Royal Grammar School



    From 2000 to 2007 I was given a gift - an education at Newcastle Royal Grammar School. Coming from a single parent family, my mum wanted to give me the best possible education, but couldn't afford the full school fees. After successfully passing the entrance examination and interview, and with thanks to the generosity of Sir Peter Ogden (through The Ogden Trust) and The Hospital of St Mary the Virgin Trust, I received a bursary which allowed me to enter RGS.

    This may be the first time that many of my peers will be aware that I was the beneficiary of a bursary, but I am so grateful and proud that I was able to be educated at the RGS. Not only was the quality of education exceptional, I was given responsibilities, and gained a level of confidence and self respect which I do not believe I would have gained elsewhere. This confidence and awareness of my abilities and the opportunities open to me in life, have been the foundation of my career to date.

    Now, 11 years after leaving RGS and in possession of an Economics degree from Newcastle University, I work for True Potential, a Newcastle-based financial advice network with 450 advisers around the UK, as their Senior Pension Transfer Specialist. In 2017, I was awarded the Newcastle Chartered Insurance Institute's Young Achiever of the Year Award recognising my progress within the industry. My previous role, at another Newcastle-based financial advice firm, was as an Investment Analyst, with oversight of £100million of client assets, managing a research service with over 10,000 users, and I wrote a textbook on my area of specialism which is used by the largest exam board in Financial Services.

    RGS instilled in me a work ethic which has been reflected in my career achievements to date. None of this would have been possible without the quality of the education I received at RGS, and RGS would not have been a possibility for me without the offer of a bursary.

    An RGS bursary can make a huge difference to someone's education and life, and I sincerely hope that you will join me in making a donation, however small, to allow another young person, just like me, to be given the opportunity of a life-time.

    Christian Gardner (00-07)

    If you would like to help other students like me by making a donation, please contact Jane Medcalf on 0191 212 8909 or by email at