This month, we have re-launched the School’s historic Donald Hughes Trust, funding places for disadvantaged children to attend Rydal Penrhos.
The Trust aims to raise £300,000 this year – all of which will go to fully funded places at Rydal Penrhos.
The Trust provides access to a Rydal Penrhos education to children who would not otherwise be able to attend the School. The opportunities it affords these children are life-changing.
The history of Rydal Penrhos is characterised by change, compromise, and tolerance. From its roots as two separate single-sex boarding schools to its present life as a thriving, co-educational day school, the School has always sought to apply the values of its Methodist foundations to the questions of the day. The provision of fully funded places is a vital part of the School’s Methodist vision.
Rydal Penrhos has a historic tradition of philanthropy. In Penrhos, the Rosa Hovey Memorial Leaving Scholarship, funded by the estate of the late Rosa Hovey, Head between 1894 and 1928, ensured that Penrhos girls did not miss out on the opportunities of higher education. Meanwhile, in Rydal, Donald Hughes, Head between 1946 and 1967, was so concerned that his pupils not lose their places that he would step in in cases of financial difficulty, sometimes paying the fees himself.
Hughes led Rydal through its post-war years, in which food was still rationed, and the Memorial Hall was built under his Headship, commemorating the boys lost in both wars. Today, the Memorial Hall is used for musical and dramatic performances, special assemblies, and prize giving. Hughes died in 1967, in the post of Headmaster. Like Constance Smith, the inspiring Head of Penrhos in the same period (1938–66), Hughes left behind a generation of pupils who would remember his ceaseless energy, ‘sincerity of purpose’, and personal kindness.
A life-changing education
As Methodist boarding schools growing side-by-side in the emerging town of Colwyn Bay, both owing their existence to the particular energy and generosity of the Reverend Payne, it is fitting that Penrhos College and Rydal School now form one School, one with a rich and complex history.
The education the School offers embodies two key principles. The first, to enable children to fulfil their potential, wherever that lies. The second, to produce well-rounded and community-minded individuals who go out in the world and make a difference.
Fully funded places provide life-changing opportunities for those children who are awarded them, but by increasing the internal diversity of its pupil body, they also enrich the School as a whole.
We hope that you will consider supporting the School and the future of its young people by making a gift to the Donald Hughes Trust. Your support is appreciated more than we can say.