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Henry Smith Club Annual Dinner 2018


Henry Smith Club President, Sir Peter Gershon (’65) hosted the Henry Smith Club Dinner at the fabulous Roast Restaurant in Borough Market, London Bridge on Wednesday 2 May with special guest, former RGS classmate and the UK’s leading educational philanthropist, Sir Peter Lampl (’65).

We were delighted to welcome so many of our Henry Smith Club members and guests to the annual dinner overlooking the world renowned Borough Market. Our huge thanks go to John and Anna Turner (owners of Roast and RGS Parents) for their generous hospitality and superb food.

Established almost 5 years ago, the Henry Smith Club has become a key driver of our important Social Mobility work. From September 2018, the club will be sponsoring seven children at RGS as a result of the generosity of its membership in aid of the Changing Lives campaign. Named after the founder of RGS, the Henry Smith Club celebrates one of the great Elizabethan philanthropists who left £1000 in his Will to be used for the relief of the poor and to educate local children in Reigate. In 1675 Reigate Grammar School was founded and has remained on the same site to this very day.

The evening commenced with a wonderful solo violin performance from Gabrielle B, a current RGS student who captivated the audience with her magnificent rendition.

Sir Peter Gershon took great delight in introducing his old RGS classmate and lifelong friend Sir Peter Lampl, as the keynote speaker for the evening. Peter Lampl is acknowledged as the UK’s educational philanthropist. In 1997 he founded the Sutton Trust, which is dedicated to improving social mobility through education. Peter has given over £50 million to the Trust to achieve this aim. The Trust is a ‘do tank’ supporting 4,000 students per year on programmes, producing 15 research studies per year, and influencing government policy. Perhaps even more impressive was the fact that he could still recite, in alphabetical order, the entire register from his form group at RGS!

With over 80 attending the evening, Sir Peter Gershon then took the opportunity highlight the pivotal role RGS had played in changing his life and thanked the room for their wonderful support with the Changing Lives campaign, in particular the advocacy of Henry Smith Club members. But, with social mobility featuring constantly in the headlines of the national press, there is more that can be done and Sir Peter set a challenge to address this issue in and around the local area.


“The target we have set is to get the Henry Smith Club membership to 100 by the year 2020”
Sir Peter Gershon, HSC President


The evening was spectacularly signed off by the star of the show Isobel Tilley (’13). Izzy, a bursary recipient, has just graduated from Cambridge University with a Double First in Modern and Medieval Languages. She gave a truly inspiring account of her journey and the transformational impact it has had on her and their importance. A remarkable young woman.


“Benefiting from an outstanding education such as my own, comes with responsibility. I, and many others, have been so lucky to have had the education and opportunities that we have had and it is only right that we contribute something back to society to continue this cycle of advantage.”
Isobel Tilley – RGS 2009-2013


Please click here if you would like to find our more information about becoming a member of the Henry Smith Club.



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