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Headteacher: Mr Wayne Randle
Tel. 01326 240098

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Mullion School
Tel. 01326 240098

Events at Mullion School

London – an audience with Terry Waite

We made another early start for this visit leaving Mullion at 4.00 a.m. to fly from Newquay at 7.15 a.m. so as to arrive at our destination in south east London by 10.30 a.m.

During the day we were to visit two charities that work with homeless people in the London area, Emmaus in Plumstead and Habitat for Humanity north of the River Thames in Dagenham, Essex. The common link between these charities was that Terry Waite is a patron of both. We were not too sure who Terry Waite was, since he was more in the news before we were born, but we had done some research and found that he had been kidnapped and held in solitary confinement in Beirut, Lebanon for nearly five years.

When we arrived at Emmaus we were given a tour of the premises and found that homeless people who became part of the Emmaus community – called ‘companions’ – would give up their rights to receive benefits and use their skills in repairing and restoring donated furniture, electrical goods and other products to sell through their shop and so be self-sufficient in their housing and other needs. We then had an audience with Terry Waite who told us more about Emmaus and then we were able to ask him questions, including about his time in captivity and how he survived this ordeal. This was truly amazing and we found it hard to imagine how he came through it all and is still such a nice man who continues to want to help others. We then heard from some of the ‘companions’ at Emmaus and we will all remember Ken for a long time. Ken looked and bit scruffy and had lost some of his teeth, but he was really cool, a great bloke and we enjoyed talking with him. A true inspiration.

In the afternoon we moved on to Habitat for Humanity where we saw old houses being refitted as ‘low-cost’ flats and this work was being done by volunteers from the local community, but also from banks and other big businesses in the City. It is amazing what you can do, even when you do not start with much.

We flew back to Cornwall from Gatwick and returned to Mullion and our beds a little before midnight. It was a great day, and one we won’t forget.
Ben Johns
(assisted by Mr Bayliss)