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Updated: Apr 6

During a recent College interview, my youngest daughter, Ali, felt that her barriers to learning had caused her to be labelled as problematic. Later on, slightly irritated, she declared, "They won't define me; my hard work will be my future reality."

I was delighted to hear this gritty resolve. I've seen it before as she trekked high into the Drakensberg mountains, her backpack on, her legs pounding, never giving up.

Ali, like her brother and sister, shows this same great grit in preparing for her GCSEs. Every day, a few more steps from good to great. My fantastic wife, Thomasin, has reached the next level of loving, believing in and providing for Ali's needs. With this, Ali is beginning to believe in herself and what she can achieve - Go, Ali, Go!!

Thomasin has persistently and deliberately applied this love-in-action to all three children and me. We are who we are because of her purpose-driven and relentless love. However, with me, she says it is a work in slow progress!

In October 2023, Ali was invited to give a talk to trainee teachers at Brighton University on the topic of learning with difficulties. She prepared diligently, and the talk was a resounding success. In March 2024, my sister-in-law Michelle served a lady wearing a Brighton Uni tag. They started a conversation, and it turned out that the lady was in charge of teacher training at the university. Michelle proudly shared Ali's story with her, and to her delight and surprise, the Brighton Leader remembered Ali's talk very well and was greatly inspired by it, as were many others. Go Ali!

You-all are our greatest achievement - we will never, ever give up on you.

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