Last night, I donned my best (£4.99 charity shop, worn lots of times before) frock, and hubby and I hot-footed it up to Woking to the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Centre.
For an awards ceremony!
I had a wonderful surprise last year when I was informed that I had been nominated for the WWF’s Earth Hour Hidden Hero’s award, by a reader of this very blog (thankyou Vikki!). I was chuffed to bits but assumed it wouldn’t go any further, and promptly forgot all about it.
But then back in December, I got an e-mail to say I had won the Community Champion award!
However I was sworn to secrecy, and couldn’t tell you all, even when I had to do some filming (!) at my house for a video to show before the award was presented 🙂
Hidden Heroes is a nationwide competition that was launched with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. People nominate themselves, or others, who have gone the extra mile to help create a greener, more sustainable future.
There were three categories: Workplace Wonders, Young Superstars (under 25s) and Community Champions, and all the nominations were judged by a panel, and the three winners selected.
The other two winners on the night were:
Diane Lamont-Workplace Wonder. Diane is a chef at a pre-school in Scotland, but she does soooo much more than just cook the kiddies their food. She has got them planting a whole veg garden, and they harvest and cook what they grow, as well as learning about the importance of bugs and creepy crawlies!
Jessie Autie-Young Superstar. Jessie is indeed young, and very much a superstar! At the age of just 6, she and her mum rode their tandem bike 160 miles on a coast to coast challenge, and raised over £1000 for WWF along the way!
You can read more about them and their fabulous projects on the WWF blog.
It was such a pleasure and an inspiration to meet both of these remarkable people, as well as Simon Jakeman, who was a winner in 2013, and has got his whole fire station growing fruit and veg on the roof! (You can read more about Simon on the Rubbish Diet blog here).
We also got a tour of the WWF LIving Planet Centre, which is a remarkable building. As you would imagine, it is built with sustainability at the forefront, and uses ground source heat pumps for all it’s heating needs, as well as making full use of all the rain, and grey water, with water re-use systems. It’s brilliant to see these kinds of systems in action, and to see that with a bit of thought, even office buildings can be made eco-friendly!
I was so surprised to even be nominated-it really humbling to find out that someones thinks enough of my little blog, to sit down and write out a nomination. And then to win, was just amazing! My huge thanks go to Vikki for nominating me, and to the judges for picking me, and to WWF for making the awards happen!
Each winner was presented with a cheque for £500 from the People’s Postcode Lottery, to use to help fund their projects, which is a massive unexpected bonus! I am giving some thought to starting some kind of fund on the new website, that people can apply to, to help them set up repair and re-use events in their own communities. It would be awesome to see the money being used to get other people, and their communities, Making Do and Mending, and spreading the word.
Hidden Heroes is a part of WWF’s Earth Hour, a global annual event where hundreds of millions of people switch off their lights for one hour to show they care about our planet. It’s about people from across the globe coming together to create a symbolic and spectacular lights out display and asking for change.
Check out this awesome short video from WWF all about it:
In previous years, Earth Hour has seen switch offs from global landmarks like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Wembley Stadium, Edinburgh Castle, the Eiffel Tower, Times Square, the Kremlin – it has even been celebrated in the International Space Station, with astronaut Chris Hadfield a long-time supporter.
This year’s WWF Earth Hour is at 8.30pm on Saturday 28th March, and I will be joining in again this year, as we have for the past couple of years. Probably by playing Scrabble by candlelight again!