Community fundraising for the Ri

Ron Waller tells us why the Basingstoke Golf Club chose to support the Royal Institution as part of their annual community fundraising.

  • Young people taking part in a CHRISTMAS LECTURES demonstrations, one of the many educational programmes made possible through the support of our community

    Young people taking part in a CHRISTMAS LECTURES demonstrations, one of the many educational programmes made possible through the support of our community

    Credit: Paul Wilkinson

Traditionally, Basingstoke Golf Club Captains choose and support a charity in their official year; I chose two, St Michael's Hospice (a local charity) and the Royal Institution (Ri). The hospice provides palliative care and support for families, work which I know intimately as a friend and past Captain suffering from motor neurone disease died recently.

As an arts graduate, I have been supporting the Ri for a few years and am a regular attendee at its comprehensive list of very informative and entertaining public lectures, despite the smart motorway M3 closures! Many people know the Ri only through the CHRISTMAS LECTURES, initiated in 1825 by Michael Faraday and first televised on the BBC in 1936. Its in-depth involvement in science and science education at all levels since its foundation in 1799 is less well-known to many.

Its location and grand neo-classical exterior leads many to forget it is a charity dependent on donations for its survival as it receives no government subsidies.

Attending public lectures, I am always impressed by the wide age range and the interest, knowledge and involvement of young people – some very young in early teens. Therein lies my link between the hospice and the Ri. By supporting the Ri, "Science Lives Here" and many other places too! I hope many of the young people who attend will, in the future, make advancements in science and medicine which will increase our knowledge and improve lives. 

In a recent talk a top transplant surgeon from Guy's Hospital made a direct link between modern robotic surgery and electromagnetic induction discovered by Michael Faraday in 1831. Faraday's original rusty coil was on the bench next to up-to-the-minute robotic surgical equipment which utilises electromagnetic induction – like mobile phones, televisions and so on. Lives have been saved (and much more besides) by Faraday's inventions and discoveries in the Ri's basements – testament to ways in which "Science Lives". 

I wish my Captain's Charity's few thousands could have been more but every little helps. I thoroughly recommend becoming an Ri Member or Ri Patron to support its vital work.

Ron Waller 
Captain 2016 / Director 
Basingstoke Golf Club 

  • Ron Waller handing over a cheque for £2,316 to Dominic McDonald, Ri Head of Education.

  • Family Fun Days are just one way to which the Ri seeks to connect young people with science.

    Credit: Anna Gordon

  • Through Science in Schools we bring interactive, engaging and explosive science shows right into the classroom.

    Credit: Katherine Leedale

  • Our L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre hosts over 130 schools, giving them access to a high-tech laboratory environment.

    Credit: Katherine Leedale

On behalf of the Ri I would like to say a huge thank you to Ron Waller and the members of Basingstoke Golf Club for raising an amazing £2,316 in support of educational programmes.

As an independent charity with no government funding we rely strongly on the support of communities like Basingstoke Golf Club and we are very grateful for their generosity.

Dom McDonald
Head of Education


If you would like to support the Ri by hosting a fundraising event in your local community please contact Catriona at, we would love to hear from you!

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