Blankets for Baby Rhinos
1293. Elisa Best
Elisa Best, from Monmouth, is the founder of ‘Blankets for Baby Rhinos’, an initiative which has inspired more than 3,500 volunteers worldwide to donate 2,000 handmade crochet and knitted blankets in support of wildlife orphanages and anti-poaching units.
A vet surgeon, Elisa started out by knitting blankets to care for baby rhinos in an orphanage in Natal, South Africa, as well as to raise awareness about the poaching crisis. After Elisa’s knitting group rapidly expanded, she established the initiative as a registered charity in both the UK and South Africa, collectively raising over £36,000 to provide feed and equipment not just for rhinos but also for anti-poaching dogs in the Kruger National Park and to support other wildlife centres in three continents across the world caring for endangered animals.
In a personal letter to Elisa, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you have inspired thousands of volunteers across the world to join you in knitting blankets and making donations that benefit orphaned and endangered wildlife.”
“I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of an amazing global group of volunteers, ‘Blankets for Baby Rhinos’. Our little group has proved that lots of small actions can make a huge difference and that we can all do something to help fight the demise of our wildlife globally. I am proud to be part of this group that is made up entirely of volunteers that put their heart, soul and talents into helping fight for our rhinos and other endangered wildlife.”