Organised by the Bedales Parents’ Association, the event raised £43,000 for a new Sports Pavilion, dedicated to the memory of Old Bedalian Sam Banks, a keen and talented cricketer who died at the age of 20 whilst travelling in India. 25% of the funds raised go to The Sam Banks Memorial Fund to provide bursaries for Bangladeshi students from low income backgrounds to study photography at Pathshala South Asia media Academy in Dhaka. The Banks family decided on this initiative as Sam had been accepted on a place to study Film and Television Production at the London College of Communication when he returned from his travels.
The fundraising auction was expertly run by Jonathan Pratt, TV auctioneer and MD of Bellmans. Donated by members of the school community and local businesses, auction lots ranged from a tour of Rolls Royce and tickets to the Goodwood Revival Meeting, to a week’s work experience with Vintage TV and a stay at a beautiful family villa in Barbados. On the night, the combination of great entertainment by Bedales students, some very moving personal recollections of Sam, and a clear desire from guests to have fun and throw their support behind the event produced a special atmosphere and an amazing result from the live auction.
The Sam Banks Pavilion will provide a multi-sport facility supporting tennis, hockey, athletics, rounders, cricket and football, and will also be available to the local community. Bedales students will help construct the new building.