Buckinghamshire charity founder awarded by PM

A London firefighter and astronomy lover from Buckinghamshire who set up a charity, ‘UK Astronomy’ in 2016 to engage more people in learning about astronomy and come together through a shared love of stargazing, was honoured to receive Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Points of Light award.

Ross Hockham is a completely self-taught astronomer and wanted to encourage other people to take greater interest in studying the skies and 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 from his mobile observatory. Ross also runs monthly photo competitions, a podcast, and sky guides, and is about to launch a new service with a mobile inflatable planetarium to help further educate children, students, community groups and event participants.


Ross said:

“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.”

Ross is the 1954th person to receive the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements, including hundreds of volunteers who have been recognised for how they have served their communities through the Coronavirus pandemic.