Neal Cavalier-Smith - Community workWhen just 14 Neal rode the 1160 miles from John O'Groats to Lands End in aid of Friends of the Earth. He won a prize for fundraising for Help The Aged while still at school and later became Membership Secretary for the London Cycling Campaign, giving him a first introduction to mainframe computing.
Neal was an active human rights campaigner from an early age when at 19, as a Sabbatical Deputy President for his Student Union he co-founded the Council of Europe sponsored International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organisation and organised the much-remembered 'kiss-in' at Picadilly Circus to publicise discriminatory laws.
After some time running his student Nightline counselling service and a stint on AIDS North helpline, he moved on to become a long-term volunteer and trainer at the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard and in 1997 became a Director of the equality lobbying group Stonewall. During his tenure parliament finally voted to equalise the gay age of consent with that for heterosexuals.
Despite living abroad for much of the previous five years Neal remains a mentor to a youth and HIV charity.