The Second Rank Fellowship Charities Evening
Held on Tuesday 7th November, 2007 at the Royal Society of Arts
The combination of Fellows, Trustees and Charity representatives in a superb vaulted venue proved a heady mixture once again. The second Charities Evening had a terrific buzz to it, as well as a central social and volunteering focus, aided by an outstanding published programme, put together by Fellow Alastair Rolfe and his Spencer Stuart colleague, Keith Fryer. Around seventy Fellows and guests attended, along with thirty representatives from fourteen Rank-supported charities.
The words of welcome from Chairman Jason Chaffer paved the way for a witty and thoughtful speech from Fellow Tarka L'Herpiniere, someone whose initiative has been characteristic of the values behind the Fellowship and the School Leadership Award. Several of the charities present had attended the previous year: it was excellent to meet up again with our friends from JUMP, Westminster House, Cambridge House, Prospex, Paddington Arts and Time and Talents. There was a greater geographical spread this year, with the Essex Association of Boys Clubs, the Hampshire Deaf Association and the Jubilee Sailing Trust. It was good to see those such as St.Mary's Centre, the Church of the Good Shepherd, and the Feathers and Hollington Clubs receiving deserved recognition. There was a strong feeling of Rank-based camaraderie in the RSA vaults and we are hopeful of a number of successful volunteering outcomes from the evening.
Of course, the Fellowship is looking to strengthen its connections with other international organisations which pursue the same objectives. We were delighted to welcome Daniela Barone Soares from the Fundacao Estudar and Noomane Fehri and colleagues from the London Maghreb Network Society. Fred Packard, Chairman of The Rank Foundation, was there, as were a number of Foundation Trustees and Executives. Bob Griffin from Exeter School and Andy Rattue from RGS Worcester were flying the flag for the School Leadership Scheme, while Alexander McLean, UK Graduate of the Year, was able to spread the word about his remarkable African Prisons Project.
Fellows were there from all age groups and from all parts of the country, whether arriving from school or university or dropping in after work in London. Founding members of the Steering Committee were reminiscing, while new initiatives were aired from a number of younger Fellows. James Williams and Rob Sharpley were making mental notes as they begin to plan next year's Fellowship Charities Evening in Manchester. That should prove memorable too.
Many thanks to all those who attended a most enjoyable evening. The programme is well worth reading and can be accessed here.