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Adventurer Ed Stafford visits Leicester schoolchildren

Published on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Picture shows Ed Stafford at the Leicester Primary Pupil Referral Unit

ADVENTURER and world record-holder Ed Stafford has been sharing tales of his epic Amazon trip with Leicester schoolchildren.

Ed – who lives in Leicestershire - holds the Guinness world record for being the first person ever to walk the entire length of the Amazon River. For a show on the Discovery Channel, he was also dropped on an uninhabited Pacific island with no food or equipment; and he has undertaken several further televised challenges.

Ed visited Leicester’s primary pupil referral unit this week to talk to the children about his experiences.

Head of the primary pupil referral unit Nicola Anderson said: “Many of our children here have struggled at mainstream school. When they come to us, they have typically fallen out of love with education, so it’s our job to turn this around and help them become ready to return to school and have a successful future.

“Ed spoke to about 20 of our pupils here, aged 5-11. He was the perfect visitor because we want our pupils to be ambitious, passionate and we want them to feel that we are all capable of amazing things!

“This term, we have introduced a programme called Commando Joes which is devised by ex-military personnel to help young people develop resilience and self-confidence. It focuses on ‘missions’ based around the adventures of inspirational people like Ed.”

Ed said: “It was fantastic to meet the children here and tell them a bit about my adventures. We all face challenges in our daily lives, even more so in current times, so it’s great to be able to share my experiences and the message that with determination you can overcome any difficulties – whether that’s at school, or in the Amazon jungle!”

As well as his talk, Ed brought in some artefacts from his Amazon trip to show the children, and answered their questions. Year six pupil Conor Darlow said: “It was a pleasure to have him come to the school.”

Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, assistant city mayor responsible for education, said: “Our primary and secondary pupil referral units play an essential role, keeping children and young people engaged with education. Inspiring stories from people like Ed help to motivate and encourage young people, and show them that there are lots of options open to them for the future.”

More about Leicester’s education services can be found at www.leicester.gov.uk/schools-and-learning

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