A building to inspire our youngsters
It has been a strange week where national news and local goings-on have ranged from the thoroughly depressing to the utterly enlightening.
I have toyed with a number of themes for this week’s column.
I can’t shake the complete and utter grim turmoil surrounding the sport I love, football, with the widespread historic abuse of youth players.
Then there was the utter heartbreak of the plane crash that claimed the lives of 71 people, 19 of those connected with the Chapecoense football team.
Take one look at the heart-rending video of team mates telling Thiaguinhohe that he is going to be a father just weeks before the disaster, and it shows how sport can be a source of so much good, friendship being top of the list.
Christmas was an obvious theme for my musings as well. I dipped a toe into the Christmas Fayre at the weekend and while it might have been a little too busy for my tastes, I must commend everyone involved for the sheer scale of the event – one that only promotes Bury St Edmunds in a positive light.
Traffic and parking were also less of an issue which must have something to do with the various park and ride schemes and cycling initiatives around the fayre.
But I will devote my words to the upcoming festivities next time.
Instead, I want to focus the (slight) majority of these words on positivity and hope for the future.
Eight days ago, I had the privileged position of walking inside the new Sybil Andrews Academy building.
There were no students in there, they arrived on Monday, and there were naturally crates and boxes galore.
But just ahead of the 48-hour makeover, the building was starting to breathe.
Fast forward to this Tuesday, I walked those same steps, only this time with smiling students walking into the entrance of a vivacious library space led by the wonderful Karen Cannard.
From a personal viewpoint, I felt proud to be in a position to experience Suffolk’s newest school building.
It is visually stunning with a kaleidoscope of colours filtering through the wonderful ‘Heart Building’.
Away from the obvious architectural beauty, the building will do so much more – it will inspire.
Those first 200-plus students are privileged to be the first to tread this path. But the great thing is that you sense they know how fortunate they are.
One student who was interviewed this week said she wanted to make the school proud through her achievements. Quite some hope for someone so young.
But it shows a true sense of ownership that can only lead to positive things for everyone connected to Sybil Andrews Academy. And then beyond as many of these bright and engaging students go on to play their own inspiring role in our local communities and economy.