on 13 March, 2018

A wonderful day with  Dr. Jane Goodall

The awards recognise achievements in helping people, animals, and the environment. Thirteen schools and groups had been selected from over 2000 participants to attend the awards ceremony. 

This year's finalists are Portway Junior School, Rookwood School, Andover Church of England Primary School, Harrow Way Community School, Appleshaw St Peter’s C of E Primary School, Hounsdown School, Accrington Spring Hill Community Primary School, Children’s Hospital School, Central Bedfordshire College, Damers First School, Somervale School,  Chester Wild and Downton Church of England VA Primary School.

It was good to spend time meeting the groups and finding out more about the projects they were working on. The projects are wide ranging and include recycling, planting vegetables and trees, helping stray cats in Romania and helping British wildlife among many more. 

Every group had achieved remarkable outcomes from their projects. It was a fascinating glimpse into the future. The young people here are future leaders in conservation and animal welfare. They have a deep passion for the natural world and conserving our planet and it’s finite resources and they are prepared to take action.

Roots & Shoots has developed a system of engaging young people to help other people, animals, and the environment. Dr. Jane’s vision and belief in a better future for all is compelling and engaging and is making a real difference to the lives of the thousands of young people, from over 90 countries that are working towards a better future for our planet and everything on it.

An ‘Ethical fashion show’, where every outfit was recycled or upcycled from ‘waste’ products was a highlight, showcasing some exciting ideas and some wonderful garments from a range of materials including coffee cups, train tickets and sweet and crisp wrappers. All the winners received a wonderful goody bag of treats from Lush UK as part of their prize. 

After a wonderful vegan lunch, we moved to the theatre for the award ceremony. Dr. Jane was on stage to meet all the winners and have a picture taken with them.

It was great to meet up with a young artist and wildlife fan, Joshua Railer, who had one of his drawings signed by Brian May, after meeting Anne at last year's event. We posed for a picture with Joshua's fox image inspired by Brian's work with Save Me Trust.

It was wonderful to hear Jane speak about her work with primates and to effortlessly cover a number of projects that her institute is supporting around the world. She spoke about projects in China and the exceptional challenges that come from the growth in population and business in the country and of course, her passion for Chimpanzees and Africa that ended with a wonderfully moving video of one remarkable chimpanzee, Wounda.

Wounda’s release back to the wild on Tchindzoulou Island. Wounda’s story is one of suffering but, upon her release she took time to stop and hug Dr. Jane Goodall before heading off to the wild - A truly remarkable thing to happen and one that certainly brought tears to eyes of many in the audience as it shows the empathy compassion and deep level of understanding we share with primates. You can see the video here: 

It was a remarkable way to end an incredible day. But for Dr. Jane, there is no time to rest, at 81 she was leaving the awards to fly to the USA for more appearances and awards next week. A truly remarkable lady who has and continues to inspire new generations to take action to make our world a better place for every living thing.

You can find out more about Roots & Shoots via their website here: