Second chances for ex-offenders through education

Opinion on 15th September 2015

Nat Billington 1970-2015: a key member of the team and a mentor, he will be sorely missed, writes Peter Stanford

Nat Billington (pictured right with his sons Phineas and Jacob) spent three years as a trustee of the Longford Trust, but his contribution to the growth and well-being of the charity took many forms. He played a significant role in making the organisation what it is today and he will be much missed. Nat drew on his own professional expertise in the high-tech world of computers to design our first website in 2005 and - working closely with his wife Hannah - has guided our every upgrade and technology venture thereafter.

He regularly volunteered over several years as one of our trained mentors who support individual Longford Scholarship award-holders, ex-prisoners studying for degrees as part of their rehabilitation.  Those he worked with in this capacity have nothing but praise for the encouragement he gave them and how it helped them gain their qualifications and rebuild their lives.

Peter, who graduated in Computer Science in 2014 from Aston University, says of his mentoring relationship with Nat: "we seemed to gel soon after we made contact.  Nat helped me in many ways.  I was lucky to have someone with vast knowledge about my chosen course of study as my mentor. Nat always made people around him feel at ease and comfortable.  He was an inspirational and motivating force behind my endeavours during my time at university. Any advice he gave me helped me make progress."

Nat was the eldest child of Lord Longford's daughter, Rachel Billington, and her husband Kevin. His funeral took place on September 14, 2015. To read more about his life and many achievements click here.  

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