Jason Cooper-Sutton: 1983-1988

Since leaving William Edwards:

My favourite memory of William Edwards – Winning an award at the end of my five years at William Edwards for outstanding achievement in the face of difficulty.  The cup had the Maltese crest on it and was awarded to me due my medical issues over the five years and me still making it to the fifth year and sitting most of my exams.  Unfortunately I don’t think my name was ever engraved on the cup.

Post 16 education/training – BTEC National Diploma in Business and Finance.

Career pathway – Retail management after college (1990) trainee manager at WH Smith in Lakeside (I was at Lakeside the day it opened) promoted to department manager in the Lakeside store in 1991, left WH Smith to work for the Disney Store as a Lead Cast Member from 1994 to 1995, left Disney in 1995 to take up an Assistant Manager position with The Pen Shop, promoted to store manager of the Oxford Street Branch in 1996, left retail completely in 1998 to become an on board Customer Service Manager at GNER on the trains, trained to be a Train Guard in 1999 and performed both roles as a dual role CSM, started training for Train Driver in 2001 and after the intense year of training passed out as a fully qualified class 1 passenger train driver in May 2002 where I still am as a Technical Driver.

Biggest turning point: leaving retail and starting a career on the railway with Great North Eastern Railways.

My proudest achievement – The day I got married to my wife Sarah in 1995 (corny yes, but we are still together and still very happy).

Life and lifestyle events, hobbies & interests and personal achievements –

  • Newsletter editor for the Thurrock and Basildon MS Society, Secretary for the Gateway Primary Free School PTA.
  • Hobbies are fund raising and helping with local charities. Movies, TV, reading, dining out.
  • ITQ course (distance learning) through Stephenson’s College. This is an ASLEF funded IT course which covers all aspects of IT from using computers, using Microsoft Office and dealing with issues.  This course won me an award,  ASLEF learner of the year as I completed the course and went on to use what I learned to benefit the community.  This was by editing the newsletter for the local branch of the MS Society and producing posters, flyers and other advertising material for both the MS Society and the GPFS PTA,

My advice to the present pupils of William Edwards – Do not let any opportunity slip by try new things, you may think something is dumb, stupid and not for you but how do you know until you have tried?  If it isn’t then you have only wasted a short time but what if it is for you, it could lead you to things you never thought possible.  My charity work has afforded me some unbelievable opportunities and I have met people who have become very close friends who I would not have met otherwise.

My next goal – To continue with my charity work and volunteering and helping as an Alumni with William Edwards.