Inspirational speakers

Simon Weston

Facilities Show 2017 featured star studded inspirational speakers including:

  • Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes
  • Rock star Professor Brian Cox OBE
  • World renown rugby union referee Nigel Owens MBE
  • Falklands War veteran Simon Weston CBE

The inspirational speakers headlined the Keynote Theatre (sponsored by Honeywell), one day each at Facilities Show.

This year’s inspirational speakers focused on the theme of strength, resilience and defying the odds. Each speaker delivered a session on the obstacles they faced, solutions they found and how the results allowed them to march on.

Meet our speakers:

Dame Kelly Holmes

Dame Kelly Holmes and joining a panel debate 12.30 – 13.15 is best known for her success in the 2004 Olympics, where she won two golds and became only the second woman in history to claim the 800m and 1500m titles for British athletics. Prior to her success on the track she served almost 10 years in the military and was awarded an MBE for her services to the British Army. What many people may not know is that she has also battled with depression, and at Safety & Health Expo, following her keynote speech, Dame Kelly agreed to share her struggles on the show’s mental health panel discussion. This immediately followed her speech on ‘having the passion, compassion and courage to succeed’ on 20th June.

Professor Brian Cox OBE is one of UKs most famous (and dare say favourite) physicists, having made the world of science so engaging and accessible to the masses. He has played a key part in the ATLAS and CERN Large Hadron Collider projects, whilst still finding time to take part in TV programmes such as ‘Wonders of the Universe’ and ‘Wonders of the Solar System’, which have been viewed around the world by millions. Many will also know him from his keyboard-playing days in ‘D:Ream, the pop band behind the 90’s hit single, ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. Professor Cox talked about ‘Exploring the Universe’ with us on 21st June.

Professor Brian Cox
Simon Weston

Nigel Owens MBE on Peak performance and tough decisions: a personal story from ‘the best referee in rugby union’ gave an insight into remaining firm and impartial under huge pressure. The World Cup Final referee is widely considered to be the best official in rugby union. He implements rules fairly but allows the game to flow; he imposes his authority – but he isn’t afraid to show a sense of humour on the pitch. He’s also the only openly gay official in what’s seen as an especially macho sport. In speeches Nigel talks about the hurdles he had to overcome, and the skills you require to make tough decisions with tough characters. Following his keynote speech, Nigel answered questions and hung around for photos and autographs at the Autonomous FMS Ltd’s stand, T840, in the Facilities Show.

Simon Weston CBE was aboard HMS Sir Galahad with the Welsh guard regiment when it was bombed by Argentinean planes during the Falklands War. The horrific burns he suffered required a series of operations that continue to this day. Despite his injuries and the physical and mental suffering, Simon’s life is an example of great personal triumph and courage. He is a true role model for positive mental attitude and overcoming hardship. Simon shared his very personal story about ‘turning adversity into opportunity’ on 22nd June.

Simon Weston

The Inspirational Speakers held their sessions in the Keynote Theatre which is sponsored by Honeywell