LAWRENCE LOCKHART, BCAe
Lawrence knew that most universities and employers strongly favour applicants who, in addition to good academic qualifications, have demonstrated the initiative, courage and determination to undertake a project that is challenging, demanding, rewarding and of value to the communities in which they are placed. In 1998, Lawrence founded Gap Year Fairs, an organisation that goes into schools and colleges to deliver presentations to students, encouraging them to consider taking a gap year.
Lawrence, working in partnership with university students, explained the benefits to other students of a well-spent gap year, including gaining employability skills and attitudes, reassessing their future plans, gaining confidence through what they achieve, experiencing other cultures, and having fun whilst making new friends.
Lawrence and his team have been involved in approximately 800 events since 1998, working with more than 160 university student ex-volunteers, providing an email advice service for students and schools. In June 2014, Lawrence met a blind student, Callum Russell, who had volunteered for a gap year project in Peru. They now work together, and were joined by IT specialist Ivan Pascoe. Jointly they created a website, designed to enable and encourage other disabled young people to undertake challenging gap years.
Lawrence has also dedicated his time to sponsored walks, and has raised over £50,000 for a variety of charities both in the UK and abroad. Lawrence began undertaking sponsored walks after an unexpected heart attack in 1990. Following several small sponsored walks, Lawrence took up the challenge of long distance paths including Pennine Way and Lands’ End to John O’Groats and back again.
Nominated by Stephanie Lockhart