The Friends was started in 1957, well before the inauguration of the School’s Foundation and the Corner Capital Fund. As such, together with the Old Wellingtonians’ Association, we were the first organisation to raise money for the School and our largest contribution was £450,000 for the Science Block at the Senior School followed by £45,000 towards the purchase of the site in which the Prep School and Sports Centre now stand.
Nowadays, we operate a “bid” process, where requests are made for items such as choir robes, tents for Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, library equipment, stage lighting, water fountains and garden furniture. The Friends have generously funded the cost of replacing a window in the Chapel, an iconic building in the School, which every student uses and which remains a source of pride and warm memories for many, after they leave. For the opening of the Prep School, playground and picnic equipment was purchased and recent bids have been for balance ability bikes and trikes, drums and cameras, £5000 for the development of the Forest School, as well as prizes for competitions and a contribution to the Leaver’s Disco, gifts to help out Santa and trips to the cinema. With the development of an exciting sports and outdoor education programme, the Friends have funded a huge range of sporting equipment, including kayaks, dinghies, scrummage machines and cricket nets, protective hockey kit for our young ones, table tennis tables and the Intelligent Trainer PC equipment used to track students strength and fitness.
We aim to spend equally and fairly on all aspects of school life, across all school ages, for both Boarding and Day students. We love it when we are asked to raise funds for a section of the School we have not supported for a while, and are delighted that we are starting to receive bids from our latest additions, Chapel and Price’s Nurseries.