26 May 2021

We were delighted to welcome motivational speaker Andy Walker MBE to school yesterday. Andy delivered an incredibly inspiring talk to our pupils in year 11 before they embark on the next chapter of their lives.

He took the pupils back to his own childhood and the dreams he had as a child, inviting pupils to think about their own dreams without barriers or limits. He talked about the qualities that help people achieve their dreams - determination, resilience, embracing challenges, being able to adapt to change and motivation.

Pupils joined him on an emotional journey through his life, from his determination to succeed as a child to his wonderful adventures sailing across the Whitsunday Islands. Pupils listened intently as he described the moment his life changed fifteen years ago, when, after an accident, he became paralysed from the neck down. He described in vivid detail about overcoming struggles, how he kept a positive mindset during the toughest times and the amazing adventures he has embraced since his life changing accident.

Andy continues to live life to the full. He works across the world as a motivational speaker, as well as taking on a range of thrilling challenges from cycling 240 miles across Kenya using a specially designed bike controlled by his chin, to sailing and skiing. He has even collaborated with renowned music producer DJ Fresh to make innovative music with his mind.

"As a long time friend of the school it is always an absolute pleasure to welcome Andy back," said Mr Baines, Assistant Headteacher.  "His humorous and matter of fact approach to life really comes through, and I never tire of seeing the impact his story has on our pupils and staff.  As always, so many of our young people were truly inspired by listening to his life story and witnessing the absolutely amazing things he gets up to, and hopefully this will stay with them as they embark upon the next stage of their own journeys."

Our year 11 pupils found the hour spent with Andy truly humbling and inspiring, here's what some of them had to say. 

Rosie, in year 11, said, “Andy was really inspirational. I really liked his positive attitude and his determination to overcome obstacles in his life.”

“It was interesting to listen to his story of perseverance and see how far it had got him in life,” said Millie, Head Girl.

“I thought he was really engaging and funny,” said Alister, in year 11. “I liked listening to how he overcame adversity.”

Year 11 pupil Juvel said, “Andy’s was such an inspirational story. I really enjoyed hearing about how he has succeeded in life.”

Follow Andy Walker on Twitter and Facebook.