Well, we’ve been absolutely spoilt over the last few weeks – Emma, Natasha and Sandra’s talks about their experiences were absolutely spell-binding. All three have had a big impact on our students – thanks very much.
Over the many years in which Anthony McLellan has been a regular speaker in our Year 12 ‘Forum’ programme I have increasingly valued his contribution. He brings a serious message to our students without condescension, in language they can understand, and I personally find his presentation thought-provoking and moving every time I hear it.
Sandra Gregory has an amazing story to tell and she tells it in a unique way. The youngsters at Hymers College are intrigued by the relationships she describes, especially with her parents. What the youngsters relate to most of all is that she is an ordinary person who found herself in an extraordinary situation and they are made to consider how they would have reacted when confronted by similar issues. Sandra has a wonderful, natural manner with the youngsters, who regularly vote her as one of the best lecturers of the year – and that is why I book her every year.
Anthony McLellan has been one of Radley’s long-standing regular PSHE speakers; his own experiences, powerful message and excellent after-care have not just educated the whole school but especially helped those pupils affected by alcohol and its potentially devastating impact on families and individuals.
John Hoskison spoke to our school (Stamford) in February 2012. He is, without doubt, the most inspirational and thought-provoking speaker we’ve ever had the good fortune to hear. His story is enormously powerful, and he tells it with such evident passion and sincerity that one could not fail to be deeply moved by it. The boys were still talking about it days later, and it was clear from their thoughtful questions (of which there were many) at the end that they had been totally engaged and were reflecting already on what they had heard. If it was physically possible for John to speak to every young person between the ages of 11 & 18, he could prevent so many people from taking a wrong turn in life. His talk truly makes a difference.
The McLellan Practice has provided us with excellent speakers at Westminster for over ten years. Anthony’s own presentation is carefully constructed and very well pitched for our boys. By taking a wider view, Anthony is able to highlight many of the issues that surround the use and abuse of alcohol and there is always plenty of useful and thought provoking information for everyone to take away from the talk. By covering issues that relate to family life and alcohol, Anthony makes his talk relevant to young people and his central message that good help is available to troubled drinkers, could give someone the confidence to come forward for help.
The McLellan Practice is always my first choice for PSHE speakers. Anthony has been so helpful over the years in providing relevant and engaging speakers for the boys and girls at Westminster. He is totally reliable and always willing to find the right person for our students.
We have had excellent parental and pupil feedback following talks from Anthony McLellan to those separate groups. It is unusual to find a speaker on the topic of alcohol who can connect so naturally with both audiences and raise the discussion from the usual level of scaring adolescents ( which simply doesn’t work) to educating them about self-esteem and their ‘relationship with alcohol’. Pupils remember it years after hearing it at age 14-15.
We have been using The McLellan Practice to source the majority of our PSHEE speakers for a number of years. The service is outstanding and the speakers themselves are excellent. We are an international school with students drawn from more than 30 countries in any given year and yet McLellan speakers are able – more than any others we have used – to break down the cultural barriers, build a relationship with the audience and get to the heart of the matter in a clear and memorable way with great ease and poise. Our students have thoroughly enjoyed all the visiting speakers we have had (many of them are repeated year on year) from McLellan’s over the years and I very much hope they will continue so to do for years to come.
I would like to express my thanks and the thanks of my students for your beautifully balanced and exceptionally well delivered message. It is a difficult task for one man and a microphone to keep the attention of over 300 teenagers for an hour, yet you managed it with consummate skill and ease.
Your presentation was absolutely first -class: you held the boys (and staff) from beginning to end and I think the questions spoke for themselves. Your delivery was perfectly judged in every respect. We will certainly invite you back in a year’s time.
I have heard Mandy speak on several occasions and to a variety of student audiences. She is someone young people can connect with – she never patronises them and is forthright in explaining her own experiences and the mistakes she now recognises she has made in life; she uses this as the basis for advising young people on how to avoid making similar mistakes. She is a safe but forthright pair of hands.
However, I was delighted to see her address our parent body with similarly forthright observations about ‘Parenting for Prevention’. Our parents seemed to ‘wake up’ as she spoke, and the questions they asked of Mandy were a clear indication of the extent to which they valued and respected her experience.
Mandy Saligari has been visiting Aldro for nearly 10 years to talk to our 13+ leavers about various issues, including drugs. She has an amazing way of engaging with the boys on these very important topics and there is no doubt that her visits help them to start thinking about the sort of potential difficulties that they may face as they grow up and move to their senior schools.
Each year she has also very kindly given a talk for parents about exactly the same sort of issues and there is no doubt that this has been hugely appreciated by the parents, many of whom are not fully aware of just what sort of potential risks are out there for their children as they grow up.