Grant lights up pupils’ potential

Children enjoyed a bright end to their school year thanks to a grant from the Rochester Bridge Trust.

Maidstone Grammar School for Girls was given £15,000 to reconnect its lighting equipment to the mains electricity, and a delegation from the Trust visited the school to see the kit being put to good use.

Russell Cooper, Senior Warden at the Rochester Bridge Trust, said: “Having been instrumental in founding Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, the Trust was pleased to be able to continue its support by providing this money for stage lighting equipment.

“It was good to be able to visit the school and see how this donation benefits the pupils’ activities. We are particularly pleased to be able to give the girls practical experience of the science and engineering behind the art of theatre production.”

The grant paid for four heavy-duty circuit boards that can cope with the large volume of electricity drawn by the lighting desk during a production.

Senior Systems Technician, Mr Hilson explained: “Thanks to the Rochester Bridge Trust, the new stage lighting power distribution systems have been updated. As a result, this has enabled the school to make use of its amazing lighting facilities, which had had to be taken out of action due to the problems with the 30-year-old wiring and electrical system.

“Maidstone Grammar School for Girls has a highly-regarded team of skilled Student AV Technicians. They are now able to gain industry standard experience with our state of art sound and lighting systems. This enables them to be prepared for jobs in the future such as working in theatre and film. Students also get hands-on experience of other skills such as developing teamwork, confidence and social interaction.”

The school carried out its own fundraising and also received a donation from the William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust. However, the equipment was still too expensive for the school to purchase.

Mrs Brewer, MGGS Development Trust Officer, then contacted the Trust. She said: “The Trust’s support also means some of money that has been raised can now be spent on specialist training for the students, who will be able use the school’s state-of-the-art theatre equipment to its full potential. We are very proud of the achievements of our students and look forward to demonstrating their abilities with performances in the next academic year.”

Maidstone Grammar School for Girls was founded 130 years ago, with funds provided by the Rochester Bridge Trust. It had just 18 pupils but was established in recognition that girls are worth educating. Today it is one of six Advanced Thinking Schools in the UK, with pupils benefiting from a range of academic and extracurricular activities. See www.mggs.org.uk to find out more.

The money was presented as part of the Trust’s grant scheme, which makes surplus funds available to projects and organisations that meet specific criteria. For more information visit www.rbt.org.uk/grants.