A mother-of-three manager from Dyke, near Bourne, could be about to change the lives of generations of children after winning a regional business award.
Catherine Morton (53), whose Find Your Voice public speaking programme has been enthusiastically embraced by two Bourne schools, has been named SK Pioneers winner for 2016.
Find Your Voice, introduced to pupils at Bourne Westfield Primary Academy by Catherine two years ago, uses poetry, drama and games to build children’s self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth through the art of speaking and communicating socially.
Catherine said: “I’m still grinning about the award and the reason is because I was so surprised to win after what was a Dragon’s Den-style judging competition.
“These were hard-nosed businessmen that I had to present in front of, but my main motivation was to show them that I had a model which could be taken into schools throughout Lincolnshire.
“I entered the competition on a whim because I was so passionate about what I’m doing now and taking it to a wider audience.”
I entered the competition on a whim because I was so passionate about what I’m doing now and taking it to a wider audienceCatherine Morton, SK Pioneers competition winner 2016
Almost 70 children aged between six and 14 now benefit from Find Your Voice, including Year 7 students at Bourne Grammar School where the programme was launched last September.
Catherine, who won £1,000 in cash and ongoing business mentoring, said: “I hope the prizes will help me with the growing demand to take Find Your Voice into other schools in Lincolnshire and deliver it to the same high standard.
Kate Atkinson, senior deputy headteacher at Bourne Westfield Primary Academy, said: “Find Your Voice has been life-changing for our pupils and we are so proud to be Catherine’s first school where we can see what a huge benefit the classes are to the children.
“Media and TV can make it hard for children to understand who they are and so to see them grow in confidence and hold their heads up high is very rewarding.”