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RGS and The Peter Harrison Foundation

 

Despite a wet and windy afternoon, there was a warm atmosphere in the Harrison Centre for the annual Harrison Scholars’ Tea Party! This year we celebrate an incredible 20 years of the close and long-standing partnership between The Peter Harrison Foundation and Reigate Grammar School.

We were thrilled to welcome special guests from The Peter Harrison Foundation: founder and Chair Sir Peter Harrison CBE (parent of alumnus), Trustee Nick Harrison (RGS 1976-82), Director Andrew Ross OBE, Linda Simms and Carrie Gilbert.

Headmaster, Shaun Fenton, commended Sir Peter for his philanthropy, likening him to a modern-day version of our school founder, Henry Smith. The Headmaster emphasised the amazing impact resulting from this relationship, before presenting Sir Peter with a bespoke book of photographs and personal messages from Harrison Scholars past and present.

Recollecting his humble beginnings, Sir Peter shared his inspirational journey with guests. From borrowing £100,000 from the bank to buy his first business (using his house as collateral!) to working with Cisco Systems to distribute its multi-protocol router system in the UK, playing an instrumental role in the growth of the internet here.

On selling his business, Sir Peter set up The Peter Harrison Foundation, an independent grant-making trust which supports education, disability sports and special educational needs. Sir Peter is understandably proud of The Foundation’s achievements, but he is so much more than a grant-giver. Indeed, it is his emotional investment in RGS that is truly remarkable and all those involved in The Foundation show a genuine interest in the success of the school and its students.

Over the last 20 years, The Peter Harrison Foundation has supported more than 800 projects and given over £50m to charitable causes across the UK. Since 1999, the partnership between The Peter Harrison Foundation and RGS has resulted in the building of the award-winning Harrison Centre (opened 2018) and life-changing support for more than 70 scholars.

Here’s to the next 20 years…!

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