Bat Hero Awards - Meet our 2023 award winners
Our Bat Hero awards are a celebration of people who've done incredible things to protect, conserve and share appreciation of bats. Meet our winners below. We'd like to thank all our amazing volunteers and supporters, and our 2023 winners for all their work to help protect bats.
Anne Youngman, a dedicated Bats without Borders volunteer took on an incredible challenge. Anne ran an overnight 45-mile ultramarathon, to raise vital funds for bat conservation and to highlight the crucial role these often-misunderstood animals play within an ecosystem. Anne’s commitment to this cause is inspiring, she trained (in all weather conditions!) to prepare for the physical and mental demands of running an ultramarathon. She took on parts of The St Cuthbert's Way, which is a historic trail that runs through the Scottish Borders and Northumberland in the United Kingdom. The hilly 45-mile route is particularly demanding, with steep ascents and descents, rocky terrain, and unpredictable weather conditions. And she had a bat detector attached to her backpack to record bat calls as she ran through the night! She started the challenge at sunset (10pm) in Melrose, Scotland on Friday 23 June. 45 miles and a border crossing later, she finished in Wooler, England Saturday morning. Anne took on this personal challenge in the hope of not only raising much-needed funds for bat conservation but also raising awareness about the threats facing these incredible animals and the urgent need for action to protect them.
Thank you so much Anne for the amazing amount you raised - almost £3,000 for Bats without Borders.
Junior Fundraiser of the Year
Brook announced one day, out of nowhere, that he wanted to raise money to help bats. Bats are his favourite animal and we’re lucky enough to live in an area where we see them wheeling and banking in the semi-darkness, adding to their mystery and his excitement.
With Halloween approaching it seemed like a good time to get a bat project together, so, after a great deal of discussion about what would be a suitable thing to sell, we got our act together and got making fudge. Brook and his Nanna took charge of portioning the fudge into bags, tying them and arranging them on our batty fudge stand. Our seemingly quiet road is a national cycle route and a scenic drive, so there was no shortage of sugar-hungry passers by to put there money in the honesty box and take their fudge. With further contributions rolling in from family and school friends and social media connections making a detour to the fudge stand, Brook was delighted with our wee business and even more delighted when we could hand over around £98.50 to Bats without Borders.
Congratulations and thanks so much for your support Brook.
Conservationist of the Year
John Mchingama is one of our 2023 ‘How to set up a bat group’ trainees and since completing the course, has set up a bat group in Malawi. He enjoys talking about bat conservation with the group and they are eager to start working to conserve bats.
He is an inspiration, and a worthy winner of the Conservationist of the Year award.
Volunteer of the Year
Carys Hoskins joined the Bats without Borders volunteer team as our youngest-ever volunteer! And ever since then she has been a committed member of the education subgroup. Bringing creativity, engagement and work for the education team. It's fantastic how much she gives, despite a busy student life she's to gives time to attend meetings and contributing so much. Carys is currently a student at the University of Sheffield studying Ecology and Conservation Biology. She is looking forward to using her degree to support conservation of species in various parts of the world, possibly returning to Zambia where she spent 8 years as a teenager.