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Cricketing legends to be star guests at fundraising dinner organised by students

Former England captains Graham Gooch and Mike Gatting are set to talk about their illustrious careers – both on and off the pitch – at a fundraising dinner on Friday, May 26, in Taunton School’s Densham Suite.

The £60-a-head dinner has been organized by six sixth-formers as part of their BTEC Business curriculum and is raising money to help fund a bursary for future students on the course.

“These 17 and 18-year-olds have organised every aspect of the evening, from sourcing the venue and the menus to getting auction and raffle prizes,” said Head of Business and Economics, Peter Stoddart.

BTEC business requires students to set up and run their own money-making enterprise: “They could have run a cake sale or a lemonade stand, but that’s not how we do things here,” said Mr Stoddart. “They have networked with people, learnt how to deal with refusal and persevered. It has been a big learning curve.”

Student Rufus Hetherington said that taking responsibility for running such a prestigious event was empowering for the whole team: “With the money we raise, we hope to leave a legacy to support a BTEC bursary for a student to study at Taunton School who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so.”

The students will act as masters of ceremonies on the evening, oversee the auction as well as act as car park attendants.

Tickets, which include a three-course dinner and drink, are available from Ticketsource. Prices range from £60 a head to £1100 for a table of eight with Mike Gatting or Graham Gooch.

Auction and raffle prizes sourced by the students include an Ashes 2005 shirt signed by Freddie Flintoff, a cricket bat signed by England cricketer Jack Leach, a shirt from fellow England player, Somerset captain and former Taunton School pupil Tom Abell as well as a shirt signed by footballer Harry Kane. The students also secured sponsorship from cricket bat makers, Millichamp and Hall.

Gatting and Gooch were two of England’s greatest batsmen, playing a combined total of 197 Test Matches and scoring over 13,300 runs. Their appearance at Taunton School follows a series of sell-out events across the UK.

Taunton was named recently as one of the top 100 cricketing schools in the UK with both Taunton Prep and Senior Schools included in The Cricketer Schools Guide 2023.

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