From the Heads of School, Katharina & Nicholas

Having seen the previous Heads of School, Georgia and Matthew, enthusiastically organising a TEDx event, we were more than eager to follow suit and organise our own for the Fifth and Sixth Forms.

After nearly a year of planning, the Conference on Addiction finally happened last Friday 18th June. Planning on our part was mostly gathering speakers and advertising the event, while Mr Bryson took care of the logistics, communicated with the speakers and prepared the Conference programme.

Lockdown unfortunately postponed our initial date in January to June, but this definitely did not hinder the Conference from being a success. The three speakers spoke with passion about their own addictions and gave us an enlightening insight into one’s health. Michael Rawlinson opened the Conference by telling the audience about his former alcoholism that lead him to quit drinking completely nearly 30 years ago. Following on from this, Patrick Foster shared his experiences of his previous gambling addiction which was truly eye opening. Finally, Catriona Payne and Michael discussed addiction in the family, and outlined that every situation is different in each family.

It was great to see how engaged each year group was by the topics and each talk. Overall, the Conference was a great success and we received a huge wave of positive feedback from both students and staff. We hope that this event might have helped to open the conversation about a often silenced topic and might even have given hope to some people.