Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gilbert Interviews Nathan Harrison-Clarke

Sometimes, with no planning on your part, you find yourself in the company of a person who inspires and lifts your spirit. This happened to me when I was contacted by and was told that I was chosen with nine other people to be part of the Blogger of the Year Contest. This webpage was chosen to host the contest. Over the next few months, I grew to know and admire Nathan Harrison-Clarke, the young man and brains behind it. I don’ know where to begin…I love this kid. Recently, I put him on the spot when I asked him to tell me and my readers, “Who was Nathan Harrison-Clarke?”

Nathan Harrison-Clarke: Firstly I'd like to thank Marie for inviting me on to her blog. Now, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a student, volunteer and writer who loves to spend time with my friends and family, especially my two little brothers. In school, my favorite subjects are English, the tree Sciences and Geography. I am also quite good at Religious studies. I started in The Scout Association as a young cub and loved it, so when it became time to leave I decided to stay loyal to my group and became a leader. I am currently working on a children's book, which it hope will be out this year.

Marie Gilbert: How did you come up with the name Skelat? I like it.

Nathan Harrison Clarke: I wish I had a really interesting answer for this… I really do. Truth is, like many brilliant ideas… I made it up!

Marie Gilbert: Tell us a bit about the book you’re working on now. I love that this is for charity. What other books are you working on?
Nathan Harrison-Clarke: I don’t feel that enough children are reading. Similarly, I feel that reading is one of the most important activities that all children should be doing! It not only exercises the mind and improves a child’s knowledge; it also strengthens their imaginations and teaches them valuable life lessons! Therefore I am working on a collaborative children’s book for boys, to help encourage them to read. I also plan to complete another for girls, in the near future.

 A good book needs a good author, which is why I am asking as many to sign up their names and write a 700 word story to be included in it. I will be writing about half, but I think it’s far more interesting for the children to take inspiration from other writers too. Therefore I am inviting as many of you as I can to input your ideas into what will be a wonderful little book!

 As for the future, I really cannot be sure. I would like to write a few books of my own, but who knows what the future holds.

Marie Gilbert: How did you get involved with helping and teaching the beautiful children of Ghana?

Nathan Harrison-Clarke: Just hearing the word Ghana brings back so many memories. For those of you who don’t know me, during the summer holidays of last year I had the opportunity of the lifetime.
For two weeks I had the privilege of experiencing this country, meeting its people and staying in a small village named Luvudo. It was… incredible. I will never be able to say the right words to describe the trip, but I really would recommend that each and every one of you begin your own expedition and see this part of the world for yourself. The aim of my trip was to visit the region with the hope of building a school and helping to educate the children there. Luvudo was a beautiful little place, with lots of children! It had an old school building consisting of three classrooms for the children who were older than Kindergarten. Yet the other children were educated outside, a thought which would be unacceptable in our country. That is why DIVOG (Disaster Volunteers of Ghana) had arranged for us to help build and set the foundations for a new school building with the locals!
The trip was available through school; it was the first time my school had done something like that. Organized through Outlook Expeditions, "Outlook is committed to safe, secure and responsible tailor-made expeditions. Every expedition is exciting, inspiring and packed full of adventure.
"Our expeditions develop young people’s life skills by putting them in the driving seat under the guidance of the finest Expedition Leaders."
That last part really is true. The leader is only there as a panic button, used only at the last resort, which gave us the opportunity to work as a team and practice those skills for the future. It was testing at times, but I am here in one piece! They offer expeditions outside of schools too so I would really recommend it!


Marie Gilbert: Do you plan to revisit the village again in the near future?

Nathan Harrison-Clark: If it weren’t for the expense, I would be there right now! It was an incredible opportunity and I would highly recommend that everyone plans their own journey into these types of places.
As for revisiting the village, I would really love to. I have been raising money for the village and have raised over £300 so far, which should hopefully help them with their new school.

I would love to visit some other parts of the world too, discover more of Africa and Asia. Hopefully one day I will return to Luvudo and see the difference our work made.

Marie Gilbert: Is your family supportive of all this wonderful charitable work that you do?

Nathan Harrison-Clark: Very supportive indeed! My grandparents have been incredible. They helped me hire out a charity shop and helped me collect all of the items that we sold! We did remarkably well and made a thousand pounds! Without them, I don’t believe the opportunity would have been possible.

We also have our own charity, so my family is charitable themselves, supporting the social inclusion of visually impaired people in society and giving them the opportunity to take part in activities and meet new people. Please have a look at our website:


Marie Gilbert: Tell us about your blog and what you’re plans for the future are with book reviews and interviews? 

Nathan Harrison-Clark: Skelat really is just a huge play area for my ideas. I try new things and see if I enjoy them before deciding whether they stay or go! I love it, taking on new projects as I come up with them! The pages are not currently updated as I am busy working on my book, but I will return to them as soon as it is finished.

I hope to add to my blogging family and have more people blog on my site. I love interviewing people too; quite a few familiar faces can be found on the interviews page I am sure. If anyone is interested in writing, take a look around and message me!

Marie Gilbert: What is in the plans for you in the future; what do you want to accomplish; what are your dreams?

Nathan Harrison-Clark: I ask myself this all the time. I still don’t get any answers. There a few things I would like to achieve on my bucket list, sky dive for starters, I think that would be incredible. I would like to do a lot more charity work before I go and try to put as many smiles on as many faces as I possibly can, including my own!

Marie Gilbert: Thank you Nathan for being my guest on Gilbert Curiosities. I consider myself very fortunate and blessed to have met such an amazingly compassionate and talented young person, and I’m sure that my readers will feel the same way after this interview. You can find Nathan’s webpage here:


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