Sabina Osbourne Gray
DRUGS AWARENESS SPEAKER
I have had no end of positive feedback from the students and the staff. Thank you so much. It is so rare to find such an engaging speaker on this subject that the students can relate to and that doesn’t give the boring law talk. Having that personal journey and experience really made them listen.
Heather Garland, Kimbolton School
When the boys arrived to their lessons after your talk, they couldn't stop talking about it. You made quite an impact! Next year you might have a room full of staff too. I think the boys have had past experiences of feeling patronised in talks with similar topics, but with you they felt as though you were simply sharing your story, laying out the real impact of a life of drug use, but not preaching in an over zealous way.
Your honest manner is what makes what you have to say so powerful.
Paula Kearney, Harrow School
You made a real impact on our whole school community and we are very grateful that you shared your story and experience with us. Thank you so much for such an honest, open presentation, one which our students and staff will not forget.
Marie Cozzarolo, Beau Soleil, Switzerland
Sabina plays an important role in our Wellbeing programme because she is able to present a balanced, honest and informative picture of the effects of drug-taking.
Her personal story is highly effective in getting a strong but not “preachy” message across to our girls and Sabina is able to do this is an approachable and meaningful way which the girls relate easily to. Sabina also spends time at the end of each presentation talking to any girls who choose to stay behind.
Colette Dobbs, Cheltenham Ladies College
Somewhat belatedly thank you so much for coming to Tormead School a couple of weeks ago. Your talk was amazing, you are a brilliant speaker, so raw and honest. Unfortunately my daughter was off sick the day of your talk, but I know it has been discussed with her friends and she was most interested to talk about it with me. Over the school years, I have been to many “information evening” type talks and I can honestly say yours was the best by a long way.
Parent, Tormead School
That was amazing because it was real and you were real, you've really made a lot of us think today.
Student, Aiglon College, Switzerland
I just wanted to tell you how much of an amazing impact you had on my son. He told me all about the talk when he got home, how he definitely wasn’t going to take drugs now. It started a discussion at home and I’m really happy that we are having an open chat about the subject. Thank you so much.
Parent, Marling School
Thank you so much for your presentations last Tuesday: you made an incredible impact upon both the pupils and parents. The pupils have all commented on how informative it was – several parents have emailed to say this too.
Joanna Fox, Ipswich High School
In the reflection session with the tutor group at the end of the day, the pupils were unanimous in their praise for you and your presentation. One comment from a 13 year old boy: “teachers tell us all the time about not taking drugs, but listening to her story, it was real. She really knew what it was all about and it really made me think.” It is clear you made a lot of people think today.
Nicola Rodgers, Warminster School
The session was excellent, Sabina was very personable and relatable. The honesty of her material created a real connection with the pupils and they were very receptive indeed.
Richard Johnson, University College School
We had the privilege of having Sabina share her story with us at the High School for Girls, in Gloucester.
I cannot stress enough how significant the contribution was that Sabina made to our Drugs Awareness Day. Sabina’s relaxed, honest communication style and her ability to tap into the experiences which make some individuals more vulnerable to drug addiction than others make her an outstanding speaker.
Sabina’s story and personality directly challenge the media fuelled stigma associated with drug addiction and she offers valuable advice to young people in how to protect each other from making these risky choices.
I am personally really excited about the impact her voice will have; making drugs education relevant to all students.
We are already planning to have her back before the end of the year to address our 6th formers and look forward to having her back in the delivery of our annual Drugs Awareness Day for our Year 9s.
Clair Crane, The High School for Girls, Gloucester
I am a student in MPW college where you did a talk on Friday. I found you beyond inspiring and the talk was very significant. Please don’t stop inspiring people by doing such great things like these talks. I think personal stories have the best effect when it comes to influencing people.
Student, Mander Portman Woodward
Totally inspirational, thank you so much.
Student, Hurtwood House
Rare is a speaker who students find so enrapturing that they are willing to ask so many questions to, and for whom they’ll give such rapt attention to. Thanks very much!
Philip McClory, Highgate School
We have had excellent feedback from Staff and students on your talks. All students I have spoken to said that your talk was the best part of the day.
Robert Simmonds, Merchant Taylors' School
Thank you so much for coming in yesterday Sabina. Your talk was, as ever, brilliant. You get the balance so perfect between warning them of the possible consequences without being at all preachy. They really enjoyed it.
Bethan Lambourn, John Kyrle High School
I just wanted to say how brilliant I thought Friday’s speaker on her own experience of drugs was – and to add that my form all agreed with me: very moving, very thought-provoking.
Year 12 Tutor, Cheltenham Ladies College
I'm a trainee teacher and I just want to say how spectacular the talk was today. I was so moved and emotional listening to Sabina's story, it was hard to fight back the tears at one point. She was so engaging and the students loved her. You could hear a penny drop! I loved the messages she got across to the students, and the way she explained things.
I'm so thankful she put herself out there to share and inspire people. I could watch her over and over. Every school needs Sabina!
Teacher, Newent School
The honesty with which Sabina spoke made for a deeply affecting talk. She wasn't preachy, she didn't say 'don't do it kids' but instead took the students on her journey down to rock bottom and back again - highlighting all the misconceptions that people have when they take drugs - ie ' I'm still in control', 'I'm not the same as other users', 'it won't go bad for me'. She showed how quickly things go bad and was very frank about how she changed as a person - both emotionally and morally - as the drugs took over.
I would absolutely recommend Sabina to any school wishing to educate their students on drugs addiction. It is a very different approach to the traditional law-based talk from the police - but very effective.
Teacher, Newent School
Thank you for coming. The pupils thought you were brilliant and your message just right.
Will Chuter, Greshams School
It was great to welcome Sabina to Ballard School, firstly to speak to our parents and then to speak to our senior pupils. I have since received so many messages of thanks and appreciation for her talks. Both parents and pupils could relate to Sabina and her matter of fact, straight talking approach. Her delivery was excellent putting across her story in just the right way. We often talk to our pupils about our want for them to make informed choices on how they lead their lives; Sabina left a real impression on our community and helped greatly in informing pupils of real life issues and choices we have in dealing with them.
Huge thanks to Sabina and we look forward to inviting her back to the school again soon.
Andy Marshall, Ballard
Thank you for coming in and talking to us. I found it fascinating how you went through what you did and can still come in and talk so openly about what happened. It was very educational and made me realise that it really could happen to anyone, and opened my eyes to the real risks and dangers. The way you spoke was really effective because maybe before I heard your story, I would’ve considered maybe later in life just trying stuff but that’s how you started off. So, thank you for making me and everyone in the pac aware that it could happen, even if you think its fine. It was very educational and everyone was very lucky to hear you speak.
Thank you so much for coming to Canford yesterday – your talk was a really powerful and emotive way to get across a crucial awareness of the dangers of addiction, but also a wider message about the benefits of good communication and having the courage and conviction to be yourself. It was clear from the response that you held the attention of everyone in the room and the questions at the end certainly proved that they had engaged fully.
Richard Salmon, Canford
Excellent - Sabina spoke with confidence and a sense of genuine honesty which resonated clearly with the boys. I'd certainly invite her back for future years, plus interested in her also talking to our parents,
Simon Sampson, Harrow School
The students really enjoyed your talk...they thought it was raw and honest and the way you spoke resonated with them; they found they could connect with you better.
Olivia Ravilious, Cranleigh School
Just to let you know that I have spoken to a number of students and the staff who were at your talk, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive - so thank you very much. The students felt it was such a valuable message. I will be in touch next year.
Jo Moran, St Paul's Girls' School
Thank you so much for your talk today, it was so well received by our students. They were obviously very moved by your story and your honesty. I think they could relate to you easily and you weren't someone coming in preaching the 'just say no' message like when I was at school. The Head of Year 10 also said that it was the best talk that our students have had and that it was exactly what they needed to hear.
Samantha Martin - Morrissey, Our Lady's Abingdon
That was the best talk I have ever heard. Thank you so much.
Student, Our Lady's Abingdon
I think what was really good about the talk was that Sabina was a girl just like us at CLC, had a good education and a supportive family. This made it all the more shocking as many believe that drug addiction could never happen to them.
Student, Cheltenham Ladies College
You were very honest and we could all relate to you because you were very down to earth. It felt truthful and hard-hitting. I don't think we'd realised how little your background matters. You really felt like a big sister giving advice.
I really enjoyed your view of self worth as that is something we all identify with. Your talk taught me many things I wouldn't have learnt any other way.
You were a really engaging speaker. I was surprised in particular how your background wasn't particularly one that I would have associated with someone who would then go on to be involved in drugs. This really brought into light how it can really happen to anyone.
I think it was nice to hear from someone who appeared so down to earth but also a woman. We always hear about men but not so much about women so I liked that aspect.
Your talk was so useful, particularly because you had such an honest "tell it like it is" approach to the topic. Because of this, it made us - as a group of teenage girls - instantly interested and willing to listen, understand and learn. Your story really got across key points about drug addiction, such as how people get into it and how easily it can escalate. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us.
It was really honest and thank you for saying the thing about not basing self worth on grades, I have been struggling a little in school lately and it has really stressed and worried me and I need to remind myself that it's not the end of my life and that I can improve and succeed. Also you were funny and I like your outlook on life.
You had quite an impact on me and it really helped me realise more deeply that everyone has a reason and usually they aren't bad people. Your end bit really helped me feel I was worth more than I believe.
I felt like I learnt a great deal during your talk and I think it’s partly due to how you presented it, really casually almost as if you were having a normal conversation...just with 33 students. I also really enjoyed the last part of your talk with the aspect of "perfect" - it really relates to our age group and with the whole taboo of talking about your feelings, as well as drugs the entire "perfect" section of your talk really touched me (and most of my friends) and i’d like to think that we value ourselves just a little bit more.
I liked how it was quite informal as it made it easier to understand and connect. It showed how it can happen to anyone and was quite powerful. Thank you so much for coming.
You're extremely relatable so I found it easier to understand and it really made me think. Your experience could change so many lives.
It was really interesting and informative. I loved hearing your story and advice. It is amazing how far you've come from the video you showed us - that was probably what hit me the most. I could barely believe it was you.