A former English teacher and Chief Examiner, Stephen Purcell is now an educational consultant, ESU Trustee and Chair of the South Wales branch. Here, he tells us a little about himself:
When did you first hear about the ESU?
I discovered the ESU in the 1980s when, in my time as a housemaster in a boarding school, exchange students from the USA joined my house. I did not do an ESU programme myself, but once I saw the advantages gained by the students in my care, I dearly wished I had!
Why did you want to become a trustee?
Most of my work has been focused upon the development of young people and becoming a trustee of the ESU means that I can help to ensure that the vital work of the charity continues to benefit future generations.
Whom do you admire and why?
It’s always a difficult matter to say whom one most admires, although I believe very strongly that ‘guides’ are to be found at all stages of life. A list of individuals would be too long and diverse but, especially in our current circumstances, it is those who show courage and resolve in adversity whom I most admire.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement and also my greatest privilege is to have been blessed with a large and close family.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
I buy too much wine but for the last year, in the absence of social gatherings, it has been stocking the cellar – mostly!
Tell us something surprising about you.
With an Irish father, an English mother, a Welsh wife and two sons who played junior rugby for Wales, on international days I have to sit on some uncomfortable fences.
What do you regret most in your life?
I most regret a half dozen or so unfinished writing projects – some of which are on gradually yellowing paper so you can tell for how long they’ve been neglected. Sometimes it’s better not to have started than to pull up short.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?
Expect the unexpected is a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over again!