Radley College hosted over 300 students from six Abingdon schools on Tuesday, 7 November for the first InspirED event, run by the OX14 Learning Partnership.

The aim was to inspire and encourage Remove/Year 10 students to think about the path their future might take, through a series of talks. Key speakers included:

  • Professor Ilan Kelman, UCL, talked to students about the impact of their choices and actions with a focus on disaster and health research.
  • Emmy O’Shaugnessy, Deputy CEO and Director of Innovations and Growth at Oxfordshire Youth. Emmy combines a personal experience of the care system with two decades of work in the voluntary sector.
  • Franny Benali MBE, former player for Southampton Football Club. Franny has completed three ultra endurance challenges in aid of Cancer Research, raising over £1 million. Students were inspired by listening to his experiences of following his passion, having a vision and pushing through challenges.
  • Nancy Mudenyou Hunt, Director and Founder of the Nasio Trust charity spoke about how she began the charity  and her continued focus on empowering girls through education.
  • Ely Lassman of educational charity Prometheus on Campus talked about the importance of communication, gaining mental clarity and the power of reading good literature.

Themes of ambition, challenge and gratitude ran through the morning.   The talks were also live streamed to students who weren’t in attendance and will be accessible to students and teachers via the OX14 LP Website.

Sixth form student representatives from across the schools introduced the event and shared their experiences and words of wisdom for their younger peers in a final Q & A session. They described events that had changed and challenged them and spoke with insight and maturity.

Students also enjoyed talking informally to speakers about their future plans and dreams and networking over refreshments allowed students to meet peers from across the town.

Cookies were provided by Proof Social Bakehouse, an artisan wholesale bakery and cafe in Oxford, part of Tap Social Movement, a social enterprise offering paid training and employment to people currently serving and recently released from prison sentences.

The series continues with SupportED and ChallengED later in the year which aim to provide different year groups with a mental health and wellbeing event and a challenge event in the summer.