2018/19 RAIS£ by Alex (Class of 2019)

August 6, 2019

It is a testament to the inexhaustible generosity of Latymerians that every September the Science Lecture Theatre is overwhelmed by students ecstatic to get involved with RAIS£. 2018/19 was no different, with many of our fundraising initiatives coming from these young members.

Sophie in Year 7, designed and marketed a new LatyMERCH project, the RAIS£ x Chilly’s waterbottles. Not only have these raised a tremendous amount for Inspiring Minds, but they have saved an estimated 167 plastic water bottles per reusable Chilly per year from harming the environment.

Similarly, and much to the chagrin of those responsible for enforcing Latymer’s uniform, RAIS£ sweatshirts were another runaway hit. In addition to their unassailable haute couture credentials, every student wearing a RAIS£ sweatshirt is a banner of support for their friends and fellow students on a bursary. A suitable send off for the Class of 2019 were the RAIS£ leavers’ hoodies, whose design was crowdsourced in the Sixth Form common room.

At the other end of the School, the Year 7’s tore up the dance floor during our RAIS£ the Roof disco (you may be beginning to realise that puns are the bedrock of our fundraising). That evening confirmed my theory that not only are the Year 7’s smarter than the older years, but immeasurably cooler.

The Latymer Christmas Fair and RAIS£ bake sales were unsurprisingly popular, allowing us to ensure RAIS£’s secondary goal of being the School’s premium cookie supplier. During our annual film night, RAIS£ proved itself as both a humanitarian and edifying enterprise by introducing the cult classic “The Parent Trap” to a new generation of viewers. The year ended with our inaugural RAIS£ week, with events such as the Prep School triathlon and Latymer university challenge. For those of you who missed it, Jeremy Paxman has legitimate cause for concern about our presenter, Mr Noakes, exiting retirement to usurp his throne on the real university challenge.

All of these initiatives led to a tremendous £18,601.44 being raised for the bursaries appeal. The final, but equally meaningful, initiative by RAIS£ this year was creating parallel RAIS£ clubs in schools across London. While Latymer has an inspiringly positive attitude around bursaries, this is not the case universally, and I hope that RAIS£ can be one small means by which to help foster a more inclusive community for bursary students everywhere.

As a member of RAIS£ (previously the Bursaries Appeal Club and previous to that, the Annual Fund) since 2012, I cannot begin to express how proud I am of how far it has come. The generosity in time and money of Latymer students and the overwhelming support from the administration. RAIS£ is not only a meaningful opportunity for Latymerians to help their community, but a unique opportunity to be entrusted with responsibility as a student.