On Friday, Woodkirk Academy welcomed ex-student Simon Brown, his family and guests to unveil the life-size sculpture of Simon which had formed part of an exhibition for Help for Heroes in Trafalgar Square.
Simon suffered horrific injuries doing his duty for his country, and faced a massive uphill struggle getting back on to his feet and rebuilding his life. He now lives a very full life working for Blind veterans, supporting other ex-service personnel get back on their feet after injury. He is a brilliant example of resilience, of perseverance and of never giving up.
Students celebrated with Simon through music and letters to a ‘Known Soldier’ prior to Kevin Mitchell, County Co-ordinator for Help for Heroes unveiling the statue in Simon’s honour.
Principal Mrs Joe Barton said, “We are delighted that Simon has chosen Woodkirk to be home to this fantastic artwork which is testament to the sacrifice and resilience Simon and others, have shown. It will serve as a daily reminder to students and staff of our core values and mission to shape young lives so future generations will also make positive contributions to their communities and beyond”.
The statue will be a permanent installation and students were keen to view it. Students quotes; “He was very inspirational”, “He is an incredibly inspiring role model”, “It touched my heart”, “He was incredibly humble”, “I thought he had a great sense of humour” and “He gave me a different perspective”.
Guests included fellow ex-student Stevie Ward. Simon and Stevie joined forces to record a podcast for ‘Mantality’, an online magazine promoting physical and mental well-being, before spending time inspiring students at Woodkirk.