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News > Fundraising > “Getting the opportunity to come to Dame Allan’s helped me to find my ambition."

“Getting the opportunity to come to Dame Allan’s helped me to find my ambition."

On the eve of our first Giving Day (16/17 May), we are delighted to share Ben and his Dad Dean's stories. Ben attended Dame Allan's via a bursary award, and was elected Head Boy.
15 May 2024
Dame Allan's departing Head Boy, Ben Patrick
Dame Allan's departing Head Boy, Ben Patrick


I came to Dame Allan’s in Year 9 from my local middle school. It was not an easy decision for my family, in fact we only made the choice 2 weeks before I started. I am so glad we did. I have never looked back! 

One of the things that really stood out about Dame Allan’s for my parents was the nurturing environment of the Schools. Academic success was important, but the friendliness of the community and the emphasis on personal development was even more important to me and my family.

Coming to Dame Allan’s has been a catalyst for my ambition. I’m passionate about politics and history, as well as maths. Once I leave Dame Allan’s I’m hoping to pursue a PPE degree (Philosophy, Politics and Economics), with the eventual aim of getting into a role where I can make a difference and enact change. 

Being elected as Head Boy is definitely a highlight of my time at school. This role has enabled me to act as a voice for the student community, and has allowed me to represent the school at some amazing events. My favourite part about being Head Boy is being able to meet prospective parents and pupils and tell them of the opportunities, warm environment and ambition that Dame Allan's offers.

During my time here, I have had the pleasure of joining different co-curricular clubs. I’m a member of the Economics Society, and in the past I’ve taken part in debating and public speaking, all of which have helped with my growth and development - particularly public speaking with Ms Ward, where I got to visit Leeds and Cambridge as part of competitions. 

By getting the chance to come to Dame Allan’s instead of the ‘safe’ choice of my local state secondary, I feel like I have hugely benefited. I feel valued, respected and have been given so many opportunities, as well as made great friends. Dame Allan’s helped me to find my ambition - now I know I can achieve something great.”

I've been to good schools beforehand and have encountered personal struggles outside of school during my time at Dame Allan's, but I genuinely feel happy coming to school every day as a result of the nurturing climate the Schools provide.


Dean, Ben's Dad


Ben has flourished immensely during his time at Dame Allan’s Schools, both academically and personally. Speaking from a parent’s experience, a bursary award genuinely makes a difference to people’s lives and the choices they can make for their children's education. 

With regard to his studies, Ben has made the transition from being an intelligent child when he first joined, to unlocking further potential and becoming one of the high-flyers. His appetite for learning has been encouraged. He is highly motivated to study and to achieve, which has resulted in exceptional exam results year after year and multiple offers from various universities.

However, education aside, the support of Dame Allan’s has also allowed Ben to develop into a very confident, popular and well-rounded young man, demonstrated by his participation in various activities - such as the Debating Society - into perhaps his greatest achievement of being awarded Head Boy status in 2023, of which I am so proud. 

The combination of all of these characteristics and achievements will no doubt pave the way for a successful life and career ahead. This has only been made possible by the superb level of mentoring, education, support, and motivation that Dame Allan’s staff have provided to Ben, for which I am extremely grateful.

Ben has thrived despite him having to tackle some difficult personal challenges during his time within the Schools. It is without doubt that he would not have been able to gain this level of personal support had he remained in state school education, where the level of close coaching and mentoring is simply not practical.

The bursary award was very much appreciated by both me and Ben, following some life events which affected us both emotionally and financially. Throughout this time, Dame Allan’s were extremely supportive, offering solutions, regular communications and also forward planning of options ahead. This allowed us to plan financially, enabling us to continue life as ‘normally’ as possible, despite some highly challenging circumstances.

Those who do achieve a bursary to enable their children to either enrol on, or continue, a Dame Allan’s education, will benefit greatly from the scheme. 

If you are able to contribute to the bursary fund, then please do so, and if you have previously supported this, then I personally thank you for your contribution that has helped our family.


To find out more about Giving Day, and how it will support our bursary award programme, click here.



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Dame Allan's Schools
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