Peter Beckwith Scholarships 25th Anniversary
Old Harrovian Peter Beckwith OBE (Elmfield 1958³) founded the Peter Beckwith Harrow Trust in 1992.
The scheme pays for two boys, each year, to go from a state primary school to a prep school for two years and then on to Harrow.
In the last 25 years, 50 award-holders have been educated at Harrow. The boys have been exceptional pupils, four have gone on to become Heads of School, one a Deputy Head of School, a dozen have been School Monitors and the vast majority have gone on to the very top universities.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary, we have decided to replenish the fund, with the help of our Beckwith Scholars.
Our aim is to bring the fund back to its original level, £4 million, enabling another 25 years of Beckwith Scholars we can be proud of.
The Beckwith Scholars are undertaking a wide range of inspiring sponsored activities to raise funds, and Peter Beckwith himself is generously matching what they and their families will raise in the coming months.
Here's what to do if you'd like to get involved:
You can make a gift today or support the fundraising activities of individual Beckwith Scholars through our Virgin Giving page.
Hear from some of our former Beckwith Scholars below:
ogyen verhagen (The knoll 2008³)
I am in my fourth and final year of an Astrophysics degree at the University of St Andrews and have been working on a dissertation that investigates five of nearest star-forming regions to the sun. Beyond academics, I have remained a keen athlete and enjoyed four years of 1st XI Football for the University Men’s team. I recently also joined the University Golf Team determined to play a round on the famous St Andrews Old Course before the end of the summer.
This summer I will complete an internship with PwC in Edinburgh before returning back to the Netherlands for the first time in over ten years living in the United Kingdom to start a 16 month long master’s course at the Rotterdam School of Management.
Abeku Nelson (West Acre 2006³)
Upon leaving Harrow in 2011 I studied Classics at Worcester College Oxford, having fallen in love with the subject being drilled by Mr Shaw in the New Schools. I followed in the footsteps of past scholar Ross Swanson and other Harrovians to make the cross code switch, playing Rugby League for Oxford, receiving my Blue in 2014 and featuring in a record Oxford victory.
I am now embarking on a career in advertising and media, working in an award-winning media agency, in an industry I have fallen in love with. It’s impossible to quantify the effect the Peter Beckwith scholarship has had on my life, but I can say that it is something for which I will be forever grateful, not just for the opportunities provided during my five years at Harrow and subsequently, but for the friends, people and experiences.
Mark Greaves (The Park 2004³)
After Harrow, I spent four fantastic years studying Classics at Jesus College, Oxford. Whilst there, I captained the college football team, helped to organise our college ball and worked as the Press Officer for the Oxford Union. Following a year out, travelling through Nepal and India and completing a Mandarin Chinese course in Beijing I decided to pursue a career as a barrister. I commenced pupillage in October 2016 at Old Square Chambers, a civil set specialising in Employment and Personal Injury work. I have a particular interest in representing children with Special Educational Needs, developed through voluntary work as the Director of the School Exclusion Project and a caseworker for SOS!SEN. In my free time, I enjoy mountaineering, rock climbing and cycling.
With the support of the Beckwith Trust, I had opportunities at Harrow, both in and out of the classroom, which have shaped my career: I was able to study the great orators during Latin and Greek lessons, take part in debates and perform in plays, all of which helped develop the advocacy skills I now use every day. I will forever be grateful to Peter whose generosity made it possible.
This photo is from when I was acting in The Park House play in the legal drama 12 Angry Men and one from Chambers' website now that I am an actual lawyer (I thought that was a nice juxtaposition).
WILL BRIGHTMAN (DRURIES 2004³)
Since leaving Harrow, after working in the City for a few years I have set up my own business, a nature-friendly beauty company, Optiat. We take items that would otherwise be discarded and give them a new purpose. Our first product is a coffee body scrub created from used Arabica coffee grounds, sourced from London’s cafes, bars and restaurants. We have had a great first year and I am immensely proud that our products are listed in Planet Organic and WholeFoods, and we export to more than 10 countries across Europe.
The Beckwith Trust gave me opportunity and a platform from which to excel. I am deeply grateful for the generosity of Peter and the Trust and am committed to repaying their faith in me.
Ben Kerry (Rendalls 2003³)
Since Harrow I have studied law at the University of Manchester, spent a year working and travelling before completing my Legal Practice Course and training as a solicitor. I now work in the Commercial team at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, undertaking a mixture of advertising and branding and commercial contracts work. In my free time I am a keen triathlete and travel as much as possible.
Laurence Williams (Moretons 2003³)
When my time as a pupil at Harrow School came to its end I subsequently found myself beautifully lost in a year out before continuing my higher education in Manchester and Oxford. I was fortunate enough to be scouted whilst playing Othello in Oxford's North Wall theatre and was plucked by the acting industry's teddy pickers to become a signed professional. Financial security and mental stability were thrown out the proverbial window and I never looked back. I have appeared in BBC and Channel 4 productions, Humans, performed on stages in London and toured with a Royal Court production. I am currently filming Back by Simon Blackwell for Channel 4 with two of my heroes; David Mitchell and Robert Webb.
I am, of course, under no illusions when it comes to the difficulty of the career that I have chosen. One thing that has helped me above all others get to the stage or screen is self-belief. It never wavers. This is in part due to the stubbornness entrenched in my genetic code, thank you Mum and Dad, but mostly down to the education I received as a result of the scholarship I was granted by Peter Beckwith in 2001. It remains my greatest achievement. One that few in the world can match, that none can ever take away and one that never fails to give me what I need when I remind myself of it. I attribute all my success to date and future accomplishments to the priceless memory of that phone call in May of 2001 from Harrow School informing me that I was a Beckwith Scholar.
Amir Amin (Newlands 2003³)
Upon leaving Harrow, I completed my Bachelors in Engineering at Imperial College London. I then went on to work part-time for a private education consultancy owned by an Old Harrovian, teaching Math and Science whilst traveling and thinking about my first steps career wise. Happily I secured a role at Citigroup, on their Sales and Trading Graduate scheme and in January 2017, was promoted to Assistant VP, in the Global Macro Strategy Team.
I still regard the Peter Beckwith Harrow Trust as the most important catalyst in my life thus far. Not only did it influence my life from a very young age, but it is still a huge component of who I am today. The PBHT is a powerful combination of generosity and opportunity that is so rare to find. I feel privileged to have experienced it.
Azhar Yahub-Khan (Moretons 2001³)
After Harrow I read Economics & Philosophy at LSE. I began my career in investment banking and then moved to the oil and gas sector. Seeking greater fulfillment, I joined the Civil Service Fast Stream which I am enjoying greatly. I decided however that I will be better suited to life in the Army and so I will be leaving my current role shortly for Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. I have also been heavily involved in the running of the Old Harrovian Association Football Club, the second oldest existing football club in the world.
Being a Beckwith Scholar was life changing for me and something I am enormously proud of. It has given me the opportunity to be a part of a unique group of people who have made an impact on the world for centuries. I therefore carry this inspiration forward with me in my daily life.
Luka Gakic (Moretons 1998³)
On finishing Harrow I enjoyed reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. Thereafter, an internship at the Office of the High Representative to Bosnia & Herzegovina was enough to show me that diplomacy was not for me, so I ended up on the Lehman Brothers trading floor as a graduate trainee. Today, I am Head of Private Clients at investment management partnership Ruffer LLP where I am trying not to lose people’s savings. I still sing when I can, and am a nauseatingly proud husband and father.
Luck is a big ingredient in success, and if I have had any success, it has been almost entirely thanks to the fact that I was lucky enough to have a state primary school head teacher, Yvonne Lawrence, who didn’t throw the Peter Beckwith Harrow Trust’s letter in the bin. Peter’s exemplary gratitude has manifested in life-changing luck for me, and in giving back to the Trust I hope to provide others with the same fortune and indeed the same example.
Tom Rogers (The Park 1997³)
Having devoted much of his time at Harrow following musical pursuits as a trumpeter and singer, Tom gained a Choral Scholarship to New College, Oxford where he read Music. He then gained employment at the BBC in production and operations for national radio. Now in his 10th year of public service he’s since moved to TV, working on delivery digitisation of Entertainment programmes such as The Apprentice and Have I Got News for You. There’s also been a spot of news-reading for Radio Oxford, and an appearance alongside Hugh Bonneville as ‘supporting artist’ in the BBC mockumentary, W1A. Tom continues to perform as a musician with a variety of amateur and professional groups, including directing the close-harmony barbershop group, Close Enough.
The opportunities Harrow offers its students is a privileged existence only a few can afford, but through the selfless generosity of Peter’s trust, others may continue to experience.
James Watts (The Head Master's 1996³)
My academic performance at Harrow was nothing to write home about, I was never going to graduate with a first from Oxford. If you aren’t the most academic boy in the world Harrow gives you the opportunity to develop other strengths culminating in well-rounded young men with skills that will stand true throughout life. This alone pays testament to the diversification of young men that Harrow School develops.
Following a successful career in sales for some of the largest City brokerages I have recently set up my own investment business. WD Capital is young but going great guns and I believe the confidence and conviction that Harrow has instilled in me has given me the courage to embark on this journey.
My gratitude to Peter and the Beckwith Trust is constant. A fantastic start in life that I have clearly benefitted from. Subsequently I sponsor a young South African boy, paying his school fees and for study material over the past two years. A small attempt to pass on the opportunity afforded me by The Beckwith Trust.