Welcome to the ESU Lincolnshire Branch.
As the new Chairman for our region, I must first of all thank Sir Michael Graydon who has led the Branch for the past 18 years. His extraordinary leadership and dedication to the ESU has inspired and helped many young people and schools from across the county and beyond and I’m delighted to say he has agreed to continue to support us as an Honorary Vice-President.
It is a daunting task to take over from Sir Michael, but with the wonderful support of the Committee, Members and Volunteers, we look forward to carrying on with the ESU mission to support young people and develop oracy in our schools. We are an active branch and a lively group encompassing neighbouring Midlands areas as well the expanse that is Greater Lincolnshire.
The aims of the ESU are two-fold – first and foremost to support schools and young people with communication skills they need to thrive, through speech and debating programs and competitions in schools, and secondly via scholarships and support to aid professional development in the wider world. We promote and support those aims via our local membership – spreading the word with cultural events, and engaging with local volunteers and supporters.
Our calendar usually includes a spring lunch, a summer drinks reception, our Autumn dinner which has an enviable reputation for renowned and stimulating speakers, as well as our AGM in December. We also run some online talks. We have close relationships with a number of local cultural institutions and organisations including Doddington Hall, the International Bomber Command Centre, the Lincoln Book Festival and Lincoln University. As a pre-eminent organiser of cultural events in the area, we welcome new members and continue to respond to new ideas and interests and to remain relevant.
Past speakers include:-
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major, Journalist Michael Buerk, international violinist and broadcaster Tasmin Little OBE, historian Lord Peter Hennessy, renowned Egyptologist Professor Toby Wilkinson, eminent medical doctor and broadcaster Lord Robert Winston, Commandant of RAF Cranwell Air Commodore Suraya Marshall, Lincoln University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Julian Free, Ex-Metropolitan Police Chief Lord Bernard Hogan-Howe, Labour Party politician and Nato’s 10th General Secretary Lord George Robertson, and Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Conservative Politician and last Governor of Hong Kong Lord Chris Patten.
We have worked hard to be the dynamic link between the ESU’s specialist in-house Education and Competitions specialists and local schools, not just with highly regarded ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition and ESU Performing Shakespeare competition, but also with ever evolving school-based programmes to help young people in primary and secondary schools develop strong communication skills critical to helping them thrive.
In addition, generous sponsors have enabled the branch to offer exciting scholarships for school leavers and third level students to help them have meaningful global experiences from Iceland to Honduras, learn new skills and hopefully develop long-lasting international relationships.
So whether you are a committed educationalist or simply want access to our unique cultural opportunities, do please consider joining us. You will be very welcome!
Camilla Carlbom Flinn