"I thought it was really useful and interesting. It was good to hear from someone who had actually had anorexia, and her story was really interesting and moving. I would now be able to alert someone if one of my friends had an issue."
"I found the talk very interesting and moving it was very helpful! I would now be able to help and know what to do If I ever have an eating disorder or if any friends do. It was also very touching in that it was a real life story so it made me react more! Thank you"
"I thought that it was very useful and interesting. The detail was particularly helpful and I think that it would help me if I were to develop an eating disorder. I am now aware that if any of my friends did develop an eating disorder, what to do."
"Yes it was very useful and that was because she has been through an eating disorder herself so you really felt quite a lot more sensitive to this issue as she stated all the problems that occur when going through an eating disorder. Yes I think it would help me and help me to help others who have eating disorders."
"Just to say that the pupils and staff greatly enjoyed Erwin's visit and talk on Friday. He held their attention completely for well over an hour. They were talking about it avidly afterwards. Not many of our speakers do that! What a story to tell though, and what a positive message he put over both for them as individuals that persistence and determination are the most important factors in making a success of one's life, but also extending beyond that to the political responsibility we all have for ensuring that prison is more that a place where people who have committed crimes are banged up."
"Please could you pass on my thanks to Charlotte. Apparently the talk was very well received. Do you have a contact detail for her so that I can thank her personally? I was just sorry that I didn't get to hear the talk. A good excuse to get her back!
"Alex, you are a brilliant speaker
"Dear Alex, Thanks so much for the session today. I have just been talking to several of the boys who had clearly taken much from what you said. They really appreciated your honesty and really warmed to you."
"Splendid! Erwin was excellent - fascinating in so many respects."
"Thank you so much for your talk. There was so much feedback and I felt the majority of the students took something with them. The staff were all really grateful for the insight you gave us and by putting a real face to the academic stuff we study. I will gladly pin up your details, some students have already asked for them. It sounded that your journey went well but you must have been knackered. We are hoping to make this a regular event so looking forward to seeing you maybe next year. Thanks again for your continuing support with our very dear students."
Article that can be found on the Coleg Gwent website: http://www.coleggwent.ac.uk/news/detail.php?Pid=2042
Thought Provoking Talk at the College:
The A-Level department at Pontypool Campus recently welcomed a visiting speaker who gave a talk about the dangers of eating disorders.
The guest speaker was recovering anorexic Alex Corkran, and she held her packed audience of students and staff spellbound as she recounted her personal story of living with anorexia and bulimia in order to warn young people of the dangers.
Alex described her decline from being an average child, with a good home and loving parents, to becoming a terrified young adult spending long spells on psychiatric wards and in treatment centres. She also told of the distress her illness had caused her family, about the shock of almost suffering a heart attack aged 19, and of the long, hard road to recovery.
In sometimes graphic detail, Alex described the damage the disease had inflicted on her by the time she had reached her early 20s. Following her talk, Alex held a question and answer session, dealing clearly and confidently with sometimes searching questions from the audience.
A-Level Psychology Lecturer Paul Francis commented:-
"After reading a national newspaper article about Alex's brave battle with anorexia, I was keen to invite her to Pontypool Campus. The audience were clearly moved by her story and impressed by her confidence, sincerity and obvious determination to get her message across. During a Psychology lesson following the talk, members of the class agreed that it had been a powerful, intriguing and thought provoking event."
After her talk, Alex commented, I do hope that within the audience I spoke to, there were young people who took something positive from it. Often, doing a talk is the very beginning, opening a door to other things, and I am very much around as best as I can be, for follow up.
"Alex - I am sitting at the back listening to you now. I have never seen them so attentive Thanks very much- what would we do without you and all your speakers?!"
"Thank you very much for the inspirational talk you gave to our upper sixth formers last Thursday. [Staff you stayed on to chat to] also really appreciated your guidance!
"Charlotte has a relaxed, confident and charming manner and it was a pleasure to be her host for the day. She delivered four presentations and although similar in content, Charlotte managed to vary her style in order to recognise the age and experience of her audience. The pupils listened intently and clearly enjoyed the opportunity to chat with Charlotte afterwards and also to ask questions of her when the teachers left the room. What Charlotte had to say was easily understood and digested by the pupils and they were engaged throughout her talk; the fact that she was recalling actual events from her colourful early adulthood gave her credibility. They were able to relate entirely to her anecdotes which cleverly delivered information and guidance without the pupils even noticing. She brought the dangers of binge drinking and the notion of addictive behaviour into sharp focus; the pupils were left to consider carefully their developing habits. So much so that several upper 6th formers cancelled or reduced drinks orders for the following evening's formal dinner! What Charlotte had to say is relevant to every young person growing up in Britain today and by raising awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse she could easily be saving lives or at least, futures."
"Ian's talk went very well, the pupils found the talk both informative and entertaining!"
"Just a quick note to say that Charlotte was brilliant!! She really engaged the pupils and they clearly found her talk interesting, informative and pitched at their level. She stayed behind to speak to a number of them afterwards (at their request) which has hopefully given them the push they need to make some important decisions."
"Could you please pass on to Erwin how successful his talk was last Friday; the students in my tutor group all said what a good speaker he was. I enjoyed seeing him again and will definitely book him in again for next year."
"I have had the pleasure of welcoming you and the lecturers that you provide to Wycliffe over the years and I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to you all. I wish to thank you for your help, support and friendship over the years and I look forward to welcoming you in a somewhat different capacity next year. With very best wishes and every success in all your future endeavours."
"I just really wanted you to know that I was chatting with some of the year 10 girls and they gave you some fabulous feedback. They thought you were great and got a lot out of your sessions. Many thanks for stepping out of your usual stuff and doing this."
"After Andy delivered his amazing story I spoke to the group regarding his visit. Each student said he was compelling. They are, generally, a privileged group and to see and try to comprehend Andy's predicament really made them think. I believe this was a most worthwhile experience for them and allowed them to gain a little better perspective on their life and indeed, his!"
"Alex - thank you for coming to speak to our students. I have talked to quite a few of them and they found your story not only very moving but also helpful to understanding some of their own challenges I do hope that you will be able to visit us again in the not too distant future and wish you all the best for your own future."
"Alex - I did just want to say thank you for such a superb presentation which I thought was the best one yet, which is saying something. Very well done, the kids have been talking about it ever since and quite a number of your cards have disappeared into the bargain. It's amazing what an impact a topic such as this has on some of them, liberating them from the feeling that anxiety, at what ever level, is their own private curse."
"Dear Alex - Thank you for your excellent talk. The girls had a huge amount to say about it. You clearly made a big impression on all of them. [Staff were also] both impressed and moved. It's a real achievement to talk so fluently and effectively for so long and without notes Thank you again."
"I wanted to let you know that both your and Erwin's presentations this term have been very well received by our students. I am also very grateful to you for spending time with 2 of our media studies students yesterday."