Raynes Park High School (RPHS) has become the first state school in the country to be an accredited by the Tim Henman Foundation and BECSLink community.
To celebrate the accreditation, the school hosted a showcase event for local primary schools, local businesses and sporting dignitaries and was attended by the Mayor of Merton, Cllr Marsie Skeet, Tim Henman OBE and Gold Olympian hockey champion Crista Cullen MBE.
At the event BECSLink and The Tim Henman Foundation announced there would be four bursaries awarded to students at Raynes Park High School.
BECSLink is an organisation committed to the social mobility of young people which creates opportunities for them to rise above social inequality and reach their full potential. Tim Henman himself had the opportunity to progress his talent as a tennis player with a scholarship when he was a child.
Primary school children took part in a When I Grow Up Workshop which involved linking strong skillsets held by their fellow pupils to professions to pursue when they leave school, building their own computer game, football, hockey, tennis, a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ challenge, Building and launching their own rocket. The grand finale was a rousing choral performance with Tenors UnLimited and the choir of Raynes Park High School.
Merton Council’s Acting Director of Children Schools and Families, Jane McSherry said: “The launch of a partnership between Raynes Park High School and the Tim Henman Foundation along with BECSLink shows that by working together all children with a natural talent can now be given the opportunities they truly deserve regardless of factors outside their control such as the wealth of their family or a disability or illness they might be facing. I am proud that this partnership is taking place using the outstanding facilities at Raynes Park High School in Merton with Tim Henman OBE who is one of Britain’s most iconic Wimbledon tennis players.”
Richard Garrett, CEO, BECSLink, said “In young lives there are some key influencers: their peers; their role models; their family; their school. Raynes Park High School is a special place. This school wants to: embrace change for the benefit of all the students; enable external partnerships and be at the heart of an integrated community. Our thanks go to Raynes Park High School and the staff at Merton Council’s Education Department.”
Tim Henman OBE said, “The Foundation’s commitment to young people through outreach and scholarships means we are engaging with communities and improving opportunities for many vulnerable young people and their families. I’m very proud that we are able to be in a position to join forces with Raynes Park High School and provide scholarships for talented students here at the school. This borough is the home to the backdrop for my life’s career and achievements at Wimbledon.”