Lord Wandsworth College announced today news of a £2.1m bequest to the Foundation from a former pupil,
The gift is a bequest in the will of Jessie Flower who passed away in 2011. Jessie attended Lord Wandsworth’s Girls’ School at Gosden House in Bramley in the 1930s. Both she and her sister were supported by the Foundation following the death of their father while they were still young.
The bequest brings the total given to the Foundation in the past five years to more than £3.3m.
The trustees of the Foundation will follow Mrs Flower’s wish to invest the sum into the William and Jessie Flower Fund and use the income to fund school fees for the 50 Foundationers who currently attend the College. The Foundationers have been selected not only in terms of ability but also because of their need to be in a boarding school environment having faced significant challenges in their home lives. Since the college first opened its doors in 1922, over 2,500 Foundationers have been supported by the charity.
“Mrs Flower’s bequest is a very significant gift for our Foundation,” commented Headmaster Fergus Livingstone. “Mrs Flower was not only grateful for her own education, but could see the value of a boarding school education for children in a similar situation in today’s environment. Her decision to support our charity in this way is a huge endorsement of the work that we continue to do here at LWC and will bring significant progress to our programme to refinance the Foundation as it enters its second century.”
Notes to Editors:
Lord Wandsworth College is a co-educational day and boarding school for 530 children aged 11-18, set in a 1200 acre campus in rural north Hampshire. Its Foundation supports 50 children who have lost one or both parents and need the pastoral care and additional opportunities that the boarding school provides.
Foundationers at LWC come from a very wide variety of backgrounds but have all faced similar challenges at a crucial time in their lives. Some of the pupils have lost both parents and are in the care of family members including elderly grandparents. Others have seen their mothers struggle with terminal illness, or have never known their fathers or have been fostered by friends to ensure they don’t go into the social care system. Assisted boarding (subsidised fees for boarding school) offers practical solutions to children and families who need pastoral support.
The Foundation’s origins lie in an orphanage endowed by Lord Wandsworth on his death in 1912. His wish was to provide caring homes and a stable upbringing to children who had lost parents through agricultural accidents. Lord Wandsworth’s original bequest was worth £1.2million and funded the purchase of the 1200 acre agricultural estate and the extensive buildings that the College now occupies.
Mrs Flower’s bequest is one of the UK’s biggest single legacies left to a school bursaries programme in the past ten years.
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