We are delighted to announce that this year’s winner of the GDST Trailblazer Award is South Hampstead High School alumna, Dr Grace Spence Green.
Grace is a junior doctor working to challenge the narratives surrounding disability, medicine and identity. Grace is also host of the podcast series This is Spinal Crap.
In 2018, aged 22 and a 4th year medical student, she sustained a spinal cord injury and is now a full-time wheelchair user. She is passionate about medicine, advocacy for the disabled community and challenging ableism, the stigma surrounding disability and inaccessible spaces.
“Grace, you have shown remarkable resilience and positivity in everything you’ve done so far in your life, and I very much look forward to seeing what you do in the future,” — Juliet Humphries, Chair of Trustees, GDST
In the months of rehabilitation which followed her life-changing injury, Grace decided that she didn’t want society to place her and other disabled people into a narrowly defined box. Since then, she has not only qualified as a doctor but will be running a pioneering course for 4th year medical students on medicine and disability. She has returned to the climbing walls (she was a former UK U18 climbing Champion) and hopes in the future to work in the field of paediatrics, advocating for disabled children.
Presenting her award, Juliet Humphries (Chair of Trustees, GDST) congratulated Grace saying “Grace, you have shown remarkable resilience and positivity in everything you’ve done so far in your life, and I very much look forward to seeing what you do in the future. …huge congratulations to you.”
“There were no such thing as silly questions at South Hampstead, and I think that’s really helped me in life.” — Grace Spence Green, GDST Trailblazer of the Year
Accepting her award, Grace said of South Hampstead High School “I have such fond memories of South Hampstead. It felt like a haven where you were allowed to be unique. The staff were so good at fostering curiosity. There were no such thing as silly questions at South Hampstead, and I think that’s really helped me in life; I’ve never been afraid to ask, to investigate further. I left with a sense of self assurance that I am so grateful for.”
Congratulations to Dr Grace Spence Green for all her fantastic achievements.
Celebrating GDST Alumnae and Trailblazers
In addition to awarding a GDST Trailblazer of the Year to an impressive alumna starting out in her career, each year we also give an Alumna of the Year award recognising the amazing achievements of a more established alum. Learn more about our 2022 Trailblazer and Alumnae finalists.