Home Page

Sir Donald Wolfit Charitable Trust

Case Studies

Letter from Josie Read (winner of Wolfit Bursary 2012)


Dear Mrs Mumby and the Trustees of the Wolfit Endowment Fund,


I have really enjoyed the summer school at Haileybury.   I was in the junior group and there were only twelve of us, so it was easy to get to know everyone.   Mostly the activities we did were based around the concert at the end of the summer school.   This included three orchestra pieces; a jazzy improvisation; two choir pieces; an African drumming piece; individual compositions and optional solos for pieces that anyone had been working on in their own time.


In our orchestra activities, we worked on three pieces including Contredanz by Beethoven; Allegro by Haydn and Galliard by Staden.   Luckily, as we were not all the same standard, the tutors asked us all what level we were, so that our part would not be too hard or too easy.   Likewise with the improvisation, if we didn’t want to do any we didn’t have to (but I did and it was a fantastic experience).   With composing we were firstly taught something about how to compose.   When we had finished our pieces, the tutors who were specialists at the instrument we’d composed for played them for us in the concert.   The African drumming was mostly improvised but the choir singing was practised thoroughly.  


Everyone was very supportive – and even when I lost my music before doing my solo, the encouragement made me feel that I needed to play my piece – so I did it from memory.   That was scary but I was glad I did it in the end.  

Overall I’m just really grateful to have been given the opportunity to go to HaileyburyCollege to attend the summer school.   I enjoyed it beyond belief!


Best wishes,

Josie Read.




Letter from Amy Chetwynd - 2012


Dear Mrs Mumby and the Trustees of the Wolfit Endowment Fund,


I write today to say a massive thank you for awarding me a scholarship to a Speech and Drama course at Haileybury College, Hertfordshire in the summer of 2011. I can’t thank the Wolfit Endowment Fund enough for giving me the opportunity, and the chance to attend this once in a lifetime summer school. 


I thoroughly enjoyed my week at Haileybury more so than I imagined I would, at the beginning of the week I was given my dorm to stay in, it was a beautiful little building, single rooms. After registration I found that in my Speech class there was a fourteen year old and a twelve year old girl, many other applicants had to drop out. Although the age gap was different and there were only a few in my class we had a lot in common and we had plenty to share between us. We also went swimming together throughout the week and ate lunch together on some days. 


I loved independently working, finding different places across the campus and exploring and meeting new people. Before the end of my first day I was moved into a different building for sleeping purposes due to my old dorm being for younger students. Luckily our week intensive coincided with the EYSM course so I was allowed to join in with their activities in my free time; because the students there were between 16 and 20, so Haileybury felt I should be nearer to my own age group. I felt this was very thoughtful of Haileybury; thankfully the new building was closer to the lunch hall and my classes so I was pleased about the swap but I was still able to go back to my other dorm to see the students in my class.


The week was intense, we were pressured to learn lines for the performance at the end of the week, duologues and monologues, we also learnt two songs from ‘Les miserable’ which I thoroughly enjoyed due to the musician. The musician Dan Swana was so enthusiastic and caring that it forced the group to work together to create pieces that we were proud of. I was in the lower group where the children were aged from 5 – 16; unfortunately I had a Choral Speaking class during the other group’s music workshop so I was not allowed to move groups. Fortunately Dan saw how much older I was and treated me with a lot of respect and we got on really well. 


Dan gave me extra singing lessons during my free time because he knew I found it difficult to sing, after a week at Haileybury I felt much more confident and believed in myself more. I truly believe this experience will aid me in my future and I am sure the applicant who is awarded the chance this year will have an amazing time, I definitely did. So thank you again Wolfit Endowment Fund for choosing me and good luck to the next applicant, an unforgettable experience.


Best Wishes.      Amy Chetwynd



Letter from Anastasia O'Connell - 2009


I am writing to thank you for the incredible opportunity that you gave me when you provided a fully paid for scholarship to the Betty Yager Residential Summer School for Drama.  Not only did it help me endlessly with my drama technique and performance skills, I met some amazing people that I will no doubt be friends with for a long, long time.  The food was of a very high quality and the rooms were very nice.  Jane, the lady who looked after us, was extremely nice and caring and did a fantastic job of organising the Summer School.  I also had the massive privilege of working with Marie Dixon and Priscilla Morris to put the show together, as well as my peers. 


Last month I was invited to a reunion with the cast of the show to perform a few scenes from the collection of sketches we had done during the show.  We performed for lots of representatives from different festivals who were interested in promoting the Summer School.  It eas an amazing day and seeing everyone again was fabulous. 


So many, many thanks for this brilliant opportunity and amazing experience.


Yours faithfully, Anastasia O'Connell