25 Mar

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rsz_1matthew_walker
I apologise for not writing a blog in quite a considerable while, it has been quite a difficult period recently. The last few weeks have seen myself face some personal demons. I have learnt quite a bit about myself and how I act and feel when in difficulty. It has been all over the place and I have felt pretty much every emotion that can be felt. This was starting to come through in my blogs where I was beginning to ramble on and create a rather negative tone for myself. This wasn’t what I wanted my blog to be. I started these blogs for a positive celebration of ourselves. I want to entertain people and let you switch off from the difficulty of everyday life! Yes, I was feeling the extreme difficulty of everyday life so a nice refreshing break from responsibility was well needed.

With all the difficulty, I still couldn’t shy away from big decisions. I went to a taster session at Hopwood Hall on Friday morning where I tried out the latest technology in media. The facilities included a TV and radio studio, a gallery and an editing booth. I understand that there were some excellent photographs taken of myself using a camera, however, which you can enjoy by reading the amazing Horizons blog here.

Activ8’s ethos of hard work has further continued as four students (Jack, Nathan, Connor along with myself) have been completing our controlled assessments for our GCSE PE qualification. This consists of being examined on the skills we possess in Weight Training, Rugby League, Trampolining and Boxing. I want to thank all the students within our pathway who may not be working towards this qualification for their patience in dealing with the disruption that the exam work may have caused.

Another qualification that we are working towards is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award. One thing that stands out is my volunteering hour on Wednesday with one of the Horizons groups where I joined in with an intelligent discussion on the International Women’s Day celebrations. For some people, volunteering for their DofE Awards can be a chore and something that takes extreme perseverance to complete; that’s why the award can be so difficult to achieve. However, speaking for everybody within our pathway, volunteering with the Horizons group is thoroughly enjoyable. Everyone is very welcoming and provides good company so I want to thank them all for welcoming us to their lunchtime routines.

More welcoming discussions take place on a Monday night as Andy’s Man Club has launched for the students of New Bridge. Mental health is something that we as men don’t take as seriously as we possibly should. In order to start dealing with my personal problems, I had to accept that it is something that you shouldn’t be embarrassed about. The ability to speak with fellow males who share the same issues as myself has helped everybody that attends the sessions. Big credit for this has to be given to Mr Greenway for bringing this to New Bridge. Receiving counselling from the NHS these days is extremely difficult as there is more demand than they can supply. Also, it takes an admirable teacher to recognise the needs of his students and he is certainly one of those!

This is one of the first steps on what is a very long road. For everyone who has been there for me during this, thank you – I certainly owe you all big time! The strength of our Activ8 team has certainly pulled me through over the last few weeks. Now is the time for all of us to look forward. After the Easter holidays it is exams, exams, exams with some fun in between. A certain person down at the school site has been rather vocal lately about a potential Tag Rugby match with us as captains! Something about making it 2-0. I’m sorry but I’m afraid that with such a sore, recently broken nose, I am reluctant to let him suffer the horrific trauma of what will be the biggest thrashing in New Bridge sporting history – I am too nice a friend to see him suffer like that! However, participating in what will be the biggest sporting event in the school’s history alongside my closest friends as well as demolishing the “Jack XIII” in an easy afternoon’s work at the height of summer is too good an opportunity to turn down. The poor lad has spent the last few weeks going on about it so Jack, consider it challenge accepted!!

I am just looking forward towards getting my qualifications and enjoying every day that I spend on this planet. My moral message to you all through this blog is to enjoy life and don’t get too negative or frustrated by it. Obviously I, along with everybody else, will still have some tough moments to come but as our Head Boy said, these moments don’t define you, what defines you is how you come back from them!

Unfortunately, as I finish writing my comeback blog, the latest news has reported a significant terrorist attack on our country’s democratic headquarters. I would like to pay tribute to all the emergency services who rushed to the scene and quickly had the mayhem back under control. Lives have been lost but one thing this country will never lose is its true fundamental values at the core of our society. The monsters who commit these acts don’t like our free speech, don’t like our democracy, I dare say don’t even like our religions. However, they will not change our society by blowing themselves up, driving vehicles into innocent pedestrians, flying planes into towers and holding people hostage. I often say that we are lucky because this generation didn’t have to live through the horrors of the Holocaust or the Blitz or preparing for a nuclear war back in the 1960s but this tiny minority of terrorists make us look behind our backs while we shop in our shopping centres or when we are out in the park with our younger relatives. Terrorist attacks are something that 99% of humans on this planet would never commit, though. Remember that!

It’s good to be back!

Matthew