The new stargazing van
Picture - Derek Pelling Photography

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.”

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