Honouring inspiring animal advocates at IFAW’s 2018 Animal Action Awards

26 October 2018

This week we celebrated IFAW’s much anticipated UK Animal Action Awards – our annual event at the House of Lords that honours a special group of people who do amazing work to protect animals, both here in the UK and abroad.

The Animal Action Awards is my favourite event of the year as it gives us the opportunity to shine a light on the incredible work of our fellow animal advocates. Many of our award winners have faced significant challenges and obstacles, but never give up on the thousands of animals that depend on the care and protection they provide to live happy and healthy lives.

The amazing stories we heard serve as a reminder that at IFAW we aren’t alone in our fight for the welfare of animals and, as always, the awards ceremony was a huge source of inspiration for the work we do.

Now in its 19th year, this year’s awards were presented by conservationist, broadcaster and television legend Bill Oddie, and generously hosted by Baroness Gale. We were delighted to welcome our 2018 winners who have helped an astonishing variety of animals between them, from orangutans to badgers, hedgehogs, dogs and squirrels, and countless others!

This year we were also honoured to have along our Animal of the Year, Ralph the Golden Retriever - who definitely enjoyed his moment in the spotlight! Ralph has been credited with changing the life of his companion Paul Phillips, who is paralysed from the chest down. After being paired by the UK charity Canine Partners, Ralph has given Paul the courage to move into his own home and venture out in an off-road wheelchair to enjoy nature again, something he didn’t previously have the confidence to attempt alone.

Everyone at IFAW would like to extend their thanks to all of this year’s winners for their commitment to helping protect animals, big and small! It’s never easy to whittle down the huge amount of entries we receive every year and our winners represent just some of the amazing work so many people are doing across the country. We were all touched by the passion and dedication of our winners and hope that these awards serve as inspiration for others to do all they can to help animals in need.

Thank you to all of the winners for everything you do for animals – and humans too!

This year’s full list of winners:

  • Christine (Chris) and George Rockingham, from Norfolk, for a lifetime’s dedication to rescuing and rehabilitating animals at their PACT sanctuary for nearly 25 years.
  • Michel Birkenwald, from London, for drilling more than 100 ‘hedgehog highways’ in South West London to help hedgehogs navigate to new areas to forage.
  • Ralph the Golden Retriever, from Hertfordshire, for changing the life of his companion Paul who was left paralysed after a car crash six years ago.
  • Debbie Bailey, from Derbyshire, for her work to protect badgers from culling through vaccinations.
  • Michelle Clark, from London, for starting her voluntary run, not-for-profit organisation Dogs on the Streets (DOTS) that cares for and helps homeless people and their dogs.
  • Nigel and Sara Hicks, from Cornwall, for their dedication to treating injured and orphaned orangutans in Borneo for six months every year, for nearly 10 years.
  • Chloe Hennegan, from the West Midlands, for running her rabbit rescue and rehabilitation centre Fat Fluffs since 2008.
  • Trisha Shaw, from Warwickshire, for her many years volunteering and raising thousands of pounds for her local dog charity Pawprints.
  • Natalia Doran, from London, for setting up Urban Squirrels, a licensed squirrel rescue in her own home.

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