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Jonathan Drury

Jonathan Drury

Autistic speaker and storyteller with bags of experience and training

Jonny Drury is an autrepreneur– a word he coined, meaning autistic entrepreneur.

Jonny’s fun speaking style engages students with thought provoking and humorous tales from a life following his inner calling, wherever it beckons. He reveals an exciting, weird and risky path, and with the aid of his own stunning photography and storytelling skills, takes pupils on a quest for values and enterprise.

Adventures include a two-month road trip to Arabia on a rickety old bus, spending six weeks alone in a garden shed eating only lentils, a year as a postman on a remote Scottish island while simultaneously filming a movie, then inventing a healthy chocolate spread and crowdfunding £85,000 to bring it to the nation.

Seen from a unique and often untethered autistic perspective, tales become practical wisdoms, designed to motivate pupils to reconsider success and to aspire to be better leaders. Jonny is a social entrepreneur, supporting many people to understand hidden disabilities.

At school, he was regularly the top of his year in English, yet perceived as one of the most challenging pupils, and he sensitively uses this experience to illustrate conflicts within our own worlds. His unconventional approach brings a room to life and demonstrates, through the eyes of autism, how facing the unknown together, not alone, can initiate new and deeper potential.

Trained in storytelling, counselling, mediation and Fine Art, Jonny has delivered self-discovery workshops and storytelling in numerous galleries and schools and through his group dialogue work and talks, advocates a different way of communicating together, supporting groups toward new understanding. Jonny encourages students to appreciate neurodiversity and his work emphasises the ‘special’ in SEN. He aims to challenge, inspire and instill a deeper respect, asking us to ponder on the question; if we are all unique and wonderful, why then, are some people still disadvantaged simply because of their circumstances they were born into and more essentially, what can we learn from people for whom failure isn’t an option, so neither is success!

Testimonials from Teachers

"Thank you for coming it was a real eye opener and very informative. The students were engrossed. Hope to keep working with you."

– E Hetherington, Head of PHSCE, High Storrs School

"Jonathan and I are currently working on developing a research project to investigate a unique dialogue technique as intervention for autistic people, professionals, staff and academics in the field. While Jonathan is the lead in this project, I have been providing support in terms of designing a research protocol and obtaining funding for the project."

– Dr. E Milne, Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Sheffield

"I have employed Jonny as a facilitator. He is very creative, very talented and certainly a good, sensitive facilitator. I would certainly employ him again when the chance arises."

– Prof. Colin Beard, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University​

Speaker File

Location

South Yorkshire

Topics

  • Creative
  • PHSCE
  • Well-being
  • Teacher CPD
  • Disability
  • SEN

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