John O’Gaunt student reached finals with tear-jerking speech

Scarlett John O'Gaunt School

Scarlett wins through to finals with tear-jerking speech.

John O’Gaunt Student and Young Farmer Scarlett Slatter (14) is through to the finals of a tough, national Public Speaking Competition, with a moving speech she has written and performed about her experience of Covid.

Scarlett speaks candidly about her experience, fears, and pride during the height of the pandemic, when she was separated from her Mum, who was working long hours as a nurse and didn’t want to bring the virus home.

Assistant Vice-Principal Mrs Jay Morgan said ‘It’s an incredibly moving speech. Anyone who has heard it has had some tears, particularly with the twist at the end of an unopened letter. Scarlett’s composure, clarity and delivery are so impressive.’

Scarlett is a proud member of Bradfield Young Farmer’s Club with her supporting team Alice Phillips (15) from The Downs School who has the role of Chair, and Aine Stanley (16) from Wallingford School, who gives the Vote of Thanks. The team won the county competition and went on to represent Berkshire in the regional South East competition. They are now through to the finals at Staffordshire County Showground later this spring.

As a county, Berkshire Young Farmers also won the Junior Public Reading Competition, and a Brainstrust Debate contest.

Mum Natasha Slatter said ‘I am beyond proud! I also think that it is really cathartic for Scarlett to speak about her experience. And as Team Coach, Gordon Fletcher (Bradfield YFC Leader) is brilliant’.

Scarlett said ‘As a Young Farmer, you are an upstanding member of your community, where communication and representation is as important as the opportunities it gives you. I’m also doing a tractor driving course with them! It’s never been such a good time for women in agriculture – it encompasses everything, tech, science, mathematics as well as animal welfare and public speaking!’

Teacher Ms Debi Arden-Hunt said ‘I was blown away by the maturity and depth of Scarlett’s writing, and she delivered it with such poise and understanding of an emotional topic. She is a gifted and natural speaker, and an absolute credit to herself and her family, her Young Farmers Club and to us, too.

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