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Zoos to recognise Community Champions

Tuesday 10th November 2020

The Zoological Society of East Anglia has announced it is searching for 12 Community Champions and is urging people to nominate family, friends, neighbours and local heroes who have made a real difference this year in their local community.

The charity, which runs Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, will be rewarding each of the 12 winners with an annual zoo pass and six tickets for their friends or family. The passes and the tickets can be used at either zoo.

Claudia Roberts, Joint Managing Director, Zoological Society of East Anglia, said: “The pandemic has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone, not just for us, and it has highlighted how many kind people are out there, fundraising for all sorts of charities and helping others. We want to play our part in shining a spotlight on all those amazing community heroes and give something back as a thank you”.

The awards have 12 categories including for individuals who have fundraised, cared for local wildlife, boosted someone’s wellbeing, and volunteered their time. There is also a special Covid19 Champions Award for someone who has stepped up during lockdown to support their local community.

The Community Champions Awards are paving the way for a major programme of activity by the Zoological Society of East Anglia under the banner ‘Me and Zoo – we’re good for each other’ which will help more people benefit from connections with animals and nature at Banham Zoo and Africa Alive.

Claudia Roberts adds “The pandemic has heightened our awareness of the unique ways people are benefiting from their connection with Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, whether they are visiting, volunteering with us, or fundraising, and in the coming months we plan to build on this and help more people to feel happier and healthier. Zoo and me – we’re good for each other.”

Nominations for the Zoological Social of East Anglia’s Community Champions are free to make and can be made by filling out a short entry form.

Closing date for entries is 5pm on Monday 30th November. The only condition of entry is that the nominee must agree to participate in promotion on social media and in the press should they win.

The 12 Community Champions will be announced on the Banham Zoo and Africa Alive social media channels from Monday 7th December, with one Community Champion being announced each day.

The 12 categories are:
  • Animal/Wildlife Champion – Example: Someone who has rescued an animal or helped wildlife
  • Environment Champion – Example: Someone who has litter-picked in their local community
  • Creative Fundraising Champion – Example: Someone who has done something fun or different which captured people’s imaginations and helped raise funds
  • Young Creative Fundraising Champion – Example: Someone aged 16 or under who has done something fun or different which captured people’s imaginations and helped raise funds
  • Volunteer Champion – Example: Someone who has volunteered in their community shop or with their local foodbank
  • Young Volunteer Champion – Example: Someone aged 16 or under who has volunteered their time in the community
  • Supporting older vulnerable people – Example: Someone who has made and delivered dinners to the elderly for free
  • Supporting young vulnerable people – Example: Someone who has supported young people
  • Community Wellbeing Champion – Example: Someone who has offered free outdoor yoga sessions or organised a walking group to enhance wellbeing
  • Physical Health Champion – Example: Someone who has run outdoor exercise classes (or on zoom) free of charge to help people keep active during the pandemic
  • Learning Champion – Example: Someone who has kept learning/education going for young people or adults during the pandemic
  • Covid Response Champion – Example: Someone who has collected shopping and medication for a shielding person
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