Rydal Penrhos Community
The Donald Hughes Campaign for Assisted Places

      “I do not grieve for Donald [wrote one Governor]. The School will be his best memorial. He has lived for it and in many ways he will continue to live in it during the years to come.” 

      One of many fitting tributes to Donald Hughes, Headmaster of Rydal 1946-67, but one which perhaps best encapsulates his continuing legacy.  We are privileged to sustain this legacy and can think of no better way of doing so than through this campaign.

      Rydal Penrhos is a special place - one of the great schools in Wales and indeed the UK. The School has helped transform the lives of generations of Rydalians, Penrhosians and now Rydal Penrhosians; so many have achieved success right across the globe, in turn helping to transform the lives of others. The Donald Hughes Campaign for Assisted Places seeks to ensure that the School can continue to provide life changing opportunities and a first-class education well into the 21st Century for pupils with outstanding potential but whose families are in need of financial or compassionate support. 

      The Rev. K Underwood, giving the address at Donald Hughes’ public memorial service noted, “His memorial is in the spirit and the prosperity of the school which he led so brilliantly, and in the host of individual men and boys who knew the touch of his spirit and felt the strength of his example.” As we approach the 75th anniversary of his first year of Headship, his strength and spirit will run through this campaign to support another generation of girls and boys, and I welcome your support in reaching our goal. 


      The Campaign

      Since the first girls walked through the doors of Penrhos College in 1880, closely followed by the arrival of boys at Rydal Mount in 1885, many thousands of children have benefited from the education, experiences and opportunities that come with being part of our school.  

      In 1946, Donald Wynn Hughes took up the post of Headmaster at Rydal School.  A much loved and respected man, he believed passionately in the power of education.  So much so, that if a family fell on hard times and the future of a boy at Rydal was in question, a financial solution would be organised under a veil of secrecy.  In fact, Donald Hughes would pay the fees himself, unknown to anyone at the time.  Put simply, Donald Hughes changed lives.

      Donald Hughes passed away in 1967 whilst still in the post of Headmaster, and a memorial fund in his name was established in 1970 to continue the benevolent work that he started.  This fund still provides a contribution towards fee assistance today, however the majority of assisted places are funded by fee income, leaving little for future development in school facilities. In order to continue to provide the opportunity for deserving children to attend Rydal Penrhos, and to honour the vision of those who so passionately believed that no child should miss out, we need to act now.  

      This is our call to action.  We need to ensure that children who would truly benefit from the Rydal Penrhos experience can continue to do so, regardless of their financial circumstances. 
      As we approach the 75th anniversary of Donald Hughes joining Rydal School, we are calling on you to help us raise £1 million for assisted places in his name.  This is the most ambitious campaign in the history of our school, and we know that with your help we can achieve it.  Children and young people will continue to benefit from opportunities that they could otherwise only dream of.  Aspirations will be raised within their communities.  They will continue to thrive, both at school and beyond.  Who knows what they will go on to do in the future?  

      Click here to read real stories about lives that have been changed as a result of financial assistance at Rydal Penrhos


      Your Gift

      All gifts, whether large or small, really will make a difference.  Whether you would like to make a single donation or set up a regular monthly gift, we are incredibly grateful for your support.

      Click here to make a donation

      Those who set up a standing order of at least £19.46 per month are able to join the 1946 Club, named after the year Donald Hughes became Headmaster at Rydal School.

      Click here to find out more about the 1946 Club

      Gift Aid:  Increase the value of your donation

      If you are a UK taxpayer, we can reclaim tax on your gift from HMRC at no extra cost to you. This allows us to increase the impact of your donation by 25p for every £1 you give. If you are a higher rate taxpayer you can reduce the real cost of your gift by reclaiming the balance between the standard and higher rates of tax.  This means that a gift of £500 could be worth £625 to the school, with the real cost to a 40% taxpayer being £375.

      Your donation

      Total value of your gift (including Gift Aid)

      Actual cost of your gift for 40 / 45% taxpayers



      £75 / £68.75



      £375 / £343.75



      £750 / £687.50



      £3750 / £3437.50

      The Donald Hughes Campaign for Assisted Places