Pupils shown the road to resilience

4th December 2015

School pupils were encouraged to spring into shape after a talk on the subject of resilience.

Former Royal Marine and sailing instructor, Dan Fielding, visited students at Brannel School in St Stephen to discuss the ability to recover from setbacks.

The speech was part of an on-going study into the topic and provided a real-life example of an individual who had overcome adversity.

Yorkshire-born Dan said: “I felt humbled to be invited to the school and discuss the importance of resilience as it’s not a skill we are all born with but can be gained through difficult personal situations.
“Resilience can enable us to harness our inner strength and help us rebound from difficult situations, no matter how old we are. Although it won’t make our problems go away it can provide the capacity to recover quickly.”

Further emphasis was made about how resilience does not require pupils to ‘tough it out’ or being alone.He said: “Being able to reach out to others for support is a key component and it’s about having that moral courage to say ‘I’m struggling’ to a friend, parent or teacher”.

Dan, 35, was helped to find a new career as a sailing instructor by sailing charity Turn to Starboard after being medically discharged from the Royal Marines in 2008. The Falmouth-based organisation help Armed Forces personnel affected by military operations by taking them sailing and gaining internationally recognised qualifications.

Brannel School teacher, Ross Farrer, said: “Today was a fantastic opportunity for the students to put the frequently used term into real context. Dan was able to share what he has overcome and the impact Turn to Starboard has had not just for him but many other ex-servicemen and women. The students are excited and are already thinking of ways they can support the charity and we are looking into rewarding some of our very own resilient students with the opportunity to go aboard their training vessel.”

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