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The Westonbirt Alumni Association

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Welcome to the Westonbirt Association section of the website.

Founded in 1930, the Westonbirt Association is the membership organisation for former pupils and staff of Westonbirt School. The Association helps alumni and former staff of Westonbirt keep in touch with each other around the world and offers a social programme, which includes events at Westonbirt School and other venues. The Association has thousands of members, spanning many generations and many continents.

Not a member? Don’t worry, whether or not you joined the Association on leaving school, if you have been a pupil or member of staff at Westonbirt for any length of time, you are eligible to join and to start enjoying the benefits of belonging, simply complete the membership form in the membership tab below.

On joining we will put you in touch with the appropriate Section Representative (who left Westonbirt in the same year as you) who will be your main point of contact for news.

Please take the time to look through the information below which explores the many ways in which the Association is active within our school community and beyond.

Our Links with Westonbirt School

The Association aims to work closely with the school and we are extremely grateful to the Head, Natasha Dangerfield, for her support. The school is able to securely manage our database and host our website within theirs. Their Head of PR, Rhiannon Roche, is also the Association’s liaison officer and helps to organise our events and meetings. In return, alumni can help the school in practical ways, for example by providing guest speakers for the school’s careers day, giving guest lectures about their area of expertise or offering work experience to current pupils. Many members enjoy demonstrating in this way how far in life their Westonbirt education has taken them! We also encourage current pupils to succeed by offering the Memorial Bursary, the Mary Henderson Travel Award and our new Leiths award.

Join us to celebrate 90 years of the Association

The Association’s 90th Birthday Lunch has now been rearranged for SATURDAY 22 MAY 2021. Please join us to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Westonbirt Association with a delicious lunch which will be served in the Orangery at 12pm. Further details will appear on the website in due course but please make a note of the date and encourage your friends to come along for a fun memory-filled day out. We would love to see as many section reunions as possible. Tickets are available from 90yearsofwestonbirtassociation.eventbrite.co.uk 

Or you can email Rhiannon Roche at rhiannon.roche@westonbirtschool.uk to request tickets.

What does membership offer?

The Association produces an annual News Magazine containing fascinating news from alumni and staff from all over the world, from those who left Westonbirt in the 1940s to the current leavers. Members are given the opportunity to contribute their own news once a year, which is published both in print and as an e-book and is available on Amazon or through the Association. Every new member who joins the Association “late”, receives their first copy of the Association News for free. New Year 13 members are welcomed to the Association by the Executive at a special celebratory Leavers’ Cream Tea in the Library, during their final term. They receive their first three copies of the news magazine for free. Any current or past member of the Westonbirt staff is eligible to join the Association for free and attend the AGM.

As mentioned, each year group has its own section representative who collects the news and facilitates reunions so that everyone can keep in touch. There are twice yearly newsletters sent out from the section reps which alert members to news, developments and events. Being a member of the Association brings with it easy networking with past pupils and staff from all generations, as well as access to our Facebook and Twitter sites.

Membership Information and Application Form

Current practice is that new members are welcomed to the Association at a special celebratory Leavers’ Cream Tea in the Library in their final term of Year 13. Any departing staff may also join as they leave. Any former pupil or staff who did not take out Association membership at the time of leaving the school may join any time afterwards.

What does membership cost?

Life membership to the Westonbirt Association is currently £100, normally payable with the first term’s fees.

Former pupils wishing to join the Association after leaving cchool are currently charged £75 (under 30’s) £50 (age 30-60). Over 60’s are free. Staff Membership for current and past staff is free. 

What happens when I join?

We will put you in touch with the appropriate section rep who will be your main point of contact for news, from the Association to you and from you to the Association.

We will send you email newsletters twice a year, and, if you subscribe to the Westonbirt Association News, an annual News Magazine. Please note that you may also order copies of the Magazine in paperback or as an ebook via Amazon wherever you are in the world. (Find it by typing “Westonbirt Association” into the Amazon search box.)

Membership Form

If you have left the school within the last 12 months please complete our online membership form here.

If you left Westonbirt more than 12 months ago, please complete our 'late joiners' membership form here. Please email rhiannon.roche@westonbirtschool.uk for details regards membership payment.

Rules of Westonbirt Association. 

A full list of rules can be viewed here

Visiting Westonbirt and Reunions

Former pupils frequently ask to return to school with their families or for a year group reunion, which the school is more than happy to accommodate. Please email Rhiannon Roche for information and to arrange a date in the school diary. Visits must be arranged in advance, due to child safeguarding rules. If you do hold a reunion either at school or elsewhere, please let us know about your event, via Rhiannon, so that we can report it on the website, in the news or on our Association Facebook page. Photographs are especially welcome.

The Westonbirt Association Memorial Bursary

The Westonbirt Association manages a special bursary fund set up in the late 1940s in memory of the five former Westonbirt pupils who lost their lives during the Second World War while they were members of the forces, civil defence or nursing services. Each year the fund gives a bursary to help fund the Sixth Form fees of one or more pupils.

The aim of the Fund is to give a bursary to help fund the Sixth Form fees of one or more pupils. To be considered for the Westonbirt Association Memorial Bursary, pupils must be nominated by the school in the spring of their Year 11. Candidates complete an application form and are interviewed by a panel from the Westonbirt Association Executive. As well as providing welcome financial help, the process provides good experience for later job and university applications and enhances the CV of successful candidates.

Once awarded, payment is made for both years of the recipient’s Sixth Form. Since the foundation of the Memorial Bursary, we have helped more than eighty pupils in this way. With income levels from investments so low at present, and school fees rising, new donations are always welcome to increase the value of the award. Covid-19 is also adding to the list of financial pressures currently facing parents and the Memorial Bursary can make all the difference as to whether a promising student is able to continue their education at Westonbirt for the Sixth Form.


How to Donate

The preferred method of  payment is by BACS to Westonbirt School Ltd,  Sort Code: 20-03-50, Account No. 30951943 (Reference: Memorial Bursary). However, cheques are also acceptable and should be made out to Westonbirt School Ltd and sent to: Michael Porter, Allied Schools Agency Ltd, Sovereign Court One,(Unit 3), Sir William Lyons Road, University of Warwick Science Park, Coventry, CV4 7EZ

Gift Aid: Donations benefit from this. If you are a UK taxpayer, donations should be accompanied by a form confirming name, address & postcode and giving a signed confirmation that the benefactor pays more income tax in the UK than the value of Gift Aid.

Since the merger with Wishford Schools, Westonbirt School is no longer a charity, however, the Memorial Bursary still is and therefore Gift Aid can still be claimed


Bequests

Bequests: Bequests to the Memorial Bursary are free from liability to inheritance tax. If you wish to leave a bequest in your will to the fund, all you need to do is send your solicitor a request that the Westonbirt Association Memorial Bursary be included in your will “free of duty”.

The Mary Henderson Travel Award

This cup and award was instigated following the departure of former headmistress, Mary Henderson in 2012, and is awarded to a Year 11 student to encourage their Modern Language skills.

Please contact rhiannon.roche@westonbirtschool.uk for details of how to donate to this award.

HOWT Tours

You may like to join one of the formal tours of the house and gardens organised by the Holfords of Westonbirt Trust. These include an exquisite afternoon tea in the Library. Click here for further information.

Annual Association Day

An Association Day takes place at Westonbirt every year and, on occasions, in London. It is an opportunity to also hold the AGM for all members/alumni and the GCM for Section Reps. Traditionally it was held in October but more recently it changed to May to take advantage of the better weather and lighter evenings. This also meant that we can join in with the School’s annual 'Picnic in the Park' when the dates coincide and alumni’s families can come along for a day of fun and renewing friendships.

In 2021, we will be celebrating our 90th anniversary (a year later than intended!) on Saturday 22 May, as mentioned above. This time it will be a special day set aside for the Association, with a sit-down lunch for alumni and former staff, vespers and tours of the School etc. Tables can be reserved for sections who are having reunions, so if your section would like to get together at Westonbirt next year or want to celebrate their own significant birthday years e.g. 10, 20, 25, 30, 40 etc, please come along. Tickets are available from 90yearsofwestonbirtassociation.eventbrite.co.uk or through: rhiannon.roche@westonbirtschool.uk

Events at Westonbirt

The School Chapel and Westonbirt House and Grounds are available to hire for private events such as weddings, christenings, parties and memorial services. Bookings from Association members are very welcome. The school calendar includes many concerts, plays, public lectures and other events open to the public. Westonbirt Association members are warmly invited to attend.

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