At CH, I became a recipient of relentless opportunity. Academically, it supported and challenged me – producing results which closed no doors. Equally, it provided me with a home in which I was able to find confidence and interpersonal skills, via sports, cadet service and Model United Nations, for example. Moments from my seven years in Housey comprise some of the best memories of my life, and I suppose this is the case for many Old Blues. However, my Housey was not the standard one.
I was lucky enough to have a BSB presentee badge on the upper right side. From the start of my application to CH, my mum (an Old Blue) had made the significance of the BSB clear; I understood that the organisation, in some way, financially enabled my admission. Other than that, I was largely naïve as to what it did, how it worked and why it assisted me. Naturally, this changed as I became more senior and more aware of the Society’s impact. I realised that the BSB contributes effort institutionally to the School and alumni, namely with its Loans and Grants Committee. But additionally, and of particular relevance to me, it makes a personal effort with its presentees.
Many of my school friends had donation governors but the BSB offered more than the (often distant) governor-pupil relationship. It provided a network with Old Blues through which I was able to seek advice and further opportunities, and I became close with my governor who acted as a mentor during my time at CH and continues to do so now.
As presentees, we were invited to lunches and conferences – welcomed to and involved in the organisation. It was accessible, with its on-site office, and so created a support-system for me. Ultimately, the BSB not only enhanced my time on the Avenue, it made it possible in the first place, and this is something which is becoming clearer to me now as I retrospectively reflect as an Old Blue myself.