The recipient has given selflessly to continually uphold and promote the ideals of youth expeditioning since the 1960s and of the Young Explorers’ Trust from its inception in 1972. As a founding member of YET, he brought to it the wisdom of the Derbyshire Schools Exploring Society and his own long standing interest as a teacher at a local Comprehensive School in promoting and leading both boys and girls of all backgrounds in the general experience and pursuit of overseas fieldwork, most notably in Iceland. To help develop the opportunities offered by visiting and working in Iceland, Ted helped found a loose association of providers which evolved into annual gatherings, termed Pings, for the exchange of mutual advice and support. Through his personal example, the underlying philosophy of the Ping became a core characteristic of the YET from its earliest days.
Within the evolving mission and framework of the YET, the mark and benefits of Ted’s charismatic vision and encouraging leadership and drive are to be found throughout. Not only was he Chairman from 1981 to 1987, he has also undertaken virtually every supporting role to ensure the continued health and relevance to the future of the Trust whilst at all times encouraging the involvement and leadership of young members. His dedication to the needs of the expeditioning sector through his work for the Trust has required very considerable effort always given without restraint – even to the extent of running the secretariat at his own home for a number of years!
There are many ways that Ted’s initiatives and continued nurturing have provided lasting good for all. It was he who initiated the YET Forum – of which he has now organised twenty – whose purpose is to develop wise practice throughout the expedition sector by widely sharing important and sometimes difficult topics. Similarly, his leadership and general guidance of the expedition screening from the outset of the initiative, and more recently support of the YET expedition evaluation scheme, designed to help ensure good and safe practice on ventures has proved fundamental to the public appreciation of the value of expeditions to the personal development of young people.
Chairmanship of the YET Grants’ Committee providing individual grants to the most deserving young expeditioners has been one of his greatest pleasures over many years, and certainly one immediately appreciated by those he forever wishes to encourage to go on expeditions – young people who thought they never could. For his long sustained commitment and wide range of key contributions made over a lifetime of service to youth expeditioning, and the Young Explorers’ Trust in particular, Ted Grey was awarded the Stephenson Lifetime Award in 2017.
Sir Chris Bonington
Patron, The Young Explorers’ Trust