On Monday 29th April 2019 Military Veterans for Schools (Vets4Schools) was launched at The Leigh UTC.
Their vision is to build a national, non profit, network of locally managed & operated Military Veterans for Schools groups. They provide this through a proactive strategy of interaction, a wide range of mutually positive benefits for military veterans of all ages, schools, students & society more generally.
The presentation was given to year 7,8 and a group of Duke of Edinburgh students by an international and seasoned adventurer, Nabs Al Busaidi.
Nabs is an Arab born & raised in SE London. His parents came to UK in the early 1960’s following a change of government in their traditional homeland of Zanzibar, off the coast of now Tanzania. The Al Busaidi family was the ruling family of Zanzibar & trace their ancestors back to the now Sultanate of Oman, where Nabs lives today. In UK Nabs achieved a degree in Mathematics & a Masters in Management before being commissioned into the British Army as a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. Afterwards Nabs went on to various management appointments with Gulf Air, Etihad & KPMG before giving in to the call of adventure, becoming the first Arab to walk to the North Pole, to climb Mount Vinson the highest peak in Antarctica & row across the Atlantic ocean. In an attempt to climb Mount Everest, Nabs narrowly escaped death when he fell into an ice crevasse & broke both legs effectively ending his bid; for the time being!
Nabs’ experience in adventuring & the military provided him with some valuable, experienced based, life skills which he was happy to impart to a very engaged & active audience of Leigh UTC students this week. During his row across the Atlantic, Nabs & his colleagues rowed a monotonous 2 hours on, two hours off routine, non stop for 43 days but the students were more interested in the fact that they was no toilet on the tiny open boat! Leigh UTC students were also amazed to know that Nabs walked in constantly sub-zero conditions, pulling the weight of a typical 14 year old student (50kg) in food & equipment behind him, consuming over 6500 calories a day – three times the normal adult intake – but still lost half his body weight in the process!
Nabs was a clear hit with the students of Leigh UTC & it is clear that many left the hall inspired by their short time with him. Students & staff alike were heard to have taken on board Nabs’ mantra – “Excuse or Reason?” & “Never Give Up”, after the presentation.
This event was a first for Nabs and The Leigh UTC. This was the first time he had presented to British school students in a school in UK, his experience to date being with children of expatriates in the Arabian Gulf. Ever the seasoned adventurer, Nabs took the experience in his stride & hopes to be invited back on a future opportunity with the wider Leigh Trust.
Military Veterans for School’s mission and objectives:
- Build a strong symbiotic relationship between military veterans & youth in society around educational & personal developmental projects
- Relieve loneliness in older veterans
- Build worth & esteem in younger veterans
- Impart a wide range of life skills learnt in challenging & varied environments, to young people to enhance their academic education
- Enhance respect & understanding for service in young people & wider society
- Provide an online portal for schools to connect with & to source, service veterans effectively & efficiently
- To provide opportunities for Military Veterans to:
- Feel wanted, valued & respected
- Play a more active role in the community
- Overcome loneliness issues
- Impart important & varied life-skills
- To provide schools with valuable & free adjuncts to the curriculum
- To provide students with valuable & free “University of Life” education
Military Veterans for Schools is a not for profit, apolitical, non-religious, organisation which does not promote military recruitment, nor glorify war or conflict.
Military Veterans for Schools welcomes all former service personnel irrespective of age, ethnicity, religion, gender or arm of or length of service.