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Luke’s story

29/05/18

“For as long as I’ve known, my dad has had a mental disability called schizo-effective disorder. It’s on and off, but thankfully nowadays more off. In the past, when he was sick, he’d stay in hospital and often for longer than 7 month periods. Myself nor my brothers or sister were allowed to see him as my mum believed it would make us think of him differently; he was not himself. I joined Reed’s School in June 2011 as a weekly boarder. A number of months later my brother Alex was diagnosed with the second rarest kind of brain cancer. Unfortunately, after over a year of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and two brain surgeries – the tumour was removed and grew back twice – he died. This gave me more of a reason to board at school and there was no better place for me to spend my time. Surrounded by friends and great teachers, many of which I’d dare to also now call my friends, that only wanted to see me succeed despite, or even in the face of, great tragedy. I pulled through, and am now even more optimistic and happy than before. Life has only improved and I’m thoroughly enjoying my best years so far at Loughborough – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Boarding at school during the week pulled me out of an often stressful home situation. My mum, rightly so, was always trying to make sure that myself or my siblings were happy; with me having a great time at school with my friends and sticking to a good routine, she never had to worry about that.

The best thing about boarding school was that if I wanted to see a friend, all I had to do was walk a few metres and knock on their door. If I wanted to have some time to myself, however, I could do just that too. I always had the option.

I can’t say how exactly my life would be different, but moving to board at Reed’s was an opportunity that’s lead to countless others. Be it speaking at charity events or taking on positions of responsibility at school and university, each has increased my confidence to take on the next. Equally, the people I’ve met through boarding at Reed’s have certainly made my life more exciting and many were always there to help when I needed it.

Currently, I’m reading mathematics at Loughborough University, alongside being the hall chairman, an elected position, of Falkner Eggington, rated last year as the #1 hall in the UK. I’ve been thinking of continuing my time at Loughborough by working within the university for a year or so running the student experience. When it’s time to move on, I may go on to teaching. I’ve thought of doing so in America, but I’ve also thought it would be pretty amazing to, at some point, return to Reed’s and teach there. I wouldn’t be the only alumnus to do so!

Royal SpringBoard has absolutely changed my life for the better. Going beyond just supporting boarding fees, I was flattered and grateful to be asked to speak at events and meet some great people making a real difference."

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