Monday, 24 November 2008

It has been another really wonderful week...

I attended the Leeds Young People's Positive Achievement Awards at the Royal Armouries, gave and received awards at the Big STEPS Celebration at the Civic Hall, and spoke at the ADCS, Aspect and RM's Building Schools for the Future Visioning event in Stratford-upon-Avon. I was also proud to be with our fantastic anti-bullying ambassadors at the citywide Anti-Bullying Week event when they learned they were to receive the Diana Anti-Bullying Award later this year in London. I had breakfast with the Morley FOS headteachers, attended another wonderful staff induction session at Derek Fatchett CLC and yet another fantastic STEPS celebration at Hollybush Primary School before finishing the week with lunch with the amazing Dinneka Smillie, our AimHigher Young Sixth Form Learner of the Year. I also managed to get to St Peter's CofE Primary School to see Liz Holliday and her team who are releasing the magic at the heart of Leeds.

I was really pleased and surprised to win the Keith Jackson award this week, but unless I am mistaken most of us will miss out on life's really big and important prizes. I know that I am never going to be Prime Minister, win the FA Cup, win a Pulitzer Prize or win a Nobel Prize and I am unlikely to win X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing, win the lottery, win an Oscar or get a Knighthood. But I do recognise how incredibly lucky I am because I know that I am eligible for life's small pleasures; small pleasures that are worth so much...

A thank you after I've done something really well. A touch or a word when I am feeling down or things haven't worked out well. A kiss or a cuddle from a friend. A starry night. A full moon. An empty parking space. A beautiful smile. A crackling fire. A great meal. A glorious sunset. Hot soup. Freshly baked bread. Cold beer. Chocolate. Great coffee. Why don't you add to my list?

Don't be upset when life's big awards and rewards don't come your way. Enjoy its small and wonderful delights and pleasures. There are plenty of those for all of us and we can help each other share them.

And talking about helping others, today Penny Field Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre will compete in ITV’s Big Lottery Fund, People’s Millions 2008, and they need your vote! Penny Field will feature on Calendar Evening News at 6.00pm this evening, but you can vote from 9.00am on 0871 626 8171 and any telephone can be used up to 10 times to vote. Please make sure you help our most special children by voting.

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