Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000


UK Astronomy is a charity set up by husband and wife team Frankie and Ross Hockham. A dedicated group of volunteers visit local schools, community interest groups, fetes, events, public functions and shows. We use the power of astronomy to bring together communities. During our daytime events we allow safe observing of the Sun through our Solar Telescopes and our night events to observe our nearest stars, galaxies, planets and nebulae.

Astronomy is an inexpensive hobby that all can enjoy - all you require is the darkness, and a cloudless night, and your astronomy hobby has just begun. You can easily start in astronomy by simply learning where things are in the sky, and a lot of fun can be had by learning where the entire zodiac is in the sky, and learning major objects.

Astronomy is also a hobby that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. It is a fantastic way to bring people together in communities who might not otherwise meet.

At the moment volunteers are using their own cars to get to events in the UK Astronomy diary. This is proving challenging as there are several telescopes as well as projector, screen and workshop activities. Added to this word is spreading from school to school, group to group and county to county and we are finding the need to travel further afield to ensure surrounding areas are not left out. The people who attend our events have a great day, meeting new people in their community and learning everything we can teach them about our solar system and many have requested repeat visits as they have such a great time.

In order to keep up with the high demand and to ensure we are able to offer the best experience to our supporters we are fundraising for a more appropriate form of transport. Our intention is to buy a second hand vehicle to convert it into a travelling observatory. We would set it up with a sleeping area so volunteers can stay in it overnight, allowing us to travel further afield. It will also have a viewing platform with pull down screens along the side so we can digitally send the images being viewed through our telescopes by the public directly to the screens. That way no one is left out of the fantastic sights that can be observed.

This vehicle will allow us to travel further, reaching more people and bringing more communities together. We want to work with local councils and schools to visit public spaces and educate even more people about the wonders of our skies. For each of the events that we attend we ask the attendees for a small donation to cover the cost of the event and to help us to fund future events – we have no paid staff so all money raised goes back into the charity.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and a bigger thank you should you decide to vote for UK Astronomy.

UK Astronomy

Moment of Pride

That we are a small charity with a big impact and we run it all in our spare time.

Location: Buckinghamshire, UK