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St Leonards wins prestigious Boarding Schools Association Award

St Leonards wins prestigious Boarding Schools Association award for pupils’ exceptional commitment to community outreach.

St Leonards awarded the 2024 BSA Best Community Award in the ‘On Board’ Initiative category.
St Leonards awarded the 2024 BSA Best Community Award in the ‘On Board’ Initiative category.

St Leonards School is delighted to have been announced the winner of the 2024 BSA Best Community Award in the ‘On Board’ Initiative category. This accolade recognises outstanding community engagement and service, highlighting the school’s dedication to meaningful community impact.

The Head of St Leonards, Simon Brian, was present at the BSA Heads’ Conference held in London on 7 May and was delighted to receive the award. His response to the award was very much focused on what the students have achieved. “This award belongs entirely to the pupils of St Leonards, who generously and collaboratively share a passion for service in the wider community. I feel incredibly privileged as Head of St Leonards to accept this award on behalf of such caring and outward-looking young people.”

The submission for the award, focused on an extraordinary initiative of community engagement and service to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Eric Liddell’s Olympic victory. The 12 St Leonards students, supported and mentored by Senior Deputy Head, Dawn Pemberton who leads on community partnerships, have set their sights on a challenging 680-mile relay beginning on Sunday, 26 May to Saturday, 1 June 2024. Their ambition stretches beyond the physical demands of the relay; they aim to raise significant funds for their chosen charities, Mary's Meals and the Personal Best Foundation, supported by England Athletics. Beginning their journey at the Scots Kirk Church in Paris, where Liddell gave his powerful address, and concluding at St Andrews Beach near the Eric Liddell Community Centre, the relay is a fitting tribute to a remarkable legacy.

Head of School, Maddie Fleetham is part of the organising team. “I am so pleased that our efforts have been recognised by the BSA. It is amazing to play a part in this ongoing project and to be collaborating with other students from Eltham College who share similar values. I am so grateful for the opportunity we have been given to make a positive impact on our community.”

Aiming to raise £20,000, the students' dedication is clear. Their efforts go beyond merely covering the relay's logistical needs of transport, lodging and food. They are committed to propelling Liddell's values and raising funds for their important chosen charities. Head of School, Paddy Pennycook, one of the six students taking part in the actual relay shared: “It’s a great honour to be part of this inspiring project and I am really looking forward to running and being part of the Eric Liddell story.”

This initiative stands as a beacon of how historical inspiration and modern-day action can unite to forge a path of meaningful community engagement. The students of St Leonards are not just recounting history; they are actively shaping it, embodying the principles that Eric Liddell championed. St Leonards are proud to accept this award in recognition of their pupils’ dedication to creating positive change and continuing a legacy of service.


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