Fans hail F1 superstar Nigel Mansell after special evening

15 June 2024

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“True legend”, “amazing evening” and “inspirational”. Those were just some of the comments from the sold-out crowd after UK Youth’s audience with legendary racing driver Nigel Mansell CBE.

The Formula 1 star chatted about his career on stage with acclaimed F1 journalist Peter Windsor for more than 90 minutes – before delighting the 200-strong audience as he spent several hours posing for photos and signing autographs afterwards for those in attendance.

The event, which took place at the Williams Experience Centre, at the factory home of Williams F1, Nigel’s former team, in Grove, Oxfordshire, was held in aid of national youth work charity UK Youth – Nigel has served as president of the charity for 25 years.

Nigel Mansell, left, on stage at the Williams Experience Centre alongside journalist Peter Windsor.

Ndidi Okezie OBE, UK Youth chief executive officer, said: “The event celebrated not only Nigel’s impressive F1 career, but also his unwavering supporter of UK Youth, dedicating himself to our cause as our president for more than 25 years.

“His passion for empowering young people across the UK is truly inspiring. Nigel’s friendly, warm, and supportive nature has been a constant source of encouragement for me personally. His genuine care and concern for others is a testament to his character, and the way he has extended friendship, care, and compassion to me has been comparable to none other.

“Nigel’s commitment to UK Youth has been nothing short of extraordinary. In total we believe that through everything he’s done, Nigel has personally contributed about £10m worth of support towards championing the work of UK Youth.”

Nigel’s commitment to UK Youth has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Ndidi Okezie OBE, UK Youth chief executive officer

And this number was further boosted after it was announced on the evening that Nigel has pledged £250,000 towards UK Youth’s Avon Tyrrell Capital Appeal, towards a new experiential learning and sports centre at the charity’s Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre in the New Forest.”

One young attendee said: “I had an amazing evening listening to Nigel’s stories. It was very inspiring.”

The evening also included the unveiling of a clay bust of Nigel – completed in just three hours the previous day by acclaimed artist Frances Segelman, also known as Lady Petchey.

Nigel Mansell adds his signature to his newly completed bust under the watchful eye of sculptor Frances Segelman.

Frances said: “What a delight to sculpt Nigel Mansell at Williams Formula 1 in recognition of his 25 years as president of UK Youth. Nigel was the perfect subject, keeping remarkably still throughout the sculpture sitting, in particular I loved creating in clay his iconic moustache.“

The bust will now be cast in bronze, before it is officially unveiled at UK Youth’s gala dinner in October, before being located in the new sports centre planned at Avon Tyrrell, alongside a bust of UK Youth patron The Princess Royal, also by Frances.

The completed bust of Nigel Mansell in clay, which will now be cast in bronze.

Nigel said: “Frances’ sculpture of Princess Anne is absolutely beautiful and I was honoured to be asked to pose for her as well.

“It was wonderful to return to Williams and share stories of F1, my racing career and beyond, all in aid of UK Youth, a great cause which is close to my heart. It was a brilliant evening.”

About UK Youth

UK Youth is a leading charity with a vision that all young people are equipped to thrive and empowered to contribute at every stage of their lives. With an open network of more than 8,000 youth organisations and nation partners; UK Youth reaches more than four million young people across the UK and is focused on unlocking youth work as the catalyst of change that is needed now more than ever. To find out more, visit ukyouth.org 

UK Youth is involved in a range of programmes designed to help young people thrive, such as outdoor learning, physical literacy, social action and employability, including Hatch, a youth employability programme run in partnership with KFC. For more on UK Youth’s programmes, see ukyouth.org/what-we-do/programmes

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