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Opticians chain owner gives inspiration to Great Cornard students at school awards evening




Thomas Gainsborough School awards night in 2018. Pictured from left to right: Amanda Skinner (manager at Wardale Williams Sudbury); Jonathan Foreman (managing director of Wardale Williams); Bethany Gerrish (Volunteer of the Year); Francesca Perkins-Taylor (Overall Academic Achievement in Year 12); Connor Palmer (Mentor and Community Award of the Year); Jasmine Manning (Wardale Williams Science Prize). Photo credit: Kenny Alexander. (4943401)
Thomas Gainsborough School awards night in 2018. Pictured from left to right: Amanda Skinner (manager at Wardale Williams Sudbury); Jonathan Foreman (managing director of Wardale Williams); Bethany Gerrish (Volunteer of the Year); Francesca Perkins-Taylor (Overall Academic Achievement in Year 12); Connor Palmer (Mentor and Community Award of the Year); Jasmine Manning (Wardale Williams Science Prize). Photo credit: Kenny Alexander. (4943401)

The owner of a Suffolk opticians encouraged pupils at his former school in Great Cornard to raise their expectations, when he returned for a recent awards presentation night.

Jonathan Foreman, director of the Wardale Williams and Observatory the Opticians chain, made his return to Thomas Gainsborough School this month for the annual awards evening, more than 30 years on from when he was a student, at what was then known as Great Cornard Upper School.

Mr Foreman, who now runs nine practices in Suffolk, Essex and London, provided a keynote speech at the event, explaining how, after leaving the school, he became a qualified optician, before opening his first business in north London in 1989.

Following the event, he said: “I spoke about how the employment world has changed since I was at school, and also how the wider world has changed.

“I really wanted to get across that your potential should continue to expand, so that you never actually reach it.

“You should continue to raise your expectations, because you’re capable of so much more than you realise.

“Young people have a lot of power to change the world for the better.”

He added that he was delighted to return to the school and see the ways in which it had improved.

After giving his speech, he presented the Wardale Williams Science Prize to Jasmine Manning for her achievements in the science subjects.

Other students who received awards included Francesca Perkins-Taylor, for overall academic achievement in Year 12, Connor Palmer, who won the Mentor and Community Award of the Year, and Bethany Gerrish, who was named Volunteer of the Year.



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