Lucy Wood, nee Rosser
I'm writing to let you know that I got married on Saturday 9th July to Nick. I am now Lucy Wood. I attach a photo of the day with several DAHS alumni in it. Please put this in a newsletter if you get the chance.
Nick is in the middle, surrounded by (left to right)
Alex Wood, Lizzi Bishop, Vicki James, me, Karen Hutchinson, Anna Edwards, Alice Baker (all 2000 leavers).
The Dame Alice Chamber choir sang before and during our marriage service and were absolutely brilliant. A huge thank you to all the girls for a fantastic last performance under that name! As I was in the choir for many years, it was lovely to have the current choir sing at my wedding.
Lucy Wood (nee Rosser)
In late 2010 Dame Alice alumna, Meera Gharu, reached the finals of two UK-wide singing competitions. She secured her place in the National Final of the Open Mic UK Competition and was also selected as one of the last eight contestants in the Brit Asia Superstar Final.
Both competitions aim to find the best unsigned talent and helped to showcase her voice and take her one step closer to achieving her dream of launching a successful music career.
Although Meera can turn her hand to most styles of music, she has a real passion for reggae and R&B. In November 2010, Meera Gharu came into back to School and performed in Assembly to give current Sixth Form girls a taste of her performances. Talking about her dream for stardom she said: "I'm not under any illusions about how hard it is to break into the music industry or the amount of pressure you're exposed to when you're in the public eye. For me, it's not about money or fame: it's about reaching out to people through music and provoking emotion. I sing because it's what I love to do, and what I'd love to be doing for a living, so I can wake up every day thinking 'I really love my job!'.
Katy Orton (nee Reynolds) DAHS 1991-1999 and Kate Bunker DAHS 1990-1997
Our Development Manager, Vanessa Hicks, was delighted to welcome back two of our old girls to the school recently. Katy Orton (nee Reynolds) and Kate Bunker had a chance to look around the school again, visiting their old classrooms and reminiscing about old times! Katy had organised this as a surprise for Kate, who is just about to embark on an exciting new adventure - emigrating to Australia!
Lindsey Ambrose DAHS 1978-1987
One school summer holidays, I found myself in a civil war in Sri Lanka: local communities divided on ethnic and political lines. With my family, we managed to rescue a few people, only a few. I saw hate, horror and unfairness that I was powerless to do anything about. I saw significant losses happen - not just of life, but of understanding, respect and unifying sense of place. Then the school holidays were over. I went back to school. My mother had become ill and I became her carer, fitting it around school. School life became very important to me: my studies, the warmly challenging community life, especially the school choirs and some very inspirational teachers; Mrs German (Music) and Dr Sullivan (English), who taught me personal responsibility, to work within and to challenge 'the rules' using convincing arguments for change when it matters. No wonder advocacy has been a part of so many roles in my life since then: from student "rep" to court room advocacy, and still now through my work in local government!
Since leaving school, I've felt confident to pursue academic and personal goals. I decided not to stay in barristers chambers or a top 25 law firm, but left them to build on the pleasure I had developing a national helpline and careers resources for trainee solicitors. I've enjoyed achieving results that make a lasting difference to people's lives, promote mutual respect and concern for others and support local communities. I work in the Chief Executive's Department for a council taking a lead on equalities and community engagement: in particular, helping people who may find it harder to have their say, to have an improvement in local services. It's a wonderful mixture: it provides a legal challenge, enables me to support volunteering, to work with local radio and the media, organise community events and lots more too - even Facebook!
I'm particularly proud to work with a mixed-ability group: Northampton Youth Forum (a youth council). This has included organising a town-wide Anne Frank Festival with local communities, being invited to dinner with HRH Prince Charles in recognition of our inter-faith work, being recognised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Anne Frank Trust UK, seeing our innovative comic-book highlighted by the BBC for excellence in promoting literacy and putting around £1 Million into youth-led projects locally, such as new play areas, getting disabled youth onto careerpaths and into college and bringing thousands of people of all ages together in community events, from Diwali to Carnival, Heritage Open Days and summer sports. It's great to 'break the rules' of the negative stereotypes about what's expected from young people, while helping young people to achieve and progress into work, Sixth Form and university.
Jill Berry - Headmistress (2000 - 2010)
Watch the making of Jill Berry's portrait - former Headmistress of Dame Alice (2000-2010).
On Saturday 3 July we welcomed back 180 alumnae, current and former staff to celebrate Mrs Berry's retirement as Headmistress of Dame Alice. Over a hundred and ten 'old girls' who left between 2001 and 2009 were able to attend, all of whom had attended the school during Mrs Berry's years as Headmistress.
In the charming setting of the Junior School gardens, alumnae were able to catch up with former school friends and teachers whilst enjoying canapés, strawberries and Pimms. Musical entertainment was provided by a reformed cabaret band and chorus including 15 of our talented musical alumnae. This included a wonderful vocal solo by Natasha Harbinson, a 2006 leaver, and a rendition of The Sailor's Hornpipe from Rebecca Noble and Sarah Dawes (also 2006 leavers).
The alumnae were delighted to be able to wish Mrs Berry well for her future plans in-person and to thank her for her support over the years. We were pleased that the last nine head girls were also able to attend, all of whom had worked closely with Mrs Berry whilst at school.
The event was partially funded by DAHSA and the PTA, and the Head Girls' Team offered their support on the day by manning the door and serving food and drinks. Committees from both DAHSA and the PTA were present for the afternoon and were able to thank Mrs Berry for her assistance over the years by presenting her with lovely gifts.
Gemma Ives, 2006 Leaver
2006 Leaver, Gemma Ives, has been very busy since leaving Dame Alice.
Gemma ran the Silverstone Half Marathon in 2009, and is busy preparing for this year's event, which she is running to raise money for Children's Hospices UK. She's also aiming to try and beat her time from last year!
Gemma also collected her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award at St James' Palace, where she spoke to the Earl of Wessex!
Gemma has achieved all of this as well as graduating from university! Congratulations Gemma!
Suzy Wimbourne, 2008 Leaver
Suzy contacted Mrs Berry with exciting news of her summer travels and time at university.
I thought I would let you know what I've been up to this summer as I had such an amazing time! I went to Canada to teach music at a summer camp near Montreal, and I was there for almost three months. It was such a fantastic experience: I met many new people, became much more confident and did things that I never thought I would do. One of the best experiences that I had was teaching the whole camp to sing the hymn 'Siya Humba' (that we used to sing at school). Everyone sang together as one huge choir, and it was fantastic!
I am really enjoying my Fine Art degree at Lancaster University. I have started to move towards photography in my work, and I am pursuing it as a potential career. I have been taking lots of photos and gaining work experience in the field. I even went along to a wedding shoot alongside a local Lancaster photographer, which was a brilliant experience.
Here are some of Suzy's photos.
Former pupil wins Royal Society award
Dr Green receives the award for her leadership in building up a first-class programme of engagement, communication and outreach projects at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) at UCL over ten years. Her achievements include mentoring scientists within her department in public engagement and changing the overall culture of her department and university to encourage public engagement with science work. One example of Lucie's work in changing UCL culture was her major contribution to UCL being recognised as one of six Beacons for Public Engagement by the UK Funding Councils, Research Councils UK and Wellcome Trust.
The judging panel was particularly impressed by Dr Green's work on the Satellite Stories project, which brought members of communities living around MSSL into the labs for the first time. Local people were given a forum to share their feelings about living near such an active research institution. Staff took time to talk to local people and to listen to their views on research and the history and culture of MSSL. The MSSL is now planning a similar event for next year which local people will have full control over.
Dr Green is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow working on the study of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). These events are huge expulsions of magnetised plasma from the Sun's atmosphere and are seen as clouds of outward moving material when the Sun is eclipsed. Dr Green studies their magnetic source regions with a view to understanding the changes in the Sun's magnetic field which trigger them.
She was the national co-ordinator for all outreach activities for International Heliophysical Year (2007-2008), a United Nations sponsored program of scientific collaboration to understand the external drivers of planetary environments and universal processes in solar-terrestrial-planetary-heliospheric physics. She promoted the UK's research in solar system science and associated space mission involvement to members of the public and professionals. This project directly reached over 21,000 school students and 45,000 other people through events culminating in a touring exhibition that began at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2007.
Dr Green said: "As a scientist I feel that public engagement is a vital part of my day-to-day life and fundamental to the role of a university. As well as being an important part of our culture, public engagement with science provides many benefits to the scientist, their host institution and the audience through discussing research in an inclusive way. I'm extremely pleased to receive this award which highlights both the Royal Society's commitment to this important area and UCL's valuable contribution to the cultural life of London."
Dr Peter Cotgreave, Director of Public Affairs at the Royal Society said: "We are delighted to be awarding Dr Lucie Green the Royal Society Kohn Award. She is a shining example of how one person's determination can change an entire institution's approach to public engagement. More than ever before, the general public needs to know the importance of science and the solutions it may hold to some of our generation's biggest challenges. Dr Green is a fantastic ambassador for science and her efforts to encourage other scientists to engage with the public make her a very worthy recipient of this award."
Tola Onitiri in The Bacchae
Dame Alice alumnae Tola Onitiri in "knockout of epic proportions" says Daily Telegraph. Tola starred in The Bacchae at the Edinburgh International Festival which then transferred to Glasgow and the Lyric Hammersmith.
Tola left Dame Alice in 2002 and has performed as a soloist in numerous concerts including appearances at The House of Lords, Buckingham Palace, and for The Nelson Mandela Children Fund.She made her West End debut while still studying for her A levels at Dame Alice Harpur School when she joined the cast of The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. She performed the role of Nala on many occasions.
Tola has also been involved in television. She appeared as Donna in Grass for the BBC, Marcia Jones in Bad Girls and played in the role of Dotun in The Window for Channel 4.