This year I have been thinking about people that have inspired me and it has made me think about firstly who has inspired me and what was it that they did that makes me hold them in such high regard. So my list is people that I have had direct contact with rather than famous people that have been brilliant in their own field so a real personal list for me. The list I have come up with shows the different forms inspiration can take and that you don't need to be famous or be in a position of power to influence the lives of others around you.
So I guess going back to when I was a child and thinking about my Maths teacher Theresa Chapman. In most people's eyes, she was just a secondary Maths teacher at an independent school that taught me GCSE and half of my A-level maths. At the time of being at school I guess it wasn't anything specific that she did but when I saw her a few years ago at a school reunion, she was just retiring, and she immediately knew that I had become a Maths teacher and she always knew I would. Reflecting on this conversation that I had with her and the method I took to get where I am today she knew and had faith in me far beyond the faith I had in myself. To me, this is an inspiring quality that I hope my students get from me. I have faith and belief in them and I hope that they aren't just thinking that I am just pushing them to achieve a better grade. I have really tried this year to give them a space to learn but also feel comfortable and I know that a few of them have really been feeling under pressure and are suffering from anxiety from all of the exams that they are about to take.
So moving through to more recent times the next person that I remember feeling inspired by was a former CEO of Barclays. Not the most obvious of choices I know but when I went to one the corporate events and he stood up and spoke it felt like the whole audience was hanging on everything he said. Roger Davies, was a former tank commander in the Army before being in charge of one of Britain's largest banks and I guess he was one of the last figureheads that stood out as in banking that hadn't come through finance but had been appointed as a great leader. Shortly after listening to him and chatting with him about his tours in the bar he was moved on and replaced by 'a suit'. This became someone that was driving the business rather than a leader of people. Strangely I knew which one I prefered working for.
Next came not 1 person but a group of people that I owe my world to. The amazing people that work in Worthing hospital's maternity department. Not just the midwives but all the staff that do such an amazingly challenging job. We have been into the department 4 times. The first 2 were perfectly normal births and Isaac and Cameron arrived without a hiccup. The third time wasn't so straightforward. We found out that our son Noah would be born sleeping and I can't put into words the impact this had on our world. This horrific situation that I wouldn't anyone else to go through was made worse as during his delivery we had massive complications and I nearly lost my rock too! We went from a midwife and nurse to the whole team and being rushed into surgery. These amazing
people managed to save not only my wife but also our world. The two consultants that we saw afterwards were the most amazing people that gave us so much care and attention and the community midwives that came and looked after us for months and months deserve far more than can ever be repaid. Sarah, who is a community midwife and now our friend, helped us get through an enormous barrier to venture back for our fourth visit and our beautiful daughter Hattie was born.
Easter this year I went on a trip to Kenya as part of my school's charity trip that we run each year. This year I am leading the trip and went out to have a look at the schools that we were going to build at this year and also some of the other parts of the town that we can take our students to visit. This was where I met a lovely and selfless person Jedidah. She runs a baby rescue centre and orphanage in Kitale. She has been running this for the last 5 years and whilst she is only in her 30s she feels that this is what she has always wanted to do and that she hasn't made any sacrifices to follow her dream. She looks after 22 children in the home and another 20 in the community. She works really hard to get the children back into their own family or into a foster family and provides them with not only a safe home, education but also inspires them to dream about their future. I asked some of the children in the home what are their hopes and dreams for the future and they replied by saying they wanted to be an air hostess, doctor or a surveyor. They knew that they had to work hard in school to go to college and university and that they were determined to get there. I'm not sure the 12-year-olds in my class have such a clear vision!
This is a diverse list and has made me reflect on what it means to inspire someone and that these people have made an impact on my life and I hope that it has not only moulded me to be a better person but also that some of the things I do have helped to inspire others.