Boarding school for me has helped my Mum too
“I am currently a Boarder in the Sixth Form at Steyning Grammar School. My home is in the borough of Westminster where I live with my mother who is chronically ill. In fact, she has been suffering from debilitating rheumatoid arthritis since I was in Year 5.
“I love my mother and it was really hard for her, despite her determination to look after me and to give me the support that she believed I needed as she was in and out of hospital while trying to cope with her illness and with paying for our basic needs.
“The idea of Boarding had entered my head at primary school – if the truth was known I was influenced by reading a lot of Harry Potter! – and my mother herself had been a boarder, so the idea was not alien to me. In her search to try to give me a supported education my mother came across the RNCF and I can quite honestly and gratefully say that, from the moment they took me under their wing, my life took a turn for the better.
“The charity supported me at the Prep. School Cottiesmore, through 5 years at the Royal Alexandra and Albert where I was happy and achieved pleasing G.C.S.E. results, and when I reached the next transitional point in my education they helped me into Steyning Grammar School – a totally different large school with a smaller Boarding House in which it really is like being in a big family.
Being at boarding school has given me the space to develop independence and initiative. I can make considered decisions about my future. I feel that I have become tolerant and enjoy living with a wide range of people in a sharing environment. I have a really sound base for a future now and this is an opportunity that I am going to take and do something with to justify everyone’s efforts on my behalf.
“I have not been the only person to reap the benefits of the support of my boarding school: just as Boarding has helped to ease a lot of my worry about my mother; she has also been freed from the stress of worrying about me and can concentrate on herself and her treatment. If it had not been for the boarding school, I just don’t know what kind of a chance I would have had.
“It is not quite Harry Potter in Boarding as we are in the real world but boarding has provided me with a very friendly homely environment in which in all 3 schools I have made lasting friendships and progressed academically.”