In 2014, pupils Jonny Wood and Rei Chin approached a visiting speaker, John Willis, after he had given an inspirational talk to the School about his life having been born with virtually no arms or legs. They wanted to know if there was something they could invent to help him in some area of his life. A year later John came back to Dean Close to receive a beautifully crafted wooden book holder which the boys designed together, employing lots of physics and mechanical engineering, with many cantilevers, to enable John to cuddle up with his dog Cocoa, without the need to hold a book himself.
Racing forward to 2017, John was back again, this time to deliver his inspirational talk to the Prep School in their week of ‘Dare to be different’, giving Jonny and Rei the chance to meet up once more. John told them how much he was using the book holder and also showed them some of the equipment he had brought to show the children, such as a rowing ore, a fencing sword and badminton racket, typical of John as a man who is completely full of energy and positivity. Jonny and Rei are now in the Upper Sixth Form so John was interested to hear of the boys plans for university and their futures.; It was a really happy reunion.