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Stephen Perse Big Give Christmas Challenge 2023

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The Stephen Perse Foundation is taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge, from noon on #GivingTuesday, 28 November to noon on 5 December 2023.

This year we are raising start-up funds for the Guild Opportunities Fund, which will support bursaries and scholarships at Stephen Perse schools. Thanks to generous matched giving pledges from Costello Medical and Reed Educational Trust Ltd, the first £10,000 of gifts will be doubled! The Big Give has set us a target of £20,000 this year, but we hope that with your help we can do even more - will you help us to meet the Challenge?

Please spread the news to family, friends, colleagues and wider networks that early donations via the Big Give Christmas Challenge portal during the Challenge dates will make double the impact this Christmas!

Stephen Perse Guild Opportunities Fund

High quality education is key to improving social mobility and life chances for children and young people: it should be available to all. Stephen Perse schools were founded on bursary and scholarship places, but the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted how access to outstanding education is needed now more than ever and is still not universally available.

The Stephen Perse Guild is the alumni association of Stephen Perse Schools. It was founded in 1903 as the Old Persean Guild and updated its name to reflect the contemporary group of schools in 2009. We are delighted to be celebrating the Stephen Perse Guild’s 120th anniversary. 

As Stephen Perse Guild members and friends, our alumni, current and former staff, and supporters are a life-long part of the Stephen Perse family. Our students become Guild members on leaving Sixth Form and positive contributors to the communities in which they live and work, through their careers, in their family life and as volunteers. They use the creativity, compassion, confidence and conviction developed during their education to question, evaluate and improve society.

In keeping with Dr Perse and Dame Bradbury’s aim to provide education as a means to enable social mobility and optimised life chances, Stephen Perse schools have always sought to offer a first-class education to academically able and determined children and young people regardless of their family circumstances. We do this through a range of bursaries and scholarships at our schools and outreach partnerships with other schools. 

In 2022/23, the Stephen Perse student community included 156 children and young people with bursary or scholarship awards. Now in 2023/24, we have 262 children and young people with bursary or scholarship awards. There is more information on how gifts make a difference here

We want to do more and as we celebrate 120 years of the Guild in 2023 and look ahead to the Senior School's 150th anniversary in 2031, we aim to further increase our bursary, scholarship and associated grants. The Guild Opportunities Fund has been launched to support this aim. 

The Guild Opportunities Fund will support current and future students in accessing the full benefits of a Stephen Perse education and the enhanced opportunities that this enables, thanks to the generosity of Guild members and friends. It will remove barriers of cost for eligible students in line with our vision of an outstanding educational environment that:

  • fosters modern scholarship through exceptional teaching and a dynamic, flexible and rigorous academic curriculum;

  • provides outstanding breadth of opportunity and quality of experience through a rich and varied co-curriculum;

  • nurtures and celebrates individuality, wellbeing, personal development, and contribution to the growth of others, through superb pastoral care, social and emotional education, and learning support; and

  • champions and models equality, diversity and inclusivity, and social and environmental responsibility with a global outlook.

Gifts of all sizes to the Guild Opportunities Fund make a very real difference individually and collectively, for example:

  • If 120 donors make a gift of £70, plus Gift Aid, this will fund a year’s 50% student fees bursary

  • £120 will cover the cost of a school trip to London to visit Westminster or one of the major museums, such as the V&A, for two students on 100% bursaries

  • £280 will fund a term’s instrument lessons on one of our ‘rare breeds’ instruments (oboe, bassoon, French horn, trombone) and loan of an instrument for a Year 7 or Year 8 student 

  • £360 will fund the practice and assessed expedition costs for a bursary holder completing a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, including instruction, equipment, transport and supplies

  • £480 purchases a set of school uniform, sports kit and equipment for a Year 7 or Year 9 100% bursary student 

  • £1,600 provides a week of term-time counselling services to any of our 900 Senior School and Sixth Form students, on a drop-in or appointment basis, to help them work through any issues at home or school with which they need support to promote their wellbeing and positive mental health

  • £4,800, plus Gift Aid, will cover a year’s 25% bursary towards fees, uniform, sports kit, school trips and personal development activities

  • £12,000 (or £9,600 plus Gift Aid) will cover a year’s 50% bursary with associated grants

Double the impact of your gift!

Thanks to generous matched giving pledges from Costello Medical and Reed Educational Trust Ltd, the first £10,000 of gifts will be doubled! 

Please make a gift during the Big Give Week, from noon on Giving Tuesday 28 November to noon on Tuesday 5 December, to help us release these fantastic matched giving funds.

 You can make a very real and positive difference to the life of a young person by making a gift to the Guild Opportunities Fund. Your support will help to ensure that a young person has the best chance to achieve their potential by allowing them to access the outstanding breadth of opportunity and quality of experience provided by a Stephen Perse education.

On behalf of all our current and future bursary and grant award holders, thank you for your support!


About the Big Give

The Big Give is a registered charity (1136547). Its mission is to promote causes and inspire people to give through, a crowdfunding platform for charities, which specialises in match funding. The Big Give features over 10,000 charities and has worked with some of the biggest names in UK philanthropy which provide match funding, including The Big Lottery Fund, Cabinet Office, People’s Postcode Lottery, ICAP TP, Candis Club Magazine, EQ Foundation, The Reed Foundation, The Childhood Trust and others including high-net-worth individuals. The Big Give’s annual flagship campaign, The Christmas Challenge, is the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign.

Tagged  Bursary  Scholarship