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Where are they now? Edward Winstanley

Twelve years after leaving The Grange, I still hold very many happy memories of the 12 ½ years I spent there. Not a day goes by when I do not think how fortunate I was to attend such a wonderful school with such dedicated staff and where all pupils were afforded so many opportunities and experiences that prepared us for life after school.

I left in 2002 and went to study British Politics and Legislative Studies at The University of Hull. Over 4 years, I spent time studying post 1979 British Politics and legislatures from around the world. In 2004/05, I was afforded the opportunity of spending a year with The Rt. Hon. Ann Widdecombe. I started as her Parliamentary Researcher and had a short spell as her Private Secretary. It was a great experience and during the 2005 General Election I travelled the length of the country campaigning in marginal seats. Upon graduating in 2006, I returned to work for Ann looking after her constituency affairs in Maidstone and then becoming her Chief of Staff. No one day was ever the same and whether it be addressing local concerns about potholes on a local road or assisting the family of a man imprisoned for drug smuggling in India - life was always varied! I was fortunate to get a flavour of not only the world of politics, but also writing, television - including Strictly Come Dancing (!) - and loved every minute!

In 2010, when Ann retired, I returned to ‘my roots' so to speak. I took up a job as Office Manager to Fiona Bruce MP, who had been elected to represent the Congleton Constituency. I spent 3 years working with Fiona between Westminster and Congleton on a wide range of local, national and international issues. One of the best achievements was when the Government agreed to fund major improvements to Junction 17 of the M6 at Sandbach, which any resident of Cheshire knows to be a nightmare!

In June 2013, I moved to work for the then Minister of State for Transport, The Rt. Hon. Simon Burns MP. It was fascinating to work alongside a Minister and see, albeit at a distance, how a Government Department works. I now use the skills I have acquired over the past 10 years in Parliament, but the work remains unpredictable, challenging and enjoyable.

One of the highlights of my year is talking to the LVI Politics students when they come to Westminster. It is always great to see Mrs Kerr and catch up with news from The Grange.

I shall always remain extremely grateful for the opportunities afforded to me whilst at The Grange and wish it all the very best as it continues to grow, achieve fantastic results, but most importantly enrich the lives of all those who attend.  

 

Edward Winstanley
Office Manager to the Rt. Hon. Simon Burns MP
Member of Parliament for Chelmsford