Newcastle student Lewis Winship is aiming to put his degree to good use in an ever-changing environment.

The 19-year-old, who attended Gosforth Academy, is in his first year studying Geoenvironmental Hazards at Edge Hill University, a subject which continues to become more relevant.

“I wanted to study at Edge Hill due to the amazing campus and how scenic the area is. I also wanted to study here due to the course, which is very specific to the physical side of geography that I enjoy,” said Lewis.

“Since the environment is constantly changing it is key that we keep an eye on a range of different things. The main sections that I want to focus on are the processes that effect people in terms of mitigating to keep them safe which can include coastal management, flooding and town planning so it minimises the effects of these.

“I am taking this degree to learn about the different natural hazards that effect the world. This first year will allow me to look at a range of these and then in the further years I will be able to expand my knowledge and research into particular sections. This will then hopefully lead me down a career where I can continue to help people in the community by looking at something specific that effects people.”

Lewis was a volunteer with Inspired Support, based in Birtley, to the south of the city, providing support for people with autism spectrum conditions or learning disabilities.

“I did a range of different activities such as football, music and generally talking with people to see how they were doing each day.

“Working with people on the Autism spectrum can be hard at the start because they are a bit reserved but by the end of the first week they were more comfortable with me and you can understand just how wonderful and talented they all are.”

As part of Lewis’s National Citizen Society programme he helped raise around £1,600 by doing a sponsored walk and bike ride – while police cadets also had a big impact on his life growing up.

“It allowed me to work in many different scenarios, meet a wide range of interesting people and allowed me to give over 200 hours of community service in which I completed a range of tasks.”

Voluntary work has included working a night shift in the Metro Centre responding to incidents, and stewarding events such as the Children’s Cancer Run Newcastle, where he also provided medical assistance.

“I also gained key life skills like communicating with a variety of different members of the community and has given me the skills to perform basic first aid.”

Lewis was selected for an Entrance Excellence scholarship in 2018 – being awarded £2,000 towards his studies. Find out more about applying for a scholarship here.

Click here for more information about studying for a degree in Geoenvironmental Hazards.