Our annual 6th Form Conference was held yesterday in the BSR with an incredible line-up of guest speakers to inspire our students.
First to take to the stage was Tom Barton, class of 2004 and co-founder of Honest Burgers. Tom spoke about his time at Prior before explaining how he and his friend set up The Honest Eating Company shortly after leaving University. They initially sold burgers and chips at festivals and other outdoor events. Their priority was always to have the highest quality ingredients and the best tasting porduct. Tom spoke about how they had their share of lucky moments whilst building their brand, however he believes 'the harder you work, the luckier you get'. Honest Burgers are opening their 24th restaurant this Friday.
Paul Lindley is an award winning entrepreneur. In 2006 he founded Ella's Kitchen, an organic baby food manufacturer. Paul has recently published 'Little Wins: The Huge Power of Thinking Like A Toddler'. Paul believes there are four skills that babies learn that adults need to reconsider. Learn to smile - be confident and creative. Learn to walk - set big goals and be determined, babies fall over many times when they are learning to walk but they never give up! Learn to talk - make yourself heard, be honest as lies get found out. Learn to play - enjoy the journey, 'team' matters.
Rob Law MBE is one of the country's best known entrepreneurs amd founder of Trunki, children's ride-on suitcases. He failed to secure an investment when he appeared on Dragons' Den however his company now has sales of over £200M worldwide. The brand's aim is to be the best in the world at children's travel products, 'to make a journey as exciting as the destination'. His team share his vision and the company's core values which are be dynamic, be innovative, be responsible and have fun!
Zoe Jackson MBE founded Living the Dream, which shot to fame when her dance troupe did a series of flash mobs at St Pancras station one New Year's Eve. The video went viral with over 5 million views and as a result, her dance company were asked to run corporate days and award events for top companies including Virgin, Vodafone, BA and John Lewis. Zoe has many ambitions including building a performing arts centre in London.
The final speaker was Ben Smith who recently completed 401 marathons in 401 days, all over the UK. He set himself this challenge to raise awareness and money for two charities, Stonewall and Kidscape, and has raised over £300,000 to date. Ben movingly described the 'darker moments' in his life, including trying to take his own life aged 18 and again at 21. At 29 he had a TIA and decided to take up running to get fit. Within a year, he ran his first marathon. The following year he did 18 marathons. Ben quit his job and sold everything as he decided to go for the world record of back-to-back marathon running, which at the time was 365. He decided to round the number up and add 1, hence 401. Since completing the challenge, Ben has set up The 401 Foundation, a charity that supports small community projects and mental health projects.
The event was facilitated superbly by BBC Points West presenter, Alex Lovell.
Our thanks to all who took part, it was a truly inspiring day.