Students at Fairfield High School were excited to have Marvin Rees visit recently and give an inspirational talk.
Marvin came from relatively humble beginnings; his captivated audience heard how he lived in St Paul’s, Exmouth and Lawrence Weston before settling in Easton, where he has lived for the past 20 years.
As with many young boys, growing up his passion was rugby and boxing.
Sharing his story on becoming Mayor of Bristol (which was by no means an easy journey), Marvin told about how a friend suggested he take on the challenge. He never believed he could achieve this, but then thought to himself – “Why ever not?”
Discussing how he ran, and subsequently lost, for office in 2012, Marvin explained: “If you have aspirations, failure comes with it. We should aspire to do something beyond our abilities. Only then can you grow.”
He then went on to say how delighted he was that in 2016 when he ‘won’ and was elected Mayor of Bristol – something 10 years previous he could not ever imagine himself doing. It was such an incredible personal journey, for which he is rightly proud.
Describing an average day as Mayor (which, of course, is a difficult one to sum up), Marvin revealed what his day previously had encompassed – a cabinet meeting which focused on these incredibly wide-ranging issues:
Support for children in homes suffering domestic violence
Transport provision for people with Special Educational Needs and older people
The purchasing of land to build new homes (in line with the national initiative)
Ways to combat knife crime
Plans for Bristol to become carbon neutral by 2030
At this point, Marvin encouraged the students to ask him questions; these clearly demonstrated a high level of thought and consideration. The topics included the following city-wide problems:
The Mayor of Bristol was able to share what was being done about these important issues at a Council/National level, and asked for student input about how they believe they should be tackled.
Farina Ackerman, Assistant Vice Principal at FHS reports:
“We were delighted to welcome Marvin Rees to FHS. He is such an iconic figure in Bristol right now, and the students gained so much from hearing his wisdom and being reassured that he was focusing on the many issues close to their own hearts. We were incredibly impressed by the our students appeared to have such a mature head on their shoulders; it really was quite humbling.”
FHS was grateful to Marvin Rees for visiting and for openly engaging with students. His aim to make Bristol “fairer and inspirational” was clear and admirable for all to see.