Students from 17 schools across Ealing have taken part in the regional final of this year’s Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge which saw Zara Wallace from Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls in Acton winning on Thursday (18 January 2024).
Zara will now be taking part in the next stage which leads to the national finals taking place in July 2024.
The special event took place at Dormers Wells High School in Southall with a packed audience of parents and friends attending.
Zara, 15, gave a speech on the deaf community and education. On being named the Ealing winner, Zara said: “I’m feeling excited that I could spread awareness with my speech about communication and the deaf community. Thank you to my parents!”
Across the country, more than 30,000 Year 10 secondary school students take part in the the Speakers Trust programme which teaches them how to talk in public and helps encourage self-confidence.
Runner-up on the night was Izabela Evans from William Perkins Church of England High School in Greenford and Abshiro Yusuf from Featherstone High School in Southall came third. Izabela gave a speech on “Silence” while Abshiro spoke about “Empower, embrace and excel”.
Across Ealing during the academic year 2023/24, the Speakers Trust revealed that 874 students will take part in the programme.
Presenting the prizes and certificates was Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Hitesh Tailor. Speaking to EALING.NEWS, the Mayor said: “This was a fantastic evening. I found all the student finalists interesting and brilliant in their own style, presenting their stories with confidence and engaging with the audience.”
Councillor Tailor added: “This is an excellent programme that provides the skills to young people for public speaking, and delivered without notes.”
The judges included: Elly Heaton, CEO Young Ealing Foundation, Kay Stewart former head of careers and volunteering at University of West London, Rumina Ali, corporate employability lead, The Prince’s Trust, Jasmine Dotiwala, TV producer and broadcaster, Felix Le Corre, supporter of Speakers Trust and Risha Hussain who came third last year in the Ealing regional final.