Bringing the skies to you....
UK Astronomy Space Crafter is ready for lift off!
Milton Keynes based charity UK Astronomy is hoping to inspire more communities to explore the skies with the help of a fully kitted out van.
The van, a Volkswagen Crafter – affectionately named the Space Crafter, has been purchased by the charity as a result of a generous donation from Persimmons Homes and other supporters, and will allow the charity to travel far and wide with specialist stargazing equipment.
The astronomy charity is run by dedicated volunteers, with the aim of sharing their passion about space with communities at stargazing and educational events.
They already hold regular events in Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, and Bedfordshire but the new van will help them reach even more schools, community groups, kids clubs and astronomy enthusiasts.
The first events they will be hosting with the help of their new van, includes stargazing evenings in the local area and once lockdown guidance relaxes further, educational events with the National Trust, Parks Trust, local councils, and schools.
UK Astronomy Founder, Ross Hockham said: “The purpose of our work is about getting people together, complete astronomy beginners, and inspiring them to explore the skies and take up stargazing.
“We can’t thank Persimmons Homes enough for their generosity, enabling us to purchase a brand-new van in which we can fit all our telescopes and equipment in one place, making transportation and set up of our events much easier – enabling us to bring the skies to you.
“Now we are looking forward to inspiring even more children and adults to look up.
“We would also like to thank everyone who has supported us. We have been blown away by all the support we have had and cannot thank you enough for believing in us. It is down to you that we have grown from one man in a field to a registered charity with over 12,000 members.”
See the progress so far
Lockdown hit the UK. Conversions on the Van have had to be halted until further notice
After visiting various different dealers and extensive research into the different types of vans that were available UK Astronomy made the decision to purchase a Volkswagen Crafter aka The SpaceCrafter. This van has the right dimensions and fits into our budget.
Ross visited Brian Currie Vans in Milton Keynes and thanks to his powers of persuasion they jumped at the chance to support a local charity with an innovative project. They discounted over £7,000 from the cost price, meaning that your donations will now go even further!
In January Ross went to visit a group called Shred & Butta who convert double decker buses, American school buses and camper vans into.. well pretty much anything you can imagine!
They loved the project and gave us lots of ideas of how to make the van practical whilst still being a show piece to wow the crowds. We are looking forward to wowing you at an event in the not to distant future!
September - December 2019
UK Astronomy were still recovering from the shock of coming 2nd in the education section of the Persimmon Homes #BuildingFutures Awards and so spent September - December focussing on their outreach programme and planning the project to begin in 2020.
UK Astronomy were invited to York Racecourse for an Awards dinner to announce the winners. We were "over the moon" to find out we had come 2nd in the education category and had won £50,000.
July - September 2019
UK Astronomy were proud to be short listed to be one of the 96 finalists who were put to the public vote, running from July to September.
We asked for you all to vote for us and the winners were to be announced at an Awards dinner in October.
If you would like to make a donation to support our work you can send a cheque made payable to:
UK Astronomy Limited,
3 Pleshey Close,
Shenley Church End,
or donate directly on our Justgiving Page.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and a bigger thank you should you decide to donate to UK Astronomy Ltd.
Thank you to our current sponsors:
CJ Richard Electrical
Howdens Milton Keynes
Mick's Property Maintenance