I really got it wrong !

I 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 years ago.

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 you ?

I 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 WorkOut session.

I was honoured to give advice at my old school, said Paul, and I was thrilled that Mr Ashford, a teacher from my era (1980s),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!

It 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 not wrong.

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.

How 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 commitments.

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 ?

Click 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.

  1. Monday 9th September          Leon School           11am to 3pm           16/17 year old students
  2. Friday 20th September          YMCA                  9.14 to 10.45am      Homeless young people
  3. Tuesday 24th September        Hazelmere School 9am to 10.30am       13/14 year old students
  4. Wednesday 25th September    Oakgrove School  2pm to 3pm            15/16 year old students
  5. Tuesday 26th September       Oakgrove School  2pm to 3pm            17/18 year old students
  6. Thursday 3rd October          Ousedale School  9am to 11.30am        12/13 year old students
  7. Thursday 17th October         Oakgrove School 2pm to 3pm             16/17 year old students
  8. Friday 25th October            Lord Grey School                         15/16 year old students

David Ashford The Geriatric DJ