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Champion’s school presented with cheque

16 Oct 2018

Last Thursday, Westcliff High School for Girls, where our “Speak Out” Challenge! 2017-18 Champion Erin Stoner is a student, was presented with a cheque for £3000, part of Erin’s prize for winning the Grand Final in July 2018.

MP for Southend West, Sir David Amess, attended last week’s event. Sir David congratulated Erin and addressed members of the Senior Management Team, Speakers Trust staff and Erin’s parents. Afterwards, he reiterated to us what he had said to the pupils: “Sir Jack Petchey comes from humble circumstances and could have gone off to do different things, but he decided the best gift he could give was communication skills for young people.”

Sir David said he feels we are at a time in our world where effective communication is at an all-time low.  The gift of effective or persuasive oratory is greatly lacking and he believes even our MPs no longer have the power of oratory today.  So, for Erin to express in a speech her experience with a stammer, while also inspiring others to speak up, is fabulous and he will be sharing this story with the House of Commons.

Erin is excited about being involved in how the prize money will be spent and is keen that it might go towards providing new equipment for the Duke of Edinburgh Award which will help more disadvantaged students take part.  In the meantime, Erin and fellow “Speak Out” Challenge! alumni will travel up to Cambridge on Wednesday as part of Speakers Trust’s alumni programme. The day will include a tour of the colleges and an insight into life at Cambridge University.

To view Erin’s Grand Final speech click here