Ambitious about Autism youth patron, Luke Dicker, has just completed a five-day trek across the Arctic for a BBC documentary the Coldest Classroom on Earth.
Luke, aged 19, undertook the trek to mentor four students from Springfields School, a residential school in Wiltshire that supports pupils with behavioural and development issues. Springfields headteacher Trystan Williams and deputy head James Lynch also went with Luke and the students to the North Pole.
The Arctic trek was particularly challenging for Luke because he was diagnosed with ADHD aged five and at 10 with autism. After leaving primary school Luke’s behaviour began to deteriorate and he was eventually excluded from secondary school before joining Springfields where he thrived.
Leading the Arctic expedition were former Royal Marine Commando and MBE Alan Chambers and Dr Ed Coats, who had previously raced to the South Pole with athlete James Cracknell and presenter Ben Fogle. During his time with them Luke and the pupils were trained to walk on the Arctic’s icefields, completed a 15 mile glacier walk in Templefjorden, camped outside in freezing temperatures, meet two polar bears – from a safe distance – and other Arctic wildlife and did a five hour walk to an ice cave.
Luke’s mother Jan Greenman said mentoring the students during the Arctic adventure will stand her son in good stead and his confidence had already grown by telling his friends about his exciting trip. She added: “Luke had an amazingly socially difficult, physically challenging yet personally stretching and inspiring time.”