Celebrating Your Support: 5-Year Donor Impact Report

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CELEBRATING YOUR SUPPORT

FIVE YEAR DONOR IMPACT REPORT

Dear Friends,

It would be difficult to overstate the generosity of the Colfeian community in recent years. Thanks to support from parents, Old Colfeians and the Leathersellers’ Company through the last decade alone, it has become possible for more than 100 pupils from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to benefit from a Colfe’s education and proceed to some of the very best universities in the UK.

The benefit to those pupils whose life chances have been enhanced in this way is obvious. Beneath the surface, however, their presence in the school has enriched the social dynamic of the school, further consolidating the long-standing ethos of Colfe’s as a school which caters for a wider social range than many of our competitors in the independent sector.

At a time when our charitable status is under threat, it is particularly important that we are doing more than entrenching social privilege.

Our current purpose is therefore to build further on the work of recent years and guarantee the future of our ground-breaking scholarship programme which has been established through the generosity of the Leathersellers’ Company. You will find more detail and more context in the pages which follow. For now, however, I wish to say simply that I hope that many of you will want to be a part of this movement.

With best wishes to all,

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PHILANTHROPY AT COLFE’S SCHOOL

In 1652 the Reverend Abraham Colfe made a commitment to the future when he set up a school in south-east London and, through his extensive will, entrusted its care to the Leathersellers’ Company which has been committed to the long-term support of the School ever since. For more than 370 years, we have educated children across south-east London, changing to suit modern needs. Abraham Colfe’s purpose was charitable: his adult life was dedicated to the people of Lewisham, and the school that he founded remains true to his ideals.

Colfe’s School remains true to our Founder’s social purpose thanks to the philanthropy of the Leathersellers’ Company and Foundation and the generosity of the wider Colfeian community. As such, the Colfe’s Charitable Trust was established in 1978 as a vehicle for all donations to Colfe’s School. Trustees then allocate those gifts to the school based on donors’ intentions while also managing the investments of any endowed gifts as needed.

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THE PAST FIVE YEARS IN NUMBERS

98% of donations have supported our pupils directly, with the remaining donations supporting facilities or equipment.

£320K+

has been donated either directly to the school or to the Colfe’s Charitable Trust.

£2 M has been donated by the Leathersellers’ Foundation to support our Leatherseller Scholarship Programme for Sixth Form students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

150+

donors have supported us – thank you.

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OUR PRESENT FUNDING PRIORITY: THE LEATHERSELLER SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME

In 2009, the Leathersellers’ Foundation launched a life-changing programme at Colfe’s School. They donated generous grants for fully-funded, means-tested scholarships to be awarded to pupils from local state schools looking to join our Sixth Form programme. Since the launch of this programme the Leathersellers have supported more than 100 pupils.

100%

This programme is fully supported by philanthropic donations.

10%

Today, the Leatherseller grants are combined with other donations from the wider community to the Colfe’s Charitable Trust to provide fully-funded scholarships for up to 16 students annually from across South London. These are awarded to talented state-school applicants based on academic potential and economic need, with many pupils qualifying for free school meals.

100+

pupils have received these scholarships since 2009.

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GROUNDBREAKING ON FREE SCHOOL MEALS

Due in large part to this programme, 10% of pupils in our Sixth Form qualify for free school meals, compared with an average of just 3% in state grammar schools.

A major independent review of the scholarship programme conducted by Baines Cutler Consultancy described it as ‘ground-breaking’.

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COLFE’S SCHOOL FIVE YEAR DONOR IMPACT REPORT

TRANSFORMING LIVES IN SOUTH-EAST LONDON

The scholarship programme is a powerful engine of social mobility. The students who are successful join us from a range of local comprehensive schools in Lewisham and Greenwich, most of which do not have Sixth Forms. They arrive at Colfe’s having achieved very highly at GCSE in their previous schools in which they have played a leading part as

role models. Once here, they continue to achieve at a high level, winning places at all the top UK universities and embarking thereafter into influential careers in all the major professions. Past scholars have gone on to study Mathematics, Architecture and Classics at Cambridge and Medicine at Imperial College London.

DEMI COLE (OC ’15)

Scholar from Trinity School, Belvedere, graduate in Philosophy from Cambridge University, LLM and trainee solicitor at top five global law firm

Scholar from Conisborough College, MRes Graduate and current PhD/ MBChB student at The University of Liverpool

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“ It’s not an exaggeration to say it changed my life. It helped me get into Cambridge and that has given me the best possible start to my future career.”
“ I would definitely recommend the scholarship programme to others. It helps you to develop socially, academically and personally and gives you a great foundation for future life.”
JAYDEN GITTENS (OC ’18)

Fostering opportunity through education has been at the core of our purpose since we awarded our first student grant in 1602. Today we remain committed to providing long-term support to the young people of Lewisham and are proud that we have been able to advance social mobility in the area by offering Sixth Form students a chance to study at Colfe’s, helping them to achieve their potential and provide inspiration to others.”

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Scholars are making a uniquely positive impact on existing Colfe’s pupils. The influx of high-performing and academically ambitious scholars to the Sixth Form acts as an incentive to our existing top performers who have to raise their game to compete with the new arrivals. For example, our Leatherseller Scholars are well represented in our Further Maths A level class. The academic ambition of the scholars counteracts any tendency towards complacency amongst other pupils, and their work ethic is infectious. The net result of this is an improvement in academic performance across the board. The positive impact on the social dynamic is equally important.

Colfe’s enjoys a close working relationship with the following local state sector schools which do not have sixth forms:

Conisborough College

Deptford Green School

Trinity Church of England School

Addey & Stanhope School

St Paul’s Academy

Bonus Pastor Catholic College

St Ursula’s Convent School

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Being surrounded by bright and motivated pupils, strengthened by the cohort of scholars, was a real spur to my son’s academic focus and success.”
NICK HEDLEY
Donor & parent of former Colfe’s pupils

OTHER GIFTS IN THIS LIFETIME AND BEYOND

HELPING COLFE’S MAKE A DIFFERENCE

In addition to helping pupils in our Leatherseller Scholarship Programme, donors have also supported pupils in financial need across the school. These donations aren’t always during one’s lifetime, however – bequests in wills are also making a significant impact.

THE STUDENT HARDSHIP FUND

Alongside the damage to health and social wellbeing, the Covid-19 pandemic brought financial hardship to many. Several of our families faced withdrawing their children from the school, uprooting them from a familiar environment. In response, Colfe’s asked the community to make a donation in support of our students who were in need, helping to reduce their financial burdens. But our families’ financial struggles will never really fade away, and these gifts are combined with financial support from the school too. In total, about 12 families in financial hardship are supported with financial assistance every year through both donations and the school.

MAKING A LASTING IMPACT: GIFTS IN WILLS

Old Colfeians and friends of the school have also pledged to leave a gift in their will. These gifts have been committed in a variety of ways – a percentage of one’s estate or a specific amount for example – and often are earmarked to support students at Colfe’s. As a way of our saying thank you, legacy intenders are invited to become members of our Abraham Colfe Society, named in memory of the school’s founder. Society members enjoy the chance to meet one another through regular events while we celebrate their support in this lifetime.

12 families in financial hardship are supported annually at the school.

£1M realised in bequests from former pupils.

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COLFE’S SCHOOL FIVE YEAR DONOR IMPACT REPORT

THE UKRAINIAN RELIEF FUND

As the war in Ukraine began, and families fled the war-torn country for the UK, Colfe’s launched a special programme to offer free school fees to children of Ukrainian families. Thirteen refugee pupils from ages 6 to 16 have since joined Colfe’s as a result. Parents, former pupils and friends of Colfe’s generously stepped forward with donations to the Colfe’s Charitable Trust to cover these families’ additional incidental costs. The appeal raised nearly £20,000 and enabled support for students’ uniforms, lunches, school trips, digital devices and English language courses.

£20K raised for the Ukrainian Relief Fund appeal.

13 pupils who left Ukraine at short notice in 2022 following the Russian invasion, have become Colfe’s pupils on fully-funded places. In most cases they are being hosted by Colfe’s families.

MYROSLAVA

Ukrainian refugee and Y9 pupil at Colfe’s

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“ I came from Ukraine with a lot of stress and fear. I didn’t feel safe, afraid that my city would become like Mariupol... but Colfe’s School distracted me from these thoughts and every day I have fun with my friends and learn new things in the classroom.”
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FROM THE DIRECTOR

Dear Donors,

Having joined Colfe’s School nearly a year ago now, I have been struck by how generous this community has been to our pupils. Thank you very much for your important support.

My hope is that this piece – our very first Impact Report for donors – shows how your donations are making a real difference to our students. This document also serves as the first step in developing a culture of gratitude within this office by thanking donors regularly and sharing more impact stories along the way.

When I arrived here in June 2022, I quickly rolled up my sleeves and looked at the numbers. Nearly 75% of all your donations over the last 5 years went to support our Leatherseller Scholarship Programme. These donations allowed us to expand the number of pupils receiving these scholarships, which were on top of the generous gifts from the Leathersellers’ Company and Foundation. Regardless of the size of the donation, your gifts collectively made a massive difference.

This scholarship programme has become so popular with our state school partners that about 100 applicants compete annually for 8 available places. Because of the interest by our Colfeian community

to continue supporting this programme – combined with the demand for these scholarships – this programme is now our most pressing funding priority. As such, we will expand upon our fundraising efforts for this programme over the next few years so that more pupils can benefit.

The other 25% of your donations over the last 5 years have supported our Ukrainian refugee families as well as pupils who experienced financial hardship during Covid-19. These emergency fundraising appeals were sent at a time when the support was needed most, and you graciously responded. Your donations meant that the school could respond quickly to these families’ needs and help them during a time of great uncertainty.

There has never been a role such as mine at the school. So over the last few months I have been on a listening tour, meeting with many of you to seek your advice in building a strong programme that combines fundraising and community engagement. There is much work to do, but I look forward to partnering together while inviting others to support our impressive students.

Thank you again.

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THANK YOU

If you would like to support us with another donation to the Colfe’s Charitable Trust – and continue to help shape the future of the young people of south-east London – you can help us in a number of ways:

ONE-OFF DONATIONS

Make a one-time gift for any of the School’s priorities via credit or debit card on our website or by posting a cheque, payable to Colfe’s Charitable Trust.

REGULAR GIVING

Ongoing and regular support ensures our students can be supported for the long-term. These can be made to the Colfe’s Charitable Trust via standing order and on our website.

GIFTS IN WILLS

Remembering Colfe’s Charitable Trust in your will can make a lasting impression on our pupils while also reducing your inheritance tax bill. All legators are invited to become a member of the Abraham Colfe Society, joining dozens of others in our community who have already made this decision.

RECOMMEND

Do you know someone who might also like to make a difference to our deserving pupils? Get in touch and let us know. Our Director of Development can have a confidential conversation with them on your behalf.

colfes.com/alumni-development

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Gifts of any size to the Colfe’s Charitable Trust development fund add up and make a lasting impact on our students. Our life-changing scholarship and pupil support programmes can only continue thanks to the generous gifts of our donors.
MAKE AN ONLINE DONATION:
For more information please contact: Kathryn McNeill Director of Development and Alumni Relations kmcneill@colfes.com +44 (0)20 8463 8119
Colfe’s School Horn Park Lane London SE12 8AW +44 (0)20 8463 8119 development@colfes.com Printed on FSC ® certified stock which is completely biodegradable and recyclable colfes.com
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