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Trust Day 2024: Hope and Belonging

This year at our annual Trust day, we were honoured to have four exceptional speakers: The Rt. Rev’d Bishop Simon Burton, Jones-Bishop of Tonbridge, Chris Lubbe -  Inspirational Speaker, Author and Motivational Speaker - Bruce Daisley and our CEO, Steve Carey who spoke on various topics relating to the theme of “Hope and Belonging”. They highlighted the power of hope, courage, activism, forgiveness and resilience. 

The Rt. Rev’d Bishop Simon opened the event with a talk on Christian and British values. He spoke of the effect of world events like the pandemic on pupils and their families as well as the strategies and resources that the Trust put in place to support them. The Rt. Rev’d Bishop ended his speech leading the group in prayer and reflection.

Chris Lubbe then followed on to share his compelling life story of growing up as a Coloured person under Apartheid in South Africa. He talked about surmounting poverty and limited opportunities for education and work, surviving imprisonment and torture as a consequence of his activism and pursuit of equality. He also shared his experiences during his time as bodyguard to Nelson Mandela, regaling the group with tales of meeting world leaders and dignitaries, including the Queen, Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and others. He left us with a Zulu word ‘Sawubona’ literally meaning “I see you”, used to show a person that you recognise their worth and dignity.

The third of our exceptional speakers was Bruce Daisley, who delivered a talk focused on the impact of friendship and community on our individual and collective wellbeing and ‘Simcha’, a Hebrew word used to express the idea of “collective joy”. 

Finally, Steve wrapped up the event with a recap of the Trust’s journey so far and shared upcoming expansion plans and projects. He thanked everyone for their hard work and passion for the common goal of providing the best education possible for the children within our care. 

Ahead of the day, each member of staff was given the opportunity to write a card of recognition to be displayed on recognition boards at the venue to show gratitude or to highlight the amazing work of a colleague or friend, all with the aim of publicly showcasing people's dedication and sharing the theme of hope and belonging across the Trust. 

A special thank you to the speakers for inspiring us with their talks and reminding us of the positive impact of the work that we do as a Trust. We will keep these words in mind as we continue in our various roles with the aim of improving life chances for local children. 

To all who attended, we hope the event was highly inspirational and left you energised.