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Gold medal Paralympian mentors Frome student

A promising pupil from Priory’s North Hill House in Frome recently received a visit from double gold medal winning Paralympic swimmer Graham Edmunds as part of the ‘Unlocking Potential’ programme.

Nathan Wiltshire received one-to-one practical support from Graham in preparation for his ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch that took place at Leicester City Football Club on Monday 28th April.

Nathan was one of 22 young people selected to take part in the ‘Unlocking Potential’ programme, delivered by AQA and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. The candidates had already received £200 to help fund a community project of their choice and pitched for an additional £200 to the ‘Unlocking Potential’ panel at the event held on 28th April.

Nathan, who presented on how to repair and maintain bicycles and scooters, had also received additional financial support from Focus in on Life, a charity set up by parents in memory of their son and ex-student, George C.R Smith, who died in 2012.

North Hill House enabled the charity to be established in 2012 through various fundraising activities, and the support has come full circle with Focus in on Life donating approximately £470 to help Nathan’s project. This money will be used to develop a workshop area where pupils can develop bike maintenance skills; it is hoped that this area can then be used by fellow students of North Hill as well as the wider community – forming a legacy for both George and Nathan.

Nathan said, “I was really happy and excited to be chosen to take part in the ‘Unlocking Potential’ programme, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and hopefully will help me in the future. It was great to meet Graham and he really helped me with my presentation skills.”

Richard Herring, part of the project facilitation scheme said, “It has been such a pleasure to watch Nathan grow up and get the opportunity to do something he enjoys while fulfilling his true potential. Nathan hasn’t had a smooth journey growing up but I’ve often witnessed his determination to succeed, especially when he is passionate about the subject.

“I think it is really important to recognise and support the spark and enthusiasm in young people and keep it burning; everybody deserves a chance to achieve their full potential.”