John Badley Foundation

By Mark Hanson, Old Bedalian (1977-84) and John Badley Foundation Chair of Trustees

This year the John Badley Foundation (JBF) has funded full bursaries for seven students and is planning to welcome five new scholars to the school in September 2022. That is only possible because of the continued generosity of Bedales parents, OBs and friends of the school. As I reflect on the progress we’ve made over the last 12 months – including breaking through the £1 million mark for the first time – the overwhelming sense is one of gratitude to those who have recognised the importance of the work of JBF even amid the never-ending turmoil of the global pandemic and the personal challenges that have gone with that.

As Omicron rages like a forest fire across the UK, and we batten down the hatches yet again, we are ever more conscious of the elements of life that matter most; our health, family, community, freedom, fresh air and the outdoors. Most of us have had enough of ‘virtual’ life. As I wandered around Bedales in the autumn, taking in the beautiful buildings, open natural spaces and vibrant community, it reinforced my own sense of the extraordinary opportunity JBF gives to young people who may be in challenging circumstances and for whom a Bedales education may be genuinely life changing. A place at Dunhurst or Bedales represents so much more than an education; security, space, the encouragement and freedom to speak, the aspiration and support to succeed.

With community at the centre of our thinking, we’ve brought in four new trustees to bring JBF even closer to everyday life at school. Past and present parents Chris Campbell, Victoria Bonham Carter and Anna Land are already making a big difference and we also welcome Esme Allman (2013-15), an early JBF scholar who sets an inspiring example and is working with the admissions team to make the assessment and onboarding process for new scholars a brilliant one. We are also hoping to build stronger relationships with schools locally to identify great candidates closer to home.

Despite the restrictions, we’ve had some wonderful JBF events this year including a talk with Gyles Brandreth (1961-66) and there are more planned during 2022. One of those will be at the Special Forces Club and if he is feeling up to it, Old Bedalian and 22 SAS Original Mike Sadler (1933-37) will be in attendance. Mike speaks so fondly of his time at Bedales in the 1930s and it’s fair to say that his life path was never a conventional one! That’s one of the great things about Bedales; the encouragement to follow your passion with energy, whatever direction that might take you in.

Although we’ve made wonderful progress over the last decade, JBF is still in the foothills of the impact we can make. And we really need your support to make that happen. Please do consider setting up a regular gift to the JBF by clicking here. If just 50 of us donate £25 a month (+ gift aid), with match-funding from Bedales that will give one young person the opportunity to change their life circumstances. The need in our society has never been greater.

Historic Digital Rock Show closes unique term

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By Neil Hornsby, Head of Contemporary Music

The Bedales Rock Show went digital yesterday as the 18th edition of this great Bedales event was streamed around the world on YouTube.

Whilst this Digital Rock Show was unlike any other, it still bore the same hallmarks that have made the show such a part of the fabric of Bedales in recent years – incredible songwriting, amazingly talented students and a LOT of painstaking hard work!

As well as all of the spectacular performances, a special mention must go to the amazing production team featuring the brilliant editing skills of Sam Coleman, August Janklow and Joe Wilson, along with the ridiculously professional mixing skills of Jake Scot and George Vaux.

The 17-song show was pulled together from more than 500 individual audio and video recordings sent in from students in three continents, and due to the time difference, was worked on literally 24 hours a day for the final four weeks of term.

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#SyriatoSteep – We’ve arrived!

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By Rob Reynolds, Director of External Relations

Thank you so much to all who joined in our #SyriatoSteep challenge in this final week before the half term break. We have been overwhelmed by the support and energy out there. All contributions helped us head closer to the target – we thought covering the 4,066 km distance from Idlib to Bedales in a week would be a big challenge, but with your help, we had it nailed on Wednesday. Today is our final day and we have already surpassed 6,000 kms.

At time of writing, £5,029 (including Gift Aid) has been raised for the Rural Refugee Network and John Badley Foundation, two charities helping transform the lives of people who face severe challenges, and many of whom are in extremely vulnerable situations. Thank you to those who have already generously supported. To mark our successful endeavour, we are suggesting a ‘victory lap’ and final push on the fundraising, so do please consider re-living your favourite run/walk/cycle, and send a photo to share with others (to fundraising@bedales.org.uk). And if you haven’t got round to donating, there is still time to do so here. Listen to brief videos about the two charities here: RRN; JBF.

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Ways to support the John Badley Foundation this Christmas

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The John Badley Foundation (JBF) offers financial support through bursaries, giving more young people a chance to benefit from the transformational opportunity a Bedales education can provide. With Christmas fast approaching, there are several ways you can support the JBF.

Swap Christmas cards for a donation this year

Instead of sending Christmas cards, please support a bursary child by donating the money you would have spent on cards to the JBF. You can download a donation and gift aid form here.

Buy Bedales presents for friends and family

Visit our fundraising shop to see a range of Bedales merchandise, including Emma Bridgewater pottery (from £15), Bedales tea towels (£10), and bespoke Bedales jigsaws (£30), with all proceeds going to the JBF.

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‘Uplifting’ annual Cecilia Concert

By Annia Grey and Jonny Greenfield, 6.2

On Wednesday night, Bedales musicians embarked on their annual Cecilia Concert, which this year took place in the Lupton Hall. It was a night of uplifting and challenging choral and instrumental music, covering a multitude of musical styles ranging from Renaissance to modern jazz, showcasing the sheer volume of talent at Bedales.

The concert commenced with the Orchestra boldly and sensitively performing the first movement of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony (pictured above during rehearsals), which was conducted brilliantly by the Director of Music, Doug McIlwraith.

This was followed by the Student Orchestra, directed by Sampson Keung and Mary Wang, who demonstrated impressive leadership and conducting skills. Weeks of rehearsals and hard work paid off when they performed Elgar’s famous Chanson de Matin and Chanson de Nuit with much conviction and energy.

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Join the 1893 Club today

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By Tanya Darlow, Head of Development

Do you know about the 1893 Club?

Members choose to donate £18.93 every month or quarter to the John Badley Foundation, to help widen opportunity at Bedales and commemorate the school’s founding year.

Through fully funded bursary places, the John Badley Foundation transforms the lives of individuals who are able to join Dunhurst and Bedales from difficult home and school situations. The Foundation currently supports ten students in this way, but we rely on the generosity of regular givers to offer more young people this transformational opportunity in the years to come.

Will you help us do this by making a regular gift today? It’s easy to set up through your online banking or by completing a standing order form. Every pound you donate will be matched by Bedales, giving a child an incredible start in life.

As a way of saying thank you, we will invite you to the annual donor reception and give you a special pin badge which qualifies you for a free drink at the Rock Show and other school events.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions about making a donation and the impact your gift can have. I would be delighted to hear from you – email me at tdarlow@bedales.org.uk.

6.2 leavers raise over £11k for John Badley Foundation

Loet and Cian

Two 6.2 leavers marked the end of their time at Bedales by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats during the summer break, raising £11,116 for the John Badley Foundation.

Louis Brouwer and Cian Watson set off from Land’s End on 13 July, and spent a fortnight cycling 1,000 miles to the country’s northernmost point.

Impressively, the pair opted to cycle unsupported, carrying their own kit for the entire journey. Overcoming hurdles, including an accident which wrote off Loet’s bike, and even celebrating Cian’s 18th birthday en route, the pair reached John O’Groats on 26 July.

Keen to show appreciation for their time at Bedales and to help others have such an educational opportunity, Loet and Cian used the challenge as an opportunity to fundraise for the John Badley Foundation, which offers financial support through bursaries to students whose family circumstances mean that an independent school education would normally be out of reach. We are grateful to the many 6.2 parents who supported this initiative.

Loet said: “I have always wanted to do something adventurous and physically challenging and I am really pleased that Cian agreed to join in too. Bedales has had such a huge impact in developing me into the person I am. By raising bursary funds through the John Badley Foundation, I’m able to give something back, help others and show appreciation for my education.”