Dear Friends

The Reunion is almost upon us. In total we will be around 400 people; a good mix of nationalities, races and ages from around the globe, as Brockwood has always been! In addition to being great fun, our time together should prove stimulating, invigorating, perhaps even enlightening, certainly memorable. This is my final email to you before the 20th and there are a number of last minute points to be shared:

Swine Flu

Many people currently share a concern about contracting swine flu, especially as a result of travelling, or being in large gatherings. So far in the UK, most swine flu cases have been mild, with symptoms similar to those of seasonal flu. Only a small number of people have had more serious symptoms. As you are probably aware, the typical symptoms are a sudden fever (38°C or above) and a sudden cough. For the Reunion we are taking the threat seriously and would ask that if you are showing the symptoms associated with swine flu then please remain at home and do not attend the event. During the Reunion we should all be extra careful about personal hygiene: e.g. washing hands regularly, covering mouth and nose when sneezing, or coughing and not being too passionate with our embraces and kisses! Finally, we have hired a thermal camera for the period of the Reunion and in the event that you are identified as having a fever we will either ask that you leave the Reunion immediately, or try to arrange a quarantine facility for you. We are sorry to have to take these measures, but feel that this is the most responsible course of action under the circumstances.

Tell Us Your Story

We are often asked what happens to students when they leave Brockwood? We do not feel that we have been very effective in answering this question up to now and yet it is important for us to try. We would like to compile a more detailed record of your experiences as alumni, so that we have something to show to prospective students and parents, but also so that we can better assess and reflect on the impact of your education at Brockwood.  It would be very helpful if you could take a little time to tell us your story. To make this easier we have prepared five simple questions for you to respond to – see reunion.brockwood.org.uk homepage for the link. When sending us your story, please make clear if you are a happy for us to use your response for marketing purposes and are okay for us to display it at the Reunion?

Points Proclaimed

As part of the daily TOTWAM at the Reunion we will have ‘Points Proclaimed’. This will be a time where you are free to talk for a few minutes on a topic of your choice to the entire gathering. If you have a favourite Brockwood annecdote, a cause close to your heart, or an issue you want to raise for discussion, come prepared to share it with us all.

Offsetting Flights

Brockwood has always expressed a commitment to caring for the environment.  Over the years we have all become aware that climate change is one of the most significant global challenges we face.  We are concerned with keeping the School’s carbon emissions low, so beginning this year we are offering a carbon offset programme for staff, students, alumni and their families.  Our focus is on offsetting flying, as this is one of the major sources of individual carbon emissions.

We offer offsetting as a means of reducing the impact on unavoidable carbon emissions through financially supporting projects that reduce greenhouse gasses.  Offsetting is not a means to ‘buy our way out’, allowing those of us living in the more affluent parts of the world to continue to pollute excessively by making a donation.  The movement towards a sustainable and equitable world requires a clear commitment to reducing our emissions.

Our offset programme is currently supporting the reduction of emissions through investment in alternative energy sources for Brockwood (solar and bio-mass). If you would like to invest in these projects as a means of offsetting your carbon emissions on the journey to and from the Reunion – or at any other time – then please email offset@brockwood.org.uk for further information. Whilst we can calculate the cost of offsetting your flights, the following are some examples for return journeys: Paris – £4, Barcelona – £10, Delhi – £46, San Francisco – £58.

Bus from Petersfield

In order to make life a little easier for you, on the 20th we will take the school minibus to meet the following trains arriving at Petersfield from London, Waterloo (arrival times: 14.01, 15.01, 16.01, 17.02, 18.03, 19.03). If you would like to reserve a place on the minibus for one of these journeys then please let us know (reunion@brockwood2009.org.uk) as soon as possible. There is no charge. We cannot arrange transport at other times and you should either catch the local bus (no.67) from the railway station, or take a taxi.

Come Prepared

Finally, as you may have heard, the English winter has not been brilliant to-date – though we are hoping for a change – so be sure to bring a raincoat or umbrella, possibly some Wellington boots or other waterproof footwear, plus some warm clothes and a torch.

All that remains is to wish you a safe journey and to say that whilst Brockwood is quiet today, with everything looking thoroughly unprepared, in seven days time a transformation will have occurred and we will be waiting for you with great anticipation.  It is almost time to return.

Warm regards

Bill Taylor

Reunion Co-ordinator

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