Falklands hero Simon Weston inspires Lincoln Castle Academy pupils

Falklands War veteran Simon Weston OBE was the inspirational guest of honour at Lincoln Castle Academy on Monday, November 9.

Simon, who was on board the RFA Sir Galahad just off the Falkland Islands in 1982 when it was bombed and set on fire, suffered severe burn injuries.

He has become well-known across the country for his recovery, charity work, public talks and political activism.

Simon made the journey from Cardiff, Wales to Lincoln Castle Academy on Remembrance week, after paying a visit to the Showroom in Lincoln to talk about veterans and mental health.

He spoke to students about his experiences both in war and life after his return.

Brought up in his early years at Nocton Hall near Lincoln with his parents in the RAF, his return was welcomed by year 10 and 11 students at the school and the sixth form.

Simon Weston OBE. Photo: The Lincolnite

Simon Weston OBE. Photo: The Lincolnite

Simon Weston said: “What I want to do is prove a point that anything is possible. If you invest enough in yourself you can achieve.

“I think journalism plays a massive part in teaching younger generations about remembrance, and students will learn from their schools, TV and the internet about the World Wars and what remembrance is all about.

“The part I play is more about life investment. It’s getting people to realise school is the only free thing they get. As an employer myself I am also a strong advocate of NVQs too and on-the-job learning.”

Simon encouraged students to take their education by the horns and continue to play a part in their communities through charity work.

“What ever kind of charity you work in it’s always going to change your life. It wouldn’t be a charity if other people didn’t need it.

“There are loads of young people that do hero-work in the community and we don’t even know about it. The great thing about young people is they always inspire me.

“Young people get a bad press sometimes but the vast majority are smashing, bright people. If you can’t make mistakes when you’re young when can you make them?

“I made a mistake when I was 14 and got a police caution. Unfortunately that became a weight around my neck when I went for the police and crime commissioner job in South Wales and it’s all some people wanted to focus on.

“I would now stack my career up against anyone and say ‘look what I’ve achieved”.

Andrew Thomas, Assistant Headteacher at Lincoln Castle Academy said: “Our speaker today has taken inspiration to a whole different level, and his presentation to our students was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

“A force for good in this country, and a true example of resilience and tenacity for students and staff alike.”