Charterhouse is delighted to announce the joint winners of this year’s Alastair Ramsay Award for international social responsibility
Alastair Ramsay (W85) was an Old Carthusian (OC) of remarkable qualities. Following significant academic and sporting achievements at Charterhouse, he went on to Oxford and then to a highly successful career in which he combined professional excellence with an abiding commitment to charitable causes, especially in the developing world. A passionate traveller, Alastair contributed to a range of projects working to make the world a better and a fairer place, before dying tragically young in 2007 aged just 39.
In 2016, the School was approached by Alastair’s family and best friend, and together a group developed the Alastair Ramsay Award, which is now awarded annually following a competitive application process. As well as perpetuating Alastair’s memory, the Award is intended to inspire and support Carthusians in developing a similar commitment to charitable causes, and will be given annually to a Carthusian or young OC who wishes to spend time undertaking such activity.
As in previous years, the Award Panel was delighted to receive a number of applications. Sophia and Aoife were chosen as joint winners for their outstanding proposal to work, this summer, in Udaipur. They will be teaching in a centre for female victims of violence and abuse. By coincidence, Aoife and Sophia will be following in Alastair Ramsay’s footsteps in a very real way: he visited Udaipur during his own travels after Charterhouse. The pupils will receive a grant of £1,000 each towards their project.
Accepting the Award, Sophia said, “Aoife and I are thrilled to have won the Alastair Ramsay Award, and we cannot wait to travel to India this summer. We are excited to contribute to improving the lives of the women and children there, and hope our efforts will help towards long-term solutions for access to education and women's empowerment, and that we manage to prove ourselves worthy of the award. Our host organisation, Seva Mandir, has been amazing at helping to make this trip possible. We will be there for around three weeks, working with domestically abused women along with their children.
Aoife added, “We are so thankful for this award and to the donor as it wouldn't otherwise have been possible for us to go to India and teach English, maths and the arts in a Short Stay Home for abused women and their children. I think that the opportunity for Carthusians to apply for and receive the Alastair Ramsey Award is incredible as it encourages us to be more aware of the vast range of types of lives that people live, all across the world, whether through choice or not. This is important as we become more informed about different circumstances of people across the globe in less fortunate circumstances than ourselves.”
As a condition of the Award, Aoife and Sophia will be expected to help inform the wider Charterhouse community about the value of such development projects, and will be writing blogs throughout their projects, as well as returning to Charterhouse to describe their experiences in the next academic year.