Bright Young Thing: Charity Ambassador Lauren Gander
PUBLISHED: 00:16 17 March 2011 | UPDATED: 01:54 10 February 2013
Lauren Gander, from Bexhill, was born with spina bifida and doctors warned she may never walk. Now aged 11, Lauren has raised Â£75,000 for charity and recently she became the Young Ambassador for the Tree of Hope
Lauren Gander, from Bexhill, was born with spina bifida and doctors warned she may never walk. Now aged 11, Lauren is a talented dancer who has performed in the West End and raised 75,000 for charity. Recently she became the Young Ambassador for the Tree of Hope childrens charity
Your story is inspirational: what inspires you?
The fact that I can walk and be free to choose what I do, which is different from what doctors thought my future would be like.
What made you decide to start working for charity at such a young age?
Being born with spina bifida.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
Meeting HRH the Countess of Wessex.
Please tell us about visiting Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
I was shortlisted for the Childrens Champion Award 2009 and Gordon Brown invited me to 10 Downing Street...to walk down that street and touch the letterbox was mind blowing.
In 2009, I was awarded the Blue Peter gold badge for my achievements in charity. I found out the Queen had one too and I am desperate to meet her, so I wrote to her asking if she would have tea with me.
Her lady-in-waiting wrote back and invited me to Buckingham Palace and I spent the day there. I didnt get to meet the Queen but keep on trying to do so I am now a member of the Royal British Legion and volunteer at a poppy home in the hope that she may pop in one day.
What does your work as young ambassador entail?
Speeches, presentations, raising funds, raising awareness of the charity concerned or the disease or condition that the charity represents. I have learned so much about different diseases and health problems.
What are your favourite subjects at school and why?
English, art, maths and music... I love maths because my teacher Mr Richards at Bexhill High School is simply the best I have ever met in my entire life, and is probably the best I will ever meet.
Please tellus about your next project
It is a zipslide challenge in Wales launching from the Newport Transporter Bridge.
Its 50 metres high and we will travel a distance of 320 metres at 25mph, landing in the park.
The money raised will go to two charities, Dreamflight and the Bexhill-based Tree of Hope childrens charity. The target sponsorship is 1500 and so far 500 has been pledged.
What are your ambitions for the future?
To become a physiotherapist and to meet the Queen.