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Meet Grand Finalist Conall Wainwright

8 Nov 2021

In 2020 Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! Grand Final took to the airwaves – for the first time ever we broadcast around the world from a London film studio via YouTube. All but a handful of last year’s finalists shared their messages at digital events rather than live on stage. But things have changed and we are thrilled that this year the Grand Final will return to its home in the heart of London’s West End, the Cambridge Theatre on Monday 29th November. The count down is on! 

More than 20,000 year 10 students from state schools in London and Essex took part in the “Speak Out” Challenge! this academic year, just fifteen students have become 2021 Grand Finalists.

All of this year’s finalists are Digital Champions whose pre-recorded speeches were broadcast as Zoom webinars to an audience of friends, families, teachers, the finalists themselves and of course, a panel of esteemed judges. 

In no particular order, meet the first of our Grand Finalists Conall Wainwright!

His speech ‘The Chosen One’, earned him and his school, Chelmer Valley High School, Chelmsford, first place in his Digital Final in July. He shared his personal experience of Dyslexia.

We asked Conall, what is your favourite quote and why?

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” – Dr Seuss.

I chose this quote because it show that you’re in control of your life and shows that people can’t tell you what to do or wear to go.

You could have made a speech anything in the world. Why did you speak about this one subject?

I chose this subject because I believe a story is worth telling if your passionate about it and if you believe it will inspire others.

Why do you think it’s important for young people, like you, to share their stories?

People’s stories are like movies, you can either watch them at home alone or share that experience with people in a cinemas; for the people to go home, think about and share with their friends.

And finally, what three items or people would you choose to take to a desert island and why? 

A speed Boat, Petrol, and a speaker playing my favourite playlist. I wouldn’t last five minutes alone on a desert island so the boat and petrol will get me off while I listen to my favourite songs!



Watch Conall’s speech.