Students meet Terry Waite
12:20pm Saturday 6th October 2012 in News
A dozen students from Falmouth, Penryn and Helston have met with humanitarian Terry Waite during a thought-provoking visit to London.
It was the latest trip for the 12 young people taking part on this year’s Citizenship For Life programme, which is now in its second year.
Following a successful pilot, this year’s programme involves |students from Mullion, Falmouth and Penryn secondary schools who all hope to gain confidence and learn about different aspects of life and work.
Each youngster has a mentor from a business, local government, military, public sector or voluntary background.
Every month students and mentors take part in a different visit, some in-county and others around the country.
Their most recent visit was to see the work of homeless charity Emmaus, which Terry Waite is part of. Mr Waite was an envoy for the Church of England when he travelled to Lebanon in the 1980s, to try to secure the release of four hostages including the journalist John McCarthy. He ended up being held captive himself, between 1987 and 1991.
Mr Waite is now UK patron of the charity Emmaus, which offers homeless people a home, work and the chance to rebuild their lives.
He was there for their visit, answering any questions the group asked.
Joining the mentors and students was Cornwall Councillor Andy Wallis, who wrote on his blog afterwards: “The informal, but very powerful way he spoke of Emmaus and his past experiences certainly made a huge impact on everyone due to the responses everyone gave post the visit.
“It really made them think about homelessness, and how they could easily find themselves in the same situation during their lifetime.”
Mr Wallis said the young people on the visit had given some “truly remarkable answers” about what they had learnt.
Jennie said: “I know of a homeless man in Helston and I used to think it was his own fault that he was in that situation, like a drug or drink problem, but I now actually wonder why he is homeless and if he is okay. I have learned not to stereotype anymore.”