A finalist from TV endurance show SAS Who Dares Wins delivered an emotional presentation to Telford College students to bring the college’s ‘wellbeing week’ programme to an end.
Sports teacher Sean Anthony Sherwood reached the final of the Channel 4 show’s sixth series last year, and is now a motivational speaker, and behaviour and engagement role model.
He spoke to Telford College students about the importance of perseverance, mindset and turning negatives into positives.
Sean grew up in the Moss Side district of Manchester to an Irish father and a Jamaican mother. Where he lived, witnessing violence and hearing shootings was a normal, regular occurrence for him.
His father spent 10 years in prison and he moved with his mother from a multicultural area to a predominately white community.
As a result, he suffered extreme racism which he never told anyone about. To combat the abuse, he would pretend to wash his bike with bleach but instead would scrub the bleach on his arms to lighten his skin tone.
Sean said: “Thank you to all of the students and staff at Telford College for inviting me down to talk to a variety of learners across the campus as an end to wellbeing week.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this tremendous site. I was really impressed with the students, who took pride in their environment and were polite and respectful.
“Thank you to everyone that participated in the presentation whilst allowing me to share my story.”
Reflecting on his time on SAS Who Dares Wins, Sean said: “The experience for me was by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.
“Physically and mentally, my mind, body and soul was taken to its depth. This is what makes it unique!
“I’m incredibly grateful for everything I’ve learned and whole heartedly returned to civilian life a better person than I was before I started the course.”
Telford College’s wellbeing week was a big success. It began with a visit from local health and mental wellbeing organisations including Recharge, Telford Mind, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.
Hollywood stuntman Justin Pearson also visited campus to speak about life on TV and film sets, and tackling challenging situations on blockbuster productions.
Rachael Wilson, Telford College vice principal for curriculum, said: “Education is about much more than just qualifications – it’s about teaching our students important life lessons too.
“The idea of our wellbeing week was to invite a wide range of speakers and experts into college, to share the challenges they have overcome in their own career areas.
“It is important for young people to talk about their feelings and be shown ways of coping with issues they may be facing either at college or at home.”