The AKS Lytham Foundation is proud to announce that Sir Bill and Lady Beaumont are to become its first patrons as this new charity prepares for its official launch in May.
The history of AKS Lytham spans around 300 years across the three main heritage schools: Arnold School, King Edward VII School, and Queen Mary School. Over the period 1999 to 2004, King Edward and Queen Mary schools merged to form KEQMS. AKS was then formed in 2012 from a merger of KEQMS and Arnold School in Blackpool.
For generations, the heritage schools have given bright young people the opportunity to transform the trajectory of their lives forever and this ethos is fundamental to AKS Lytham today.
The reason behind establishing the Foundation has been through the long-held belief that in an ideal world, the opportunities that an AKS Lytham education offers would be available to any bright young person, regardless of their family’s circumstances. This is reflected in the vision of the Foundation which is to create a legacy enabling young people to change their world through AKS Lytham.
Chris Dickson, Chair of the Foundation explains:
"Our first ambition is to be able to offer fully-funded bursaries so that we can provide financial support to those young people who would benefit the most. This would mean that an AKS Lytham Foundation Bursary would cover not only tuition but all associated costs such as uniform, curriculum trips, and lunches”.
Phil Owen, Chair of Governors said:
“The bursary appeal will allow us to offer more bursaries than we currently do so that we can reach out and find those talented young people who would really enjoy a life-changing opportunity to study at a school like AKS Lytham and experience a progressive, exciting, and outward-facing education”.
David Harrow, Headmaster at AKS Lytham said:
“I am delighted that Sir Bill and Lady Beaumont have agreed to be patrons of the AKS Lytham Foundation. They have a long connection to Arnold School and a deep commitment to making a real difference to young people in the Fylde area and beyond. I look forward to their support, advice, and ambassadorship in the years to come”.
Sir Bill Beaumont is a former England Rugby Captain and successful businessman in the Textiles Industry. His international rugby career started in 1975 against Ireland, and he went on to make a total of 34 appearances for England. As captain of England, Sir Bill led the team to their first Grand Slam win since 1957 and also later became captain of the British Lions.
Lady Beaumont was educated at Queen Mary School, taught French for several years and then changed career path and joined the family textile business based in Chorley and has enjoyed accompanying Bill on all of his rugby commitments.
Sir Bill continues to be active in rugby as much as possible, he was chairman of the Rugby Football Union from 2012 until 2016 and has been chairman of World Rugby since 1st July 2016. In 2018, he was knighted by HM Queen Elizabeth II for his services to Rugby.
Despite his internationally recognised achievements, Sir Bill has always held close links with Arnold School and the Fylde community. He joined Fylde Rugby Club in 1969 when he was 17 years old and still remains a huge advocate for Fylde Rugby, currently acting as the Honorary President for the Fylde Rugby Community Foundation. Sir Bill and Lady Beaumont’s three sons attended Arnold School in Blackpool and Sir Bill also served as a Governor at Arnold alongside Phil Owen for seven years.
Sir Bill and Lady Hilary said:
"We have a long-held connection to the heritage schools at AKS and we recognise the opportunities that an education at AKS Lytham offers to its students today. We are delighted to act as Patrons and look forward to working with the Foundation to raise awareness and funds for this charity to provide life-changing opportunities for young people across Lancashire."
Although based at AKS Lytham, the AKS Lytham Foundation will operate independently as a registered charity through the new Development Office at AKS. The Foundation will formally launch at an event at the school in May when the Bursary Fund will be introduced and open for donations.
If you share our ambition to widen access to the school, please consider making a donation, or contact Sarah Walton, Director of Development firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Pictured left to right: Chris Dickson (AKS Lytham Foundation Chair), Sir Bill Beaumont, Lady Hilary Beaumont, David Harrow (Headmaster AKS Lytham), Phil Owen (Chair of AKS Local Governing Body), Judith Cooper (AKS Lytham Foundation Trustee).