by Ria George (from Misunderstood)

On Wednesday 17th Sept 2003, at 11.30 am, Dave did his first junior audience with, accompanied by Adrian Doughty, he visited the Will Adams Centre, Woodlands Road, Gillingham, Kent, which is a centre for children who have been excluded from school, for one reason or another, most have behaviour problems of some degree, some having ADHD, and some are offenders.

Dave arrived at the centre, car park and a group of about 15 teenagers were eagerly waiting for him, with staff, and teachers from the centre, Dave received a very warm welcome from both pupils and staff, whilst he was being introduced to the staff and Sue Grafton, who is head of the centre, the youngsters made their way to the classroom to wait for Dave to give his talk.

He sat down in front of a group of 15 teenagers, and the majority of the staff and began. Dave spoke about his life, and was very candid and open with regard to the things he has done in the past, he told the kids that education is very important, respect for parents, and teachers, who actually volunteer to be there, and also respect for adults in general, he told them they had been given a golden opportunity to achieve something in the centre, also, not to be disrespectful to the police, and although he firmly believes some people are actually born naughty, if that is the road they want to go down, then please get some education, because in his words " being a 'div' doesn't get you anywhere", he was asked various questions most of which were on a serious note, some quite personal, and although it was a serious talk, he still managed to have staff and pupils in fits of laughter.

He spent half an hour with the group, and finished by handing each pupil a signed book, and poster, he also gave the staff signed books. The staff asked Dave if he could go into the centre once a week and sit with the group, as they had never seen them so quite, attentive.

It's fair to say, it was a great success, and enjoyed by all, Dave has given a group of teenagers the incentive to do something with their lives, and the group now have a new slogan thanks to Dave, 'Will Adam's Kids will not be divs', the group were over the moon that someone had actually taken the time to come and see them, talk to them, and show that they cared, and asked Dave to promise to go back and see them, which of course he did.

Letters from staff and pupils from the centre will be sent to Misunderstood, in the next few days and as soon as we have them they will be put on the site.

Dave would like to thank pupils and staff at the centre for the warm reception he recieved and wishes all pupils and staff the very best, and looks forward to seeing them soon.

(Pictures will be added to this article as soon as we have them - Mal)

This email just came in from a parent of one of the children at the Centre:

From: Tinabplus4@
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 16:07:41 EDT
Subject: Will Adam's Centre
To: rg_davecourtneyobe@excite.com


My name is Tina. My son Ben goes to the Will Adam's Centre and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave Courtney and all those involved in his visit to the Centre.

Ben came home full of the day's events and was very positive and excited about what had been discussed. He also told me of all the good things that Dave said about education and respecting your adults.

Ben has ADHD and behavioural problems, but is a wonderful boy and to hear him and see him so full of himself was marvellous. He doesn't tend to want to tell me a lot about school and the day's events but he wouldn't shut up after Dave's visit....ha ha ha...

Once again THANKS and come back soon!!!!

Tina Bruce 


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