Thursday, 25 June 2009


A charity jump with an important difference

A young man, 22 years of age, is doing a sponsored parachute jump. Nothing remarkable there, except that when he was very small I knew him. That was in Budapest when he and his mother were amongst the first major influx of foreign families to hit the Pető Institute following the screening of Standing up for Joe.

He now has a first-class honours degree and is going to jump out of an aeroplane at 13,000 feet.

I know this because a couple of hours ago Google Alerts notified me about a story in the local newsheet from where he lives in a little town in Wiltshire. By extraordinary coincidence, only a few days ago Gill Maguire posted an item in her Conductive Education Classics series on the Conductive Education Library blog, about early BBC broadcasts on Conductive Education, made around the time of that first exodus One of these was a 'studio debate' in the Kilroy programme. I was then trying to remember who had taken part in that event and I was sure that Lesley Rose was there, with her son James sitting on her knee. Then up he popped on the Internet.

Now James is reported as saying:

... the message we want to convey [is] about how some of our ideologies sometimes stop us from achieving. This view is applicable in every aspect of life – from poverty, money, to our daily routine.

I do not know how long James and his family 'stayed in Conductive Education', but it does rather sound like something of Conductive Education has stayed in him.

Note and references

James's website
Well worth a read. Even I, contrary to a lifetime's habit, feel moved to slip him a pensioner's mite. Maybe you will too. He jumps on 11 July.

-- (2009) Courageous James gears up for charity skydive, Melksham News, no 477, 24 June

Maguire, G. (2009) Conductive Education Classics no 6, Conductive Education Library, 21 June

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