Can you help astronomy teacher reach for the stars and purchase new van?

UK Astronomy during a recent teaching session with the 11th Aylesbury Brownies
UK Astronomy during a recent teaching session with the 11th Aylesbury Brownies

A group that was set up to allow one man to share his passion for astronomy is asking for your votes so they can purchase a van and convert it into a travelling observatory.

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Photo from one of UK Astronomy's educational projects

Photo from one of UK Astronomy's educational projects

UK Astronomy was formed by Ross Hockham two years ago and has worked with schools and community groups across Aylesbury to educate and allow people to enjoy astronomy.

Mr Hockham said: “My passion for this started when my wife bought me a telescope for my birthday.

“I knew little about astronomy but I have taught myself and now I share that passion with others.”

Ross started by holding events at Emberton Sports and Social Club in Milton Keynes, where he lives, but it wasn’t until the fifth event that anyone turned up to share his passion!

He then started a Facebook group called UK Astronomy and then watched with amazement at its meteoric rise from consisting of 30 friends through to more than 2300 enthusiasts.

UK Astronomy has been seen regularly in Aylesbury over the last couple of years at locations such as Turnfurlong School, events such as Parklife and working with Cubs and Beaver groups across the town.

Mr Hockham said: “At the moment we are using our own cars to get to any event but as word spreads we have found the need to travel further afield.

“In order to keep up with the high demand of schools, groups and events, we have come to the conclusion that we need a better form of transport.

“Our intention is to buy a second hand van and convert it into a travelling observatory.”

UK Astronomy has applied to the Aviva Community Fund for financial support with their new venture.

The Aviva Community Project rewards applications with financial support based on how many votes they receive from the general public.

Anyone who registers has a given amount of credits which they can give to one or several of the listed projects.

Voting closes on November 24. You can vote here at www.community-fund.aviva.co.uk.