Diary of a Creative English Trainer: Day 13

Star-struck luvvies!


Mike Gapes MP

We were recently privileged to have a visit from our local MP to one of my Creative English classes, and suddenly we all morphed into different people! Gone was the dress-down feel; gone was the normal buzz of chitchat: out came the best saris, shalwar kamiz and shiny shirts; silent was the room in nervous anticipation! We had become star-struck!

The Member for Ilford South, Mike Gapes, had generously offered his time to visit our session at the Loxford Children’s Centre, Ilford. And amazingly, he was able to stay for the whole session, not just a ‘half hour pop-in’. Along with Lifeline CEO Hans Baird, he joined in the activities and was even persuaded to play indoor hockey with Hans, much to the hilarity of the rest of the room! This hockey game has proved very interesting (in all the venues I’ve used it in!); you get to see people in a wholly different light… suddenly, you see the aggressive side…!


This was actually Session 17 in the course, with the addition of an activity to design either a hat (women) or a paper aeroplane (men). Competitiveness was palpable, with the most intricate design from Hans and a viable flying machine from Mike!

sue_blog_mike_visit_groupAnd the wonderful language elicited as we showed them all off – fantastic!

And at the end, we did the photo shoot. Boy, were we star-struck! Out came cameras, mobile phones, IPads… “Just one more, Just one more!”. I’m ashamed to admit that I, too, wanted one for the family album!

And in the midst of this Mike just stood and smiled patiently for everyone! Afterwards I asked him how he managed it; “I’ve learned not to blink!” he said.