This is Me Project

An Introduction to the Project

An inventor who’s devised a new way to pour milk on cornflakes; the youngest woman to row solo across the Indian Ocean (yet she’s frightened of deep water); a boy who couldn’t read until he was eighteen, but is now a university lecturer, and an artist who makes prosthetic limbs with built-in lasers, loud speakers, live sparks and coiling snakes. These are some of the strange, funny and charismatic role- models who took part in our pilot project of This is Me!

The children, teachers and parents at Firle C of E Primary school (very close to Lewes, not far from Newhaven) started This is Me! to show that what matters in life isn’t what you look like, how your body works, your shoe size or your exam scores, but that stereotypes are dull and that enthusiasm is delightful.

The role models we chose didn’t need to be famous. All that was required was that they be fun and make us think. Roughly half were women; half, men.

Here’s how the project worked: We got in touch with the role models to make sure they wanted to take part. The Introduction teachers and parents then gave entertaining talks about these people, in the classes.

Finally, the children asked any questions they liked: irreverent ones, challenging ones, silly, serious or toilet ones. The role models then emailed back their answers.

Nick Weston is a huntergatherer who loves animals. ‘If you love animals so much, why do you kill them?’ asked the children. You can see his answer on page 17. ‘How do you go to the toilet when you’re kayaking across the sea?’ Sarah Outen MBE FRGS answers that on page 12. Why does Jason, the marathon runner, spend all day running when he could be at home, playing? He defends his choice on page 16. Where exactly did Rosie say her hair had gone when she got Alopecia, aged two? Her response, page 6, isn’t what you’d expect. The essential message of This is Me! is that anybody with dreams and passion can have a go at anything. This is me, but it could also be you.

During Lockdown we produced a new edition entitled This is Me in Lockdown!