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Prime Minister Theresa May has named an RSA Fellow and science graduate as a Point of Light for her work enabling children to explore science.

Frances Ling FRSA is the founder of the innovative ‘Lightyear Foundation’ dedicated to giving children in the UK and Ghana the opportunity to explore the world around them through science. As a volunteer in Ghana, science graduate Frances noticed that many children did not have access to quality science education.

She set up Lightyear Foundation, enabling the high school science curriculum to come to life through hands-on activities. Working with ‘Ignite!’, the Foundation’s ‘Lab_13’ project has established low cost science labs for children, run by children, with a ‘scientist in residence’ in two Ghanaian junior schools with links to 50 more.

Frances is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

Originally from Manchester, in May Frances launched the ‘Sensory Science’ project in the UK, pairing scientists and artists to work in schools, engaging young people with learning disabilities with entertaining and creative science experiments.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“By creating the ‘Lightyear Foundation’ you have given children the opportunity to explore the world around them through science. The hands on approach you take brings science to life, supporting young people in Ghana and the UK to learn important new skills.”

Frances is the 635th winner of the Points of Light award which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA and was first established by President George H. W. Bush. Over 5,000 US Points of Light have been awarded and both President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Point of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.

Frances said:

“I am hugely honoured to receive the Prime Minister's Point of Light award and share it with all of the incredible people - in the UK, Ghana and around the world - who have given their support to Lightyear over the last six years. Together, we have demonstrated that hands-on, creative science is accessible to all, unlocking  young people's innate scientific curiosity so they can explore, discover and find answer to the problems they see around them. I am excited to come together with other Point of Light recipients to share ideas, passions and energy for how collectively we can have an even greater impact."

 

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