Stephen Fry gives surprise morale-boosting message to schools
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Stephen Fry has offered a surprise lockdown morale boost to Norfolk teachers, urging them to be kind to themselves and not "fall into the trap" of thinking they are "failing".
The actor and television presenter, who has a home in Norfolk, emailed a message to share with school staff at two academy trusts this week.
"Don't ever fall into the trap of thinking that you're somehow 'failing' or 'getting lockdown wrong'," he said. "There is no way to get through all this that is right and proper.
"It can be off-putting submitting oneself to the window of social media through which other people's lives can seem so healthy, happy and efficient. All that baking and exercising that other people are doing - it can make one feel inadequate.
"But what other people choose to share of their lives, faked or real, isn't the point. We are all getting through this in our own way, and for most of us that means good days, okay days, bad days and awful days.
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"Let oneself have those bad days without feeling guilty and letting self-annoyance make them worse."
He also gave a glimpse of his lockdown life to the teachers and support staff of Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT) and St Benet's Multi-Academy Trust.
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He said he had been enjoying reading and listening to classical music and jazz, boosting his mood drinking "pints and pints" of oat milk and watching old TV series such as Midsomer Murders.
Oliver Burwood, chief executive of DNEAT, said: "It's been really inspiring for staff across the trust to hear these words of encouragement from Stephen Fry and I'd like to thank him for taking the time to share them.
"At a time when everyone is working so hard, these words of positive support will mean so much and will help everyone to keep going."
Richard Cranmer, chief executive of St Benet's, said: "The last 11 months have reminded me how much I miss being around colleagues and pupils - at times I have found it a challenge and have fallen into the trap that Stephen describes in 'getting lockdown wrong'.
"His words should provide reassurance to all of us that those feelings are normal, and to be kind to ourselves."
Mr Kevin Lee, headteacher of Moorlands Primary Academy in Great Yarmouth, which is part of DNEAT, said: “I thought Stephen's message was really inspiring. His words are honest and authentic and he's absolutely right in that everybody has to find their own way through the situation that we all face.”
Harleston Primary Academy headteacher, Hannah Holgate, said: “Yet again he highlights the need for self-care and allowing oneself to 'sulk' sometimes. I know that my children and staff are thrilled to receive this message.”