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December 03rd 2018

Elders' Women of Achievement Dinner

On Friday, 30th November 2018 the Elders' Association Committee hosted a Drinks Reception, followed by a dinner at Searcy’s in London, for Elders who had gone on to succeed in a number of professions.  The rooms were festive, a massive Christmas tree present and glowing fires providing a warm welcome for all and a great atmosphere to celebrate so many incredible achievements.

This was the first dinner of this nature and proved to be a great success. It was an inspiration to see so many Elders in the room covering the span of the school years. Professions in the room were TV and Radio Journalists, Designers, Lawyers, Film Producers, Barristers, working in the Financial industry, working in/with United Nations, working in Charities, Environmental Organisations, at the Portrait Commission, Artists, well known and successful Photographers, Headships of Schools, Land Management, Geology, and many many more. Invited Elders who were sadly unable to attend included Global Film Directors, Make up artist to the stars, Pro bono international lawyers, News Broadcasters, Award winning Journalists, Head Teachers and Company Directors.

We were extremely thrilled Lady Airlie, one of the first Trustees/Governors of the Educational Trust could attend and join us for the evening, and eight Elders from the first pioneering year. It was wonderful to meet these Elders and for them to chat to and mingle with Elders through the past years to current students in Year 13, (Group 7) meet the new Head, Ms Maggie Roberts, the Chair of Governors, Mr Martin Pennell and the Senior Leadership Team of the School.

As the Elders arrived at Searcy’s for the drinks, and as the evening progressed into the dinner, the chatter, whoops of meeting each other after many years, the laughter and the general noise, escalated.  Wonderful.

The Chair of the Elders' Association, Tracey Balch spoke and welcomed everyone, introduced Ms Maggie Roberts, thanked Lady Airlie, congratulated the pioneering ladies present who had paved the way for women and for the rest of us, congratulated all those present on their successes, and informed all those present of the many professions that Elders had excelled in. Tracey commented on how impressive this list was from such a small school, something to be proud of and that this occasion should provide a wonderful opportunity to network.  “If boys schools can why can’t we!!!” There was a huge cheer after this.

Maggie Roberts said how much she was looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing about their professions. Elders were keen to meet her and many have offered help by speaking to current students, offering work experience, shadowing for a day, small workshops and data collecting for past year groups. 

Due to the success of this event, and the growing number of Elders we are hearing from, we hope to hold such an event again in the future.

Thank you to everyone involved, and thank you to all the Elders out there - so proud of your achievements.


Tracey Balch (nee Duncanson)

Chair of Cobham Hall Elders’ Association

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