Internationally renowned prima ballet dancer Dame Beryl Grey DBE is a Vice Patron of the BSO. Her late husband Dr Sven Svenson was a BSO graduate and an internationally respected osteopath, who died in 2008, aged 100. Cecil Beaton, Lester Piggott, Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor, Danny Kaye, Ivor Novello and Charlton Heston were among the stars who consulted him.
Dame Beryl donated a painting he gave her – Robert Gibb (RSA)’s majestic 1883 work, The Last Voyage of the Viking – which was auctioned at Christie’s in London on 11 December 2008.
Dame Beryl has created a BSO student bursary scheme in her husband’s name with the proceeds. This is for talented but financially challenged final year BSO students. The Last Voyage of the Viking raised £9,000 at auction, but the total raised was boosted to £10,000 when a friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, graciously donated a further £1,000.
“Because this painting and the British School of Osteopathy were both so important to my husband I feel that selling this to help future osteopaths is the right thing to do,” says Dame Beryl.
Michelle Hancock was one of three current students who undertook a sponsored climb of Mount Kilimanajaro in August 2011 in order to raise funds for the BSO.
“The reason I have chosen to raise money for the BSO is because I see the difference osteopathic treatment makes to people’s lives, and without fundraising the BSO cannot go on treating patients at such a low cost. This is especially true of the BSO’s community outreach clinics, which offer osteopathy free of charge to people who might not otherwise be able to access it, including homeless people and children.”
Charlotte Spokes’ recovery from falling and breaking her back when she was 18 has also been helped by osteopathy:
“I had quite a few problems and nothing really seemed to help,” she says. “Although osteopathy was never offered to me by my doctor or anyone else, I found out about it and went to see an osteopath who had trained at the BSO. Within a few sessions I was a lot better. I think it is so important to give more people access to osteopathy and to raise awareness."
Callum Watson developed back and neck problems from his constant use of crutches but found that these problems were relieved after osteopathic treatment. As a result of this first-hand experience of osteopathy, Callum decided to study to become an osteopath at the BSO. “Climbing Kilimanjaro has always been a dream of mine, it’s great that I can combine this with raising money for a community resource that I believe in.”