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Pupil Speaks Out on facing fear and wins Havering’s regional final of Jack Petchey speech challenge

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:03 16 May 2018

Matthew Palmer delivering his winning speech 'Face to face with fear' at the regional final of Jack Petchey's Speak Out challenge.

Matthew Palmer delivering his winning speech 'Face to face with fear' at the regional final of Jack Petchey's Speak Out challenge.

© Gabriel Nita

A 15-year-old student won Havering’s regional final of a public speaking competition with a captivating speech about facing your fears.

Matthew Palmer from St Edwards School in London Road, Romford was the winner of this year’s Speak Out challenge, hosted at Abs Cross Academy and Arts College, Hornchurch on Monday, May 14.

Funded by the Jack Petchey foundation and delivered by the Speakers Trust, more than 660 year 10 students in Havering’s secondary schools received training and were given the skills to develop a speech on a topic that is important to them.

The Mayor of Havering, Councillor Linda Van den Hende presented the awards. She said: “The topics were so different and many were really challenging.

“Communication is such an important skill - Sir Jack Petchey and the Speakers Trust are doing an amazing job.”

L-R: The Mayor of Havering, Cllr Linda Van den Hende, Matthew Palmer, Alex Coulson and Charlotte Skinner, winners of Havering's regional final of Jack Petchey's Speak Out challenge. L-R: The Mayor of Havering, Cllr Linda Van den Hende, Matthew Palmer, Alex Coulson and Charlotte Skinner, winners of Havering's regional final of Jack Petchey's Speak Out challenge.

Matthew impressed the judges with a speech called ‘face to face with fear’.

He has won a £100 gift certificate and the chance to go through to the grand final of the competition at the Cambridge Theatre on Monday, July 2 in Covent Garden.

Alex Coulson, 25, from Redden Court School placed second with her speech ‘Connected with strings’ and third place went to Charlotte Skinner, 14, from Frances Bardsley School with a speech called ‘A smile does not equal happiness’ - both of which were about mental health.

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