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Nightingale Festival rocked!

 

On Saturday 11 September, Broadfield Lawn was transformed for an epic evening of entertainment at the Nightingale Festival! With sensational music, delicious food, and drinks that just kept flowing, a fantastic time was had by all. With the generous support of sponsors and festival-goers, the event raised an incredible £43,400!

Head of Foundation, Sean Davey opened the event by welcoming guests, thanking our main sponsors, Ralph James Estate Agents and introducing the first act…

Artaca, which features RGS students, Omar, Annis and Taylor and former student, Oscar, kicked off the festival in style, with a mixture of brilliant covers, such as Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, as well as some catchy original songs. Their new single, In The Plains, will be released through AWAL soon.

Next up, Chas and Dave tribute act, Gertcha, brought a bit of the East End to Reigate! It was good to see that a couple of audience members had come prepared for a cockney knees up by donning their flat caps!

Erasured transported us back to the ’80s and ’90s with iconic pop classics such as Sometimes and A Little Respect. Singer, Mark, added a bit of glamour, firstly with a full set of white feather wings, but it was his gold top and hot pants that drew whoops of delight!

Sean Davey returned to the stage to thank the organising committee: Lisa Pierre, Lisa Perowne, Marycarmen Mancilla Vazquez, Louise Hodges, Jo Walsh, Jane Woods, Jill Brady and Shrilla Banerjee. He then introduced Headmaster, Shaun Fenton, who highlighted the important role of the festival in raising funds for the Nightingale Fund and the life-changing opportunities this provides to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We were then proud to welcome Sue Jenkins, Director of Kaizen at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust to the stage. Sue spoke about the challenges faced by her colleagues over the last year, and reinforced how well-received the Nightingale initiative had been.

 

Dame Judi Dench endorses the Nightingale Fund

Then it was the moment we’d all been waiting for… Sean Davey welcomed Dame Judi Dench to the stage. After some light-hearted banter about the TikTok videos she made with her Grandson during lockdown, and her rapping experience with grime MC, Lethal Bizzle, Judi then explained why she was so passionate about endorsing the Nightingale Fund.

She explained that her Father and brother had both been doctors, and that coincidentally her Headmistress at school had been called Florence Nightingale. She encouraged everyone to look for the good that had come from Covid – the sense of community, with neighbours and strangers going out of their way to support one another. We are so proud to have Judi’s support and we’re delighted that she will be launching Giving Day on Thursday 16 September.

Dame Judi Dench on stage at the Nightingale Festival

Back to the party!

As the sun began to set, we returned to the music, with a blend of reggae and blues from RGS parent, Tim Hain and his band, Jam Side Up! Playing some amazing classics, including Bob Marley’s Jammin’, as well as an original song written especially for the occasion, Reggae on the NHS.

The London Soul Band turned the energy up a notch and had everyone up on their feet by belting out floor-filler favourites, such as Bruno Mars’s Uptown Funk and Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.

Closing the show in style, was the incredibly talented JJ Rosa, whose rendition of Prince’s Purple Rain was truly breathtaking.

 

Making the event special

We would like to say a few special thank yous. Not least to the RGS Estates team who worked tirelessly to set up Broadfield Lawn and return it to a working school for Monday morning! Also to award-winning chef, Luke Hardy and the team from Chartwells Independent for their delicious food.

Tom Hughes (RGS 1996-2002) and his colleagues from Dragonfly Studios delivered exceptional sound in spite of the pressures of a tightly-packed schedule. Thank you to Gary Beestone Events for sponsoring the stage. Thanks also to local company, Lovely Eira, who provided make-up bags for the festival packs, and Buckland Pool & Building Company for their sponsorship.

The large marquee boasted an impressive ‘Thank you NHS’ sign made from balloons. The beautiful paper ball decorations were thanks to RGS parent, Lisa Pierre and flowers were down to Jill Brady. The marquee was also where guests could enjoy a glass of Champagne Dumangin J Fils (a huge thank you to RGS parent and fifth-generation Champagne producer, Gilles Dumagin for his support) and Silent Pool Gin and tonic, as well as a novelty photo booth, courtesy of Events by Helen! Guests drank the beer bar dry, but Pilgrim Brewery were on standby and quickly delivered additional stock!

In the chillout tent, the team from Ralph James offered guests hair braiding, temporary tattoos and festival make-up courtesy of MAC Cosmetics. Congratulations to RGS parent, Joanne Bletcher, who won a spa hotel stay at South Lodge courtesy of Ralph James.

Finally we would like to say an enormous thank you to all those who bought tickets and came along to eat, drink and dance the night away in support of the Nightingale Fund!


Our next event is Giving Day on Thursday 16 September – every donation, large or small makes a huge difference by helping to unlock match-funded gifts, so please support this important event.

 

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