had joined Worktree an organisation within which
volunteers go into schools to help teenagers WorkOut
their life and career choices. My first session was
to be at Leon School with members of the sixth
form. I was nervous - my first session with Worktree
and of all places to undertake that first
session - Leon School where for 18 years I was Head
of Year. That was a long time ago, I left Leon 20
As I had done during my happy
times at Leon I thought my role was going to be to
inspire those teenagers.
I did not get a chance to start
inspiring those teenagers - THEY INSPIRED ME ! What
an incredible bunch of people. Can they now inspire
am so proud that after all these years I am still in
contact with so many of my former students, way more
than one hundred. I call them my LEONITES.
Well at that first Worktree session I met another
LEONITE. Let me share what it says on the Worktree
website: Former pupil Paul Gurden, now Document
Control Manager at Network Rail, met former teacher
David Ashford at Sir Herbert Leon Academy, where
they were both volunteering as guests in a Career
“I was honoured to give advice at my old
school,” said Paul, “and I was thrilled that Mr Ashford, a
teacher from my era (1980’s),was there as well.”
“I went to the session expecting it would
be my role to inspire the students,” said David Ashford.
“But it was they who inspired me! What a fantastic bunch of
teenagers! And it was good to see a former pupil too!”
was a LEONITE who got me involved with Wortree in the first
place ! Some of you will know her as Mrs Ray, to me she will
always be Mondira. There she is standing against the banner
Mrs Mondira Sinha-Ray, she is actually a trustee of Worktree.
As I chat here you can click any of
the photographs on this page and visit the Worktree website.
I loved my time at Leon School - I know
it is called Sir Herbert Leon Academy these days but to we LEONITES it will always be Leon
School. Yes I am in contact with
the present baronet - Sir John Leon - KING LEONITE, Sir
Herbert Leon's great grandson.
We did have some fun back in those good
old days at Leon didn't we ? Here's a picture of "The
Boss" Headmaster Bruce Abbott when he hosted a BBQ for
students at his home.
I have often called Leon from the
1970's, 1980's and early 1990's THE SCHOOL OF LOVE and I am
But, of course, Leon is just one school
Worktree serves, I have signed up for sessions in a number
of different schools in Milton Keynes together with sessions
in the YMCA supporting homeless friends find their way into
employment and rebuild their lives.
You LEONITES know so well my passion for
the homeless and over the years you have given me so much
support in this area of my work.
Below is a group of LEONITES in San
Francisco. I don't see anyone with flowers in their hair !
And another picture taken in Egypt. Do you know that LEONITE Samuel
Wellbeck is now headmaster of a school in Cairo, Egypt.
I am so proud of my LEONITES, never a day goes by without my
speaking to one of my former students. If you want something
done, if you need help with something then ask a LEONITE.
Oh and we must not forget the legendary Leon Disco. When I
spoke about that to those teenagers in the present Leon
Sixth Form they turned green with envy.
many LEONITES now work in music or are radio presenters all
because of Leon Disco ?
If you want something doing ASK A LEONITE.
Well I do want something doing and I am asking a LEONITE.
I am asking all my LEONITES could you help the teenagers of
today with their life and work choices ? Bring your
own life experience and use it as a Worktree volunteer. You
can do as much or as little as you wish. You can fit the
volunteer work around your present employment and other
We did some amazing things at Leon didn't we ? In this
picture we are about to fly down The Grand Canyon. How many
schools did that.
So LEONITES you have something special, to me you are VERY
special people. Please can you do something special now and
become a volunteer with Worktree ?
any of the pictures on this page to visit Worktree, if you
have any questions ask me.
I look forward to seeing you at many Worktree sessions in
the very near future.
Monday 9th September
11am to 3pm
16/17 year old students
Friday 20th September
9.14 to 10.45am Homeless
Tuesday 24th September
Hazelmere School 9am to 10.30am
13/14 year old students
Wednesday 25th September
Oakgrove School 2pm to 3pm
15/16 year old students
Tuesday 26th September
Oakgrove School 2pm to 3pm
17/18 year old students