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NEWS > Alumnae News > Charity Duo Return to LEH

Charity Duo Return to LEH

Charlotte Harris, Class of 2013, and Vicky Philips, Class of 1980, who work for local eco-charity Habit & Heritage, returned to School recently to explore ways of building closer links with LEH.

The pair only discovered their LEH connection by chance while chatting at work one day. Charlotte is a third generation LEH alumna – her mother, Juliet Harris (Longmore), Class of 1974, attended, alongside two of her sisters, as did her grandmother, Patricia Longmore (Spindler), Class of 1950, who went on to become an LEH Governor. Vicky was in the same year as Charlotte’s aunt, Susie, and has an older sister Kate who also attended LEH (Class of 1969).

Both Charlotte and Vicky kindly brought some wonderful old photographs and original LEH documents to donate to our archives. Touring the School, brought the memories flooding back. “I remember being told off by Miss Garwood Scott for not wearing my hat!” laughs Vicky.

“It was a red corduroy peaked cap with an LEH badge at the front, a bit like the kind of thing Donny Osmond, who was all the rage at the time, might wear.” Her favourite subjects at school were History and English, especially with Mrs Burnett.

Vicky has put her LEH interests to good use, training first as a solicitor, before working as an environmental lawyer for public sector bodies, and as an in-house lawyer for a solar power company. Vicky moved into the charity sector when she set up the predecessor to Habitats & Heritage with a friend in 2011 and has been trustee of several charities, including Friends of the Earth and SolarAid. 

Vicky has been managing the charity’s energy advice projects for the last three years but is just about to retire to concentrate on her favourite pastimes of gardening, walking and history. The new CEO of Habitats & Heritage is Paul Jennings, from the senior leadership team at LEH’s partnership school Reach Academy in Feltham.

She brought along a selection of treasures for the LEH archive, including a photograph of adoring Junior School pupils, taken around 1970, gazing at an official thought to be Lord Mayor Peter Malden Studd, a cutting from the local paper from November 1961 about a visit from the Lord Mayor Sir Frederick Hoare, and the programme from the official opening of the new hall by Princess Margaret in 1964.

Charlotte, who volunteers with a wildlife hospital, works as a toad patroller and cares for hedgehogs in her spare time, joined Habitats & Heritage as Nature Conservation Officer about a year ago. She has a passion for wildlife conservation and for showing people how they can help nature in their local area.

She says: “Probably my favourite club at school was the science club, which I and my friends helped run in the Sixth Form. We would plan what engaging experiments we could run for the younger pupils, organise equipment and supplies with the science technicians, and run the lunchtime practical sessions. This is really where I discovered my passion for teaching, educational outreach and STEM engagement.

“I got involved with various STEM outreach and engagement opportunities at university and after the pandemic became an education volunteer at Surrey Wildlife Trust, which was one of the things that led me to my current job at Habitats & Heritage, where I still do a lot of practical outreach and engagement.”

She continues: “There’s lots of ways to get involved. From practical nature conservation activities, including environmental volunteering for young people aged 14 to 24 years old, to helping with fundraising, showing the public around the heritage sites and helping to rewild green spaces and community gardens.”

She brought along some gems from her grandmother’s time at the school, back in the 1940s, including a wonderful selection of black and white photos of pupils doing calisthenics in the gym and of Patricia in her summer uniform. Other documents include a copy of the School Regulations from 1942, a list of Points to be Remembered and the abridged prospectus, all of which you can see below if you are logged into your Holles Connect account.

Charlotte says: “I am very proud to be a third generation LEH girl and it was lovely that a photo of my grandma, my mum and I was included in the Grace and Integrity book, which documents the history of the school. My dad also went to Hampton School (although my parents didn’t meet until years later at work) so I am the child of LEH and Hampton alumni!”

We are very grateful to both of them and look forward to future collaborations.

If you are logged into your Holles Connect account, you will be able to see some of these items in the photo gallery below.

To find out more about Habitats & Heritage, click here: Habitats & Heritage (habitatsandheritage.org.uk)

PHOTOS gallery

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