Friday, 14 November 2014

Number 10

So last night I found myself in Number 10 Downing Street.

Yeah, I know, right?!

(Right to left:) Mrs Croft, Esme, me!
Fortunately for you, there is photographic evidence, albeit from outside the infamous historical home of the British Prime Minister (we weren't allowed to take phones inside).

I attended the reception with the Oxford Spires Principal, Mrs Croft, and one of our star creative writers, Esme. The event was hosted by Frances Osbourne for First Story, and Esme was thrilled to give a speech about why she loved the charity so much.

Esme and I left school after lunch to visit the V&A (my favourite museum) and release some of the nervous excitement we were both holding on to. In the Islamic Art section, Esme rehearsed her speech and poem one final time - she was presenting a new piece written just last week; a piece which reflects her growing maturity and independence and the incredible impact of First Story on her life.

She spoke about the presence of Kate Clanchy in our school, the friends she had made and they changes she had seen in their self-confidence, and how much she loves the way First Story see her not just as a student and teenager but as a writer

At Number 10, I was so relieved to be surrounded by my friends from First Story (having held myself together for most of the day in order to keep Esme calm, I found myself tipping over into childish excitement by the time we arrived).

David Cameron was not there, but Mrs Osbourne welcomed us all and introduced Esme and Reem, another First Story alumni who read an emotional poem about her home country. The venue was better than I could have imagined - we walked up the staircase lined with images of past Prime Ministers, and the rooms were filled with extravagant chandeliers and priceless art.

I am still reeling of the thrill of it all - I feel so privileged to have been invited and to have visited Number 10.

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