The School’s goal is to continue to honour Sir Andrew’s legacy by ensuring that, via the Foundation Awards bursary programme, a greater number of bright, able boys will be able to attend Tonbridge and benefit from the world-class educational experience it provides.  

Giving Day, which took place in the last week of the Summer Term, on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 June, was supported by a total of 796 donors, as well as match funders, challenge gift sponsors, boys, parents, staff and the wider School community of OTs and friends.

James Priory, Tonbridge’s Headmaster, himself the recipient of an Assisted Place, at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, sent “a heartfelt thank you” to everyone who contributed. “To raise in excess of half a million pounds is an extraordinary achievement by the School community,” he said. 

“Our other aim was to raise awareness about why Foundation Awards matter, and we are hugely grateful to the boys, parents, OTs and staff who have shared their stories as part of Giving Day, demonstrating the life-changing impact that a bursary can have.”

The theme of community played a large part in Giving Day. Almost 600 children, from 11 local primary schools, arrived at the School for a fun day where they experienced a range of sporting, artistic and academic activities. Pupils were looked after by Tonbridge’s First Years, while the activities were run by Sixth Formers and staff members.

The School’s young visitors tried their hands at all sorts, from archery, art and athletics to dance, poetry and science, with everyone encouraged to have a go at something new. The day ended with a fun Colour Run (and ice cream!) for all before they headed home.  

There were also 12 off-site projects taking place, one for each House. Second and Third Years boys, and Tonbridge staff, put in a hard day’s work as they ‘gave back’ to the local community. 

Boys headed to various primary schools as well as to Hospice in the Weald, the Multiple Intelligence Hub and Haysden Country Park. A wide variety of projects included creating nature areas and pathing, building benches, sheds, gardens, ponds and bird hides, and even organising sports festivals and fun runs.

Throughout the day, over 20 tonnes of wood chip, soil or compost were moved, hundreds of flowering plants and vegetables were planted and 30 bird boxes were put up.

Mr Priory added: “One of the highlights of Giving Day, for me, is visiting some of the community projects and hearing the positive feedback, not only from the hosts but from our boys as well, as they start to realise the impact that they can have in the community. Days like this are very powerful for everybody involved.”

Giving Day also featured a fundraising Gala Dinner – which included an exclusive live performance by former Tonbridge pupil, and now rising star in the world of opera, Freddie De Tommaso (WH 06-11) – and a prize auction. 

Boys also competed in a House Taskmaster Series, recreating Channel 4’s popular show. Each winning House unlocked £1,500 towards its Giving Day total, whilst Ferox Hall, as overall winner, unlocked £3,000.

All Giving Day gifts were added the General Scholarship Fund.

Meanwhile, it’s not too late to make a donation and support Giving Day

Pictured above and below: Some of the activities, taking place both at Tonbridge and out in the community, during Giving Day 2022.