Pat Smith

The first three speakers have been announced for this year’s TEDxTruro.

Child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Lynne Jones OBE, expedition paddler Jeff Allen and ‘Action Nan’ Pat Smith have all been confirmed for the event, which takes place on October 25 under the theme ‘Uncharted Waters’.

Dr Jones, a Fellow of Harvard University’s Center for Health and Human Rights, has worked in areas of conflict and disaster for the last 25 years. Her talk, ‘Giving the migrant child a voice’, will tell the story of what it’s like to leave your home and your country.

“The migrant crisis in Europe and Central America has been described and discussed from many angles in the world’s media,” she said. “But one perspective has been missing, the voices of children themselves. What do they think and feel about their experiences, both past and present? What do they want to share with the wider world? What would they like us to understand?”

Jeff Allen is a sea kayaker who loves the challenge of exploring remote coastal environments. He has circumnavigated Japan and South Georgia and undertaken an extended expedition to experience the rugged coastline of the Scandinavian Peninsula. His talk is entitled ‘Karma Waters’.

“Expedition sea kayaking is all about freedom,” he said. “The freedom to explore remote coastlines self-supported, carrying all of your essential items with you and supplementing them as you go with fresh fish, food foraged along the shore and occasionally visiting areas that are inhabited so that you can re-supply yourself with stores as they run dry.

“To some, sea kayaking will be regarded as a sport, but to others, it is a lifestyle – one that is free from the trappings of a society governed by the clock.”

Pat Smith is a 70-year-old grandmother who, in her fight against plastic pollution and climate change, has achieved national and international recognition for activities like her 52-week beach clean and founding the final straw campaign. Her talk will ask the question: ‘How can we inspire others?’

“Inspirational people don’t talk about themselves, they empower you and make you realise that you can play a part,” she said. “People who inspire us give us hope. They genuinely care about their cause and do something every day to solve the problem – even when others think they’re crazy.”

This is the fourth consecutive year that the TEDxTruro day-long event has taken place. Independently organised by a team of volunteers and supported by local sponsors, it has become a popular and successful highlight of the Cornish calendar.

Tickets are now available to buy on www.tedxtruro.com. Costing £50 each (plus £3 booking fee), the price includes refreshments and lunch. Numbers are limited so early booking is advised.

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