A letter from David Attenborough.

It’s not every day you receive a reply from one of the most well loved, all round legends that is David Attenborough.

Having achieved something I would never in a million years thought possible, getting the chance to study a Postgraduate Certificate at Cambridge University. If you told that to the painfully timid 7 year old Charlotte, or even to me last year when I was coming to terms with getting my mental health back to a good place, I would have laughed in your face, or thought you were taking the micky. 

But fast forward to July 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, I got the acceptance email. Now, this is something that I have probably been wanting to do, without wanting to voice it. Since a bad few years at primary school (a mixture of illness and a negative teacher experience), I have always thought I would never be good enough, and there were always people at secondary school who were thought of as ‘the chosen ones’ (and rightfully so, I’m not having a go at them), and so I never gave it a second thought. I attended an open day for Oxford and Cambridge undergraduate applications, not with the idea (the romantic hope possibly) of applying, but mainly as my own act of protest that everyone should reach to do their best and shouldn’t be pigeon holed. 

I then thought, why not share my good news (and I am known in my family that celebrations of good news never last long) with one of my and millions of others hero? So I plucked up the courage to write a good old fashioned letter, and walk to the post box.

Fast forward  a few days later, and a hand written envelope was on my bed. I was slightly confused at first, it wasn’t my birthday, I didn’t recognise the handwriting and there was no other reason to receive a hand written letter. When I opened the envelope, I saw the blue writing and the penny finally dropped. I was lucky enough to have receive a handwritten and personalised letter, from the one and only Sir Dave, wishing me all the best with my course. How cool is that? 

Needless to say I am chuffed, and it has given me a boost to face my next challenge, and that is facing redundancy and becoming a student again. 

Now I just want to clarify, that an institution certainly doesn’t define who  you are as a person, nor does it define your skills, intelligence or your uniqueness. This was a personal goal, that I daren’t have admitted to myself, and I am really happy to have been accepted and to have had a reply from Sir Dave. I hope this really helps me to make a difference to the natural world and protect it for years and years to come. 

Don’t let anything hold you back.



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