Hannah Lawton - alumna profile
Hannah studied BA(Hons) Geography and is currently undertaking an MSc Coaching Science.
When Hannah Lawton was studying BSc(Hons) Geography at UWE Bristol, it was actually the rowing club that took up most of her attention. So when her friend and fellow UWE Bristol rower, Eleanor Rose Ellis, sadly died of cervical cancer aged just 23, her focus became taking on the biggest challenge of her life – rowing the Atlantic in the Tallisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.
Juggling training for the event with her MSc at UWE Bristol and raising awareness of cervical cancer has been a real challenge for Hannah. UWE Bristol decided to sponsor the seven-metre carbon fibre boat, Sedulous, when it was apparent that many staff and students were supporting Hannah and her rowing partner Lauren in a variety of ways. As Hannah says, from staff advising Hannah and Lauren on the physical and mental strength needed for the row, to the Better Together Fund giving a grant for navigation skills training, “UWE Bristol is all over this challenge”.
One thing that Hannah couldn’t have envisioned when she was planning this challenge was a smear test live on TV. However, in January, that was exactly what happened on This Morning on ITV. The awareness that this raised of cervical cancer and the importance of having regular smear tests was just what Hannah was hoping her challenge would provide.
Follow the team
Now the physical challenge is about to begin. Sedulous and the Inspirational Friends team have made their way to La Gomera, Tenerife and the race starts at the beginning of December (weather permitting). Hopefully in less than 65 days, they will have reached Antigua and raised huge amounts of money for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Myton Hospice. You can follow the progress of the team at their website and sponsor them at Virgin Money Giving.