Marlborough Together

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Our community, our impact

SPR I NG 2022

Contents 03 Master’s Introduction

Access 04 The Obano Watson rugby bursary 06 Swindon pupils follow their dreams

Citizenship 08 Sustainability and biodiversity on campus 10 Pupil fundraising initiatives

Our Community 12 OMs making a difference 14 Why I became a donor

Cover image The restoration of the Marlborough white horse on Granham Hill overlooking Preshute was carried out largely by Sixth Form pupils who, over 8 weeks scoured and worked 14 tonnes of chalk into the new outline. Environmental artist Angela Shaw oversaw the project to return the horse to its 1930s design and make it resplendent for future generations.

Marketing and Communications Marlborough College, Wiltshire SN8 1PA

It is a privilege to introduce Marlborough’s second publication of Together, a magazine that articulates through the determined work of pupils, staff, parents and Old Marlburians, the College’s repositioning of service and philanthropy to its rightful, central place in this great school’s strategy. The alignment of the belief of all constituent parts of the Marlborough community that we can and, more importantly, should make an active and positive difference in society brings us to a seminal moment; a moment when Marlborough transforms lives; a moment when Marlborough does something truly remarkable. Our vision is that every pupil in this school, whatever their means or ability, will effect positive change upon the lives of others and, in so doing, will greatly enrich their own lives.

Master’s introduction

Striving for change together “Our vision is that every pupil in this school, whatever their means or ability, will effect positive change upon the lives of others and, in so doing, will greatly enrich their own lives.”

I know from many conversations I have had with current Marlburians that they are forward thinking, inclusive and socially minded individuals, and that they want their school to more fully reflect the values and ethos that they hold dear. And so, we will launch a groundbreaking campaign in a year’s time which will recast the College, in its makeup and in its outlook. Marlburians of the future will have access to one of the best educational experiences in the world, regardless of their families’ ability to pay; life changing opportunities will be offered to those who come from families and perhaps backgrounds where a place at a top flight school like Marlborough wouldn’t begin to enter their thinking; and all of our pupils will strive to make a difference in the communities they come from and beyond. The articles which follow offer a snapshot of our journey over the last 12 months and I know that there will be many more inspiring stories to tell as Marlborough forges ahead with confidence and with determination.

Louise Moelwyn-Hughes Master

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The Obano Watson rugby bursary One of England’s leading rugby players says a bursary changed his life and he is now working with Marlborough to try and give that opportunity to another young player from a less fortunate and non-traditional rugby playing community.


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Beno Obano now plays professionally as a prop for Bath alongside fellow England player Anthony Watson, but Watson had a very different start, attending independent school St George’s College in Weybridge where playing rugby is an everyday occurrence. It was on a visit by the pair to Marlborough, with Bath Rugby’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, Alan Murdoch, to use our Athletics Track during lockdown that planted the seed. Alan coaches our sports scholars with Director of Rugby, Terry Gilmour, and together the idea of forming a rugby bursary was born. Beno was already committed to raising the profile of rugby in all communities and made a documentary called Everybody’s Game. “The documentary is about how rugby is a great sport, and how it should be accessible to everyone.” explains Beno. I think rugby has traditionally been a sport played and watched by middleclass white people. However, I have been able to benefit in so many ways from rugby and I obviously don’t fit that description. With the documentary, I want to change the perception of rugby and expose it to more people by telling the stories of non-traditional

rugby players in the hope that those spectating and participating in rugby may slowly begin to grow and diversify”, explains Beno. The film provoked the idea and, together, Alan, Beno, Anthony and Terry started talking about founding a rugby bursary at Marlborough. Following a meeting with the Master, it was agreed that Beno and Anthony would use their connections to identify a potential candidate. Rugby has a heritage at Marlborough that stretches back 150 years and Terry believes Marlborough offers an exceptional experience for aspiring players. “I believe rugby provides a challenging and inclusive environment which aims to develop the character and skillset of every player. I am, therefore, thrilled that we have created an alliance with Beno and Anthony in searching for candidates who would not only be a huge asset to the Marlborough College rugby programme but also offer a deserving young person the opportunity to change the course of his or her life”, explains Terry. Beno received a Sixth Form bursary to attend Dulwich College.

“I had wanted to be a football player but I was told I was too big! To go from a state school to Dulwich was a change but I thought it was amazing. I had so much support and I feel others should have access to this. Rugby changed my life and I had no idea before that I could make a career of it. But for me, if the bursary recipient ends up playing for England, that’s great, but more importantly, we want to create a good human being who enjoys rugby.” Anthony agrees: “I always felt rugby was somewhere to go and we want to encourage others to realise that it is a great sport and you can make a career of it if you want. I am keen to do anything I can do to help someone experience a great school like Marlborough. But the best possible measurement is not whether they go on to professional rugby but they end up going to a university that otherwise they would not have thought about.” We are delighted to announce that the first Obano Watson rugby bursary recipient joins Marlborough in September 2022.

Jan Perrins Associate Director (Development)

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Bursaries enable Swindon pupils to follow their dreams Professor Sir Keith Porter (LI 1965-67) left the College just over 50 years ago and now Louie Wilkins (PR L6) is following in his footsteps.

In 1963, the pioneering former Master, John Dancy, wrote that “social segregation is the one serious weakness of the present-day public schools”. It was his strong belief that independent schools should become more accessible and so in 1965 he offered 12 means-tested Sixth Form places at Marlborough for pupils from secondary schools across Swindon. One of those pupils was Professor Sir Keith Porter. Sir Keith grew up on what he called a ‘tough’ council estate in Swindon, the only son of two working class parents, neither of whom had been to university. From an early age, potentially as a result of witnessing a traffic accident, Sir Keith dreamt of becoming a surgeon and of treating injured people and so, when the opportunity to attend Marlborough materialised, he grabbed it. It proved transformational, laying the foundation for his hugely impressive career in Medicine that followed. “I absolutely would not have had a career in Medicine had it not been for Marlborough” said Sir Keith, “I feel very fortuitous.” The chance to study the right A levels and the influence of inspirational beaks like Bill Spray (CR 1946-70) made a big difference. After leaving Marlborough, 6

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Sir Keith studied Medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital and then went on to fulfil his dream of becoming a surgeon. For over 30 years he was one of the United Kingdom’s most eminent trauma surgeons, treating injured soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. He was knighted in 2010 for services to the military. Just over 50 years after Sir Keith left the College, Louie Wilkins (PR L6) is following in his footsteps with dreams of also becoming a surgeon. Louie was one of three pupils who joined Marlborough from Swindon Academy on a free place last September as part of a new initiative which has echoes of John Dancy’s scheme. Pupils taking part in the Grammar Stream in the Academy, an innovative programme for the most gifted pupils which is supported by the College, are encouraged to apply for free places at Marlborough in the Sixth Form. Like Sir Keith, Louie also knew that he wanted to become a surgeon at an early age, in part inspired by his family: his parents both work in non-clinical roles in the NHS and his sister is a nurse. He felt, early on, that the Grammar Stream at Swindon Academy and then a place at Marlborough offered him his best

chance of fulfilling his dream. He hopes to study Medicine at Cambridge and then train to become a neuro-surgeon. “I want to go on and make a difference and help people,” explains Louie. Boarding has been a new challenge for Louie and he has felt his confidence increase as a result. He feels he is really being pushed academically and he finds the independent study a good preparation for university. Sir Keith’s story is an inspiration to Louie. “Knowing that Sir Keith went on the same journey that I’m on makes me feel hopeful,” he says. “It makes me realise that someone else has done this before me and so now I can do it too.” Sir Keith is planning to speak to Louie and offer what advice he can but he is confident that he will reach his goal of becoming a surgeon, just as he did. “I am sure he will fulfil his own dream with the support of Marlborough. All credit to John Dancy and the current Master, Louise Moelwyn Hughes, because they have both recognised the potential in young people from Swindon to thrive at Marlborough.”

Simon Lerwill Foundation Director

“I attribute all the successes in my life to Marlborough. I am indebted to the College.” Professor Sir Keith Porter (LI 1965-67)

“I feel confident and secure about my future. Marlborough has given me the chance to fulfil my dream.” Louie Wilkins (PR L6)

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Sustainability and biodiversity on campus Wherever possible and practical, the College is looking to make more sustainable and energy efficient choices across all its operations and to consider its wider environmental impact.

As a busy full boarding school, the choices we make for heating, lighting, transport and cooking can make a significant difference. The College already sources electricity from 100% renewable contracts (wind, solar or hydro), has installed over 4,000 LED lights and is converting all our old boilers to new energy efficient condensing boilers. In October, the Estates Department took ownership of 13 zero emission small electric vans for daily usage around the campus. Next to be replaced are the larger vans used to transport catering and domestic supplies to the houses and the 9-seater minibus fleet. Four electric car-charging points are available in the Water Meadows car park for use by staff and visitors.


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One of our most energy demanding facilities is the swimming pool. This year the pool roof will be covered with solar panels creating approximately 130 kwh of power which will be reused to heat the water. Additionally, a new swimming pool cover will help with heat loss, again reducing energy usage and saving costs. As well as working on our energy usage, there is an action plan to increase the biodiversity of our beautiful outdoor habitats and to improve the outcomes for nature. The increasing number of wildflower beds around the campus are not only a welcome sight but have been designed to support a diverse insect population. We are replacing wooden fencing with hedgerows and one large scheme will see 90 metres of fencing replaced

around the Water Meadows pitch, creating additional habitat for birds and small mammals. The Grounds and Gardens Teams are engaged in a significant tree planting programme, driven in part by the impact of Ash die-back which will mean the loss of 120 trees. Last December our pupils combined with those from Swindon Academy to plant 420 saplings of mixed tree varieties on Granham Hill as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative. The saplings were planted above the newly restored Marlborough white horse, a much-loved local landmark which had unfortunately lost its sparkle. The restoration project which was carried out largely by pupils returned the horse to its 1930s design and made it resplendent again for future generations. Over an 8-week period,

pupils deposited and compacted an amazing 14 tonnes of chalk into the new outline following the age-old tradition of scouring, which involves re-carving the shape of the horse, digging out the design, and laying new chalk. The College has commissioned a River and Wildlife Report and the full results are expected in April/May. The plan is to dredge the two College lakes to clear the build-up of silt to improve water quality and oxygenation levels, plant new reed beds to enhance the appearance of the lakes and encourage wildlife. After 3 months of drying out, the silt will make excellent topsoil. In reducing the College’s environmental impact, so much is about an awareness of our own actions. In the construction

of our Beko Innovation Centre, an energy monitoring system was installed in the building that shows pupils the use of energy generated by the PV panels and breaks down the consumption of power in the building. In the future, similar systems could be introduced to all of our boarding houses with the aim to support and challenge pupils to become the most sustainable house. We want to do more and go further, so we have engaged with landscaping and biodiversity specialists who are helping us to create a management plan for the campus that will look forward to achieving improvements over the next 5-10 years.

Andy Barnes Estates Bursar

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Pupils’ fundraising initiatives The Marlburian spirit of service and community engagement is never more evident than in the variety and number of charitable events supported. Some were school-wide, some driven by houses, and some in response to specific areas of need. Last year, our pupils raised a remarkable total of over £75,000 for many wonderful charities and causes. Lent Term 2021 The year started in lockdown and whilst learning remotely Molly Jones (MM U6) ran, cycled and walked 500km in 5 weeks raising £1,415 for the charity I Can & I Am which helps to inspire self-belief and confidence in children. Henry Dukes (BH U6) ran a half marathon for the Mental Health Foundation raising over £700 and Hannah Keighley (DA L6) led the way with a group of pupils who between them ran 250 miles over 24 days raising over £2,500 for Parkinson’s UK. Whilst pupils were off campus, the Summerfield kitchens were used by Love Marlborough Kids to cook meals for vulnerable families in Marlborough.

Summer Term 2021 Once back at school in March, a group of pupils appealed to their peers to donate spare computers and iPads to help children in local primary schools take part in remote learning. As a result, 8 laptops and 14 iPads were donated and refurbished. Houses came together to raise money for various causes. The Ivy Remove’s 12 hour ‘Dancethon’ raised over £900 to support Bobby’s Fund and Alzheimer’s Research UK. C1 donated to Lifting the Veil a charity that seeks to destigmatise breast cancer in developing countries, inspired by the work of Kameron Calvert-Davies (B1 2016-21) with this charity.

C3 raised over £2,700 for their chosen House charity, Young Minds, who support young people experiencing difficulties with their mental health. Dancy put on their running shoes and raised over £3,000 for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust from a sponsored 5km run. Lottie Jordan (DA Re) ran a total of 105km for the High Five for OSCAR challenge and raised an amazing £6,000 for the charity which uses football to encourage children in low income communities in India to stay in education. We reached our fundraising target of £4,000 for our Chapel charity, Wellboring to fund the building of a well at a primary school in Kenya: an amazing gift from the Marlborough Community. Honor Edwards (LI 2019-21) and Lucy Thornton (PR 2019-21), supported by Cameron Heyring (C1 2016-21) completed a half marathon to raise money for Papyrus, the national Charity for the Prevention of Young Suicide, raising nearly £1,000 for this amazing charity.


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Michaelmas Term 2021 Mental health was at the forefront of our minds both individually and collectively. The memorial fund in aid of Mind for Oliver Chessher (CO 2019-21) raised over £25,000. The Green Ribbon campaign for Mind, led by Isabella Thomson (NC U6) and Harry CampbellWalter (BH U6), on World Mental Health Day, raised a further £1,225. B1’s team triathlon raised £2,000 for Young Minds. There have been many other Herculean physical challenges completed as part of fundraising endeavours. Ophelia Light (IH U6) raised over £800 for the Marine Conservation Society by walking over 143 miles in ten days. Fifteen Lower Sixth pupils led by Hannah Keighley (DA U6) and Sophie Herrmann (DA L6) and 12 members of Common Room completed a 24-hour sponsored row in aid of Cancer Research completing 466km between them and raising over £12,000. The 24-hour tennis marathon raised over £3,000 for Bright Ideas for Tennis and the annual Mill Mead and C3 5km poppy run raised almost £4,000 for the Royal British Legion.

The Art school raised 1,425 Euros for Verso Art, to support conservation work at Lismore Cathedral in County Waterford, Ireland. The Marlborough community raised £5,000 for the Refugee Council, a charity supporting Afghan refugees in the UK, and collected much-needed practical supplies to despatch to them. The retiring collections at the Carol Services raised £7,000 divided between the Refugee Council, Alport UK, Ace Africa and the Anti-Slavery Collective. Christmas jumper day and the sale of candy canes raised a further £700 for Cancer Research and Movember. Marlborough has a rich philanthropic tradition and we are proud that a sense of giving and of looking to make a difference within our own community and in the wider world is so strongly felt by our pupil, staff, parent and OM body.

Diana Award Winner Poppy McGhee (NC L6) received the prestigious Diana Award last year, which honours young people who work to improve the lives of others Poppy, an exceptional violinist and music scholar has used her talents since the age of 10 to bring joy to the lives of children with disabilities. She supports the Amber Trust’, a charity funding musical opportunities for blind and partially sighted children. Poppy also won a Rotary Young Citizens Award in May.

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Our community

OMs making a difference Lebby Eyres (C2 1987-89) was part of a team of four courageous women who crossed the Atlantic in a rowing boat finishing 2nd in the female category and coming in 13th place out of 36 teams and raising over £69,000 for charities close to their hearts. Speaking of her achievement, Lebby said, ‘We did this challenge to raise money for three incredible charities who provide so much vital support to people when they need it most. These charities and people they support are our ‘why’ – their inspiration helped us grit our teeth and dig deep when the going got tough.’ Lebby has fond memories of her time at Marlborough, particularly life in Field House and in the art school, where she did Art A level. At the time, pupils were required to participate in community activity and Lebby opted to visit the elderly at a wonderful local care home, Highfield. The experience made a large impression on her, particularly when she witnessed one of the residents sadly develop dementia. After her own parents’ deaths, she channelled her grief into fundraising and began power-walking marathons for charities close to her heart, such as the Moonwalk, British Lung Foundation and Refuge. She also raised money for Great Ormond Street Hospital after a toddler in her street died of cancer.


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After Marlborough, Lebby studied Literae Humaniores at Exeter College and rowed for the Oxford University Women's Boat Club competing in the Boat Race consecutively in 1993 and 1994. She later started a career in journalism and as well as writing for national newspapers was former editor in chief of new! magazine. The opportunity to row the Atlantic arose through a friend she had rowed with at Oxford. The team, known as The Mothership, had a late drop out and Lebby took the place. The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge known as The World’s Toughest Row is a huge feat of endurance for both mind and body. The race covers 3,000 miles of unforgiving ocean, starting at La Gomera in the Canaries and finishing in Antigua. Sponsored by Tritax Big Box REIT plc and British Gas, the Mothership team began the race on December 12th 2021, facing Christmas away from their children and family during the 40-day row. During the challenge, the women faced many obstacles including 20-foot

waves, 20-knot winds, shark infested waters, sleep deprivation, and painful blisters. The crew alternated in pairs between two hours of rowing, followed by two hours rest, sleeping for only 90 minutes at a time. They consumed 10 litres of water and burned in excess of 5,000 calories per day. They are thought to be the second oldest female four ever to cross the Atlantic. In total only 115 all-female rowing crews have attempted to cross an ocean and only 81 teams have been successful. Lebby said, ‘We did this to inspire others, including our own 11 children, to dream big and challenge themselves to achieve their goals, whatever they may be. We want to show that you can achieve anything with the right mindset and that gender shouldn’t be a barrier.’

“We did this to inspire others, including our own 11 children, to dream big and challenge themselves to achieve their goals, whatever they may be. We want to show that you can achieve anything with the right mindset and that gender shouldn’t be a barrier.”

The Mothership’s Atlantic crossing was in support of three charities: Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, which helps seriously unwell children and their families make the most of the special time they have together; Felix Fund, which helps bomb disposal experts and their families who have suffered as a result of the work they do; Women in Sport, which aims to give every woman and girl in the UK the chance to experience the transformational rewards of sport. The fundraising for these charities continues and can be found at The Mothership JustGiving.

© All photos – Atlantic Campaigns Together 2022


Our community

Why I donate to bursaries OM, Olivia Timbs (C1 1970-72), explains how donating little and often to support bursaries can make a huge difference.

Some years ago, I realised that it was more efficient for me to set up some regular Direct Debits to charities that I wished to support, rather than making a larger one-off donation. I had limited spare income but still wanted to give to certain causes. I have always favoured charities that support the poorest in the country: homelessness and fuel poverty; educational initiatives for children from deprived areas and prisoners are the current recipients. In the early days I did not donate more than £25 a month in total. Now the total is higher but still I do not donate significant sums – anything between £5 and £30 a month to each charity. I also make sure that the system does not impact on my income in a way that I might resent and if I find a different cause I wish to support, I either add it to the list or substitute one of the existing organisations. These donations may continue for years – I have been supporting one charity for over 30 years. When I was a member of Council at Marlborough, in the 1990s, I made small contributions in this way to the College and then, when the demands of being a single parent and educating


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two children became more of a financial burden, unfortunately I had to stop. I managed to start my donation again in 2018, in support of the 50th anniversary of girls joining the College. I enjoyed my two years at the College a great deal. If there is one word that I would use to sum-up what I learnt it is resilience – which has held me in good stead over the years. If, in a small way, I can help support a girl whose parents would not be in a position to send their daughter to Marlborough, and who could also benefit in the way that I did, that is sufficient.

“I encourage all OMs and parents who do not believe they have the funds or the income to support a bursary in a significant way to think again. Little and often soon mounts up.”

Class of 2021 fund new bursary

This year we were delighted to welcome into the Sixth Form a talented young pupil whose place at Marlborough has been funded by the ‘Class of 2021 Leavers bursary’. We would like to thank all the parents of last year’s leavers for coming together and generously donating £90,000 to fund this bursary. This is the first time we have run this initiative and we hope this will become a regular feature of our bursary fundraising efforts. Not only does this award provide a life-transforming opportunity for a future Marlburian, it is a wonderful way for the Class of 2021 to mark and remember their time at the College.

Leave your legacy Supporting Marlborough with a gift in your Will can both acknowledge the influences that have shaped your life and secure the future strength of the College for generations to come.

There are currently 111 members of the 1843 Society And over £6 million has been pledged All legacy gifts are valued and celebrated, regardless of size Email:

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Your support in 2021 Over

£2.38 million

raised from

297 donors

61% 27% of whom were current parents

were OMs


of the money provided funding towards bursaries


fully funded places and


partially funded places

Thank you for your generosity The money was raised through the Marlborough College Foundation. All figures are taken from donations and pledges received between 1 January and 31 December 2021.