Name: Gav Topley
Course: BA Communications and Media
Claim to fame: BUFF President, Leggit Winner and Charity Wonderman
Gav Topley is currently out in full-force around campus, running for the SUBU President elections. We managed to grab hold of him in the midst of all the campaigning buzz to find out more about this candidate and what makes him stand out.
There isn’t much that Gav hasn’t done, from sports to leadership, from travelling to fundraising, from being in the army to working with animals ; it seems like he has done it all !
When Gav mentions some of the projects he was involved in, the list seems to be unending : ”I’ve cycled up to 1000 miles in my underpants without cash, having to rely on the kindness of strangers.” This raised great awareness for charity as it was featured by the BBC, the Scottish TV and both local and national press. Gav also mentions ”I have trekked the Himilayas, where I was lucky to meet His Holyness the Dalai Lama, before heading to New Delhi to help refurbish a refuge for street children. Another time, I raised £6000 through group charity sky dives. In the past I was also Youth Ambassador for Charity Actionaid, and was lucky enough to interview bands backstage at Reading Festival for them. I was also sent out to Australia to help set up a street fundraising campaign as a Senior Team Leader for Amnesty International.”
Gav was motivated to accomplish all these actions as he believes that helping good causes, by carrying out fun events, allows one to enhance other people’s lives whilst experiencing new challenges.
If he had to pick, Gav’s greatest accomplishment, in terms of fundraising, would be managing to develop his team to the point where they raised over a million pounds in one year. His toughest moment would be having to dig holes in the ground for toilets, when travelling on minimal funds.
Gav’s funniest moments whilst on adventures abroad would have been during Leggit. His team made it as far as an hour into the Sahara desert by camel. Him and his teammate, Jack Osbourne, were taken without knowing by a Moroccan local to a bar for men to meet sex workers. A middle-aged woman took a shine to Jack and attempted to ‘woo him’. ”I don’t think Jack knew whether to be flattered, frightened or amused” says Gav.
Aside from charity, the SUBU President candidate also came and went from the army, as he explains ”I only really joined the Army to experience what it was like, and felt I had done that when I left, having carried out Royal Duties with the King’s Troop RHA and Household Cavalry, and also served in a conflict zone.”
Not only did he work in the army, but Gav also trained birds of prey for a living, ”I’ve trained birds ranging from owls to the largest flying birds of prey in the world, the Andean Condor, which has a wing span of approximately 10 feet. I still have the scars to prove it !”
Since at university, Gav has continued to be very active, presiding the BU Free Fall Society with the goal to improve the quality of the club for the members, in terms of identity, experience, and transferrable skills. This has been done for example through branding, with logos on Varsity jackets, or by creating a promo video which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VV_Rt4IuiY
Could Gav possibly become even more of an all-time legend by being elected SUBU President ? The runner-up believes he stands a fair chance and he ensures, ”I came to university late, as economically it was not an option earlier, and for that reason I think I really appreciate the amazing opportunities that BU and the Student Union provide.”
His campaign slogan is ”With Gav Topley, have it your way”, whichs supports that university experience means different things to different people, but Gav wants to make sure that every one of these different student voices is heard.
Votes will be closed at 5pm today, here is the link to Gav’s page if you wish to see him elected : https://www.facebook.com/Gav4President