1954. Ross Hockham
Ross Hockham, from Milton Keynes, is a London firefighter and astronomy lover who set up 'UK Astronomy' in 2016 to engage more people in learning about astronomy and come together through a shared love of star-gazing.
Ross is a completely self-taught astronomer and wanted to encourage other people to take greater interest in studying the skies, and also use astronomy as a tool for bringing people together. Starting off as a Facebook group which now has over 25,000 members and has become a registered charity, ‘UK Astronomy’ provides interactive talks, workshops and events, including running visits to schools, care homes and local community groups across Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, and hosting star-gazing sessions at his mobile observatory. Ross also runs on a monthly basis a photo competition, podcast, and sky guides, and is currently fundraising to purchase a mobile inflatable planetarium to help further educate children, students, community groups and event participants.
“It’s an honour for our charity to be nominated for this award. I would like to dedicate it to all our volunteers, supporters and everyone who has helped us throughout the years to educate and inspire others.”