Vine Edmund Williams returned to Vinehall this week to speak to the children about his experiences since leaving and how his time at Vinehall had been carried with him throughout his professional and personal life.

Ed Williams was a pupil at Vinehall until 1988. Leaving university Ed had many different options available to him and one of those choices was to become a barrister. Following this career path has seen Ed stand as an MP and he was also recently made a member of the Queen’s Counsel.

Ed says “To be successful as a barrister, you need to enjoy speaking in public and be able to absorb a lot of facts.

Vinehall gave me both of those things and I gained my public speaking experience through plays and readings. My all-time favourite moment was when I was doing an English Speaking Board exam in front of the school and was reciting a poem called “My Sister Jane”. I completely forgot the first line of the poem, let alone the words.

Geoffrey Whitehead was a key teacher for me as he gave me confidence in History, a subject that has helped me understand the interplay between facts and ideas. I remember fondly his weekly tests on historical facts!”

Ed has always had a feeling that he wanted to help people and believes he could always help people more. He and three friends from university travelled down through Africa teaching cricket to children and coaching coaches. Being self-employed has given Ed the opportunity to develop this and the “Cricket Without Boundaries” charity was formed.

Cricket Without Boundaries makes sure it includes everyone – boys, girls, children with disability, well and unwell.  In Uganda they are coaching children who have previously been child soldiers fighting in the civil war and cricket is affecting them positively.

Ed is a really inspirational speaker and it was clear to see that our children were enthralled by his stories about people who had motivated him to “do his best for the benefit of others”. We are most grateful to him for giving up his time so freely.