Local Community News


Ray Harrington-Vail is well known on the Isle of Wight for his work with the Footprint Trust, but now he has been recognised by a university as an Honorary Master.

Ray’s work in helping those in fuel poverty was first recognised by the charity National Energy Action, when he was awarded Heat Hero status in 2013. Then The Footprint Trust, which was set up by Ray in 2002, was given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for its pioneering work.

Now, Open University has made Ray an Honorary Master is recognition of his work in the field of education, helping those who are excluded from learning due to their economic or social circumstances.

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He was presented with this honour at a ceremony in Poole on Thursday (9th November). The Award was presented on behalf of the Senate by Professor William Nuttall of the University’s Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Ray’s work in the field of nature conservation along with his long career in the voluntary sector, especially working for environmental causes, is recognised as having a profound influence in his local community.

Speaking about his award, Ray said:

“It was a great privilege to be a guest at the Graduation and to have the opportunity to address those present, explaining about the work of the Footprint Trust. I feel deeply honoured to be made an Honorary Master of the Open University.  The Footprint Trust and myself, very much share the ethos of the OU, believing that education is a key to self-improvement and understanding.”

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