Luke Fairchild receives 2020 Stephenson Award

Young Explorers' Trust

There are two types of Stephenson Award, the annual one and a lifetime achievement award. The YET is delighted to announce the recipient of the 2020 Stephenson Award is Luke Fairchild!

Luke was the first person to earn YET expedition grants in successive years, before becoming a YET Fellow and the Council’s Young Peoples’ Representative in 2018.

He has attended every Council meeting since then and given presentations about his expeditions at two; he regularly offers ideas and contributions to the discussion.

In 2018 he represented YET at a USA camp in California for disadvantaged youngsters and convinced YET to provide a $1000 grant. He subsequently ran a marathon in the Santa Cruz Mountains to raise a further $1100, all of which, in the name of YET, allowed 10 such youngsters to attend the camp in 2019.

Having initially supported the YET stall at the RGS’ Explore 2018 weekend, with YET’s attendance at the 2019 event in mind, he recognised that the stall display material was dated and needed perking up, particularly to appeal to a younger age group. He successfully presented a funding case to the YET Board and subsequently arranged the provision of a new display screen, leaflet handouts and a data projector.

The overseeing Trustee noted a substantial generation of interest from delegates and the establishment of contacts requiring follow up action on the part of YET.

He has also initiated a survey through with the support of the YET Board, to investigate what young people seek from expeditions and how YET could improve its tactics to reach its target age group; this remains an ongoing project. Finally, he has taken on a publisher role for the Trust’s Facebook page and is making energetic use of it to promote expeditions.

In short, in the light of his demonstrable commitment to the value of expeditioning for young people and the manifest enthusiasm and inspirational way in which he puts this over, I commend him for the 2020 Stephenson Award.

Mike Cross, YET Chairman