£850,000 and counting raised for wildlife conservation

Last Wednesday, 14 November we hosted our Hope Gala dinner at the Natural History Museum as part of our 25th Anniversary goal to raise vital funds to enable our existing network of conservation heroes – past Whitley Award winners – to dream big and deliver large scale, long term solutions for wildlife.

We were honoured to be joined for the evening by our Trustee, Sir David Attenborough, who spoke with WFN Ambassador Kate Humble on the achievements of our winners:

“What these individuals have done is much more than a single footstep, they’ve already advanced well along the road, so I believe that these individuals who have been supported by the Whitley Fund for Nature will become centres from which to spread the message, and the knowledge, and the zest, and the enthusiasm, (to create positive change) all over their community.”

Watch the full interview here.

Last night’s Hope Gala took our 25th Anniversary Fund to a total of £850,000 and counting, with Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation making the first pledge. We were honoured to be joined by 13 of our past Whitley Award winners to celebrate the occasion: Charudutt Mishra (snow leopards, Himalayas), Aparajita Datta (hornbills, India and Indonesia), Pedro Vaz Pinto (giant sable antelope, Angola), Rachel Graham (sharks, Belize), Patricia Majluf (fisheries, Peru), Pablo Borboroglu (penguins, Southern Hemisphere), Shivani Bhalla (lions, Kenya), Ximena Velez-Liendo (Andean bears, Bolivia), Rodrigo Medellin (bats, Mexico), Randall Arauz (sharks and sea turtles, Costa Rica), Claudio Sillero (Ethiopian Wolf, Ethiopia), Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka (gorillas, Uganda) and Farwiza Farhan (Leuser Ecosystem, Sumatra).

Our 2012 Gold Award winner Rodrigo Medellin spoke on behalf of our global winner network, sharing the impact that WFN has had on his personal and professional life. His heartfelt speech culminated by inviting all of our Whitley Award winners in attendance up on stage. They were met with a standing ovation from our 350+ guests, marking a moment of celebration of WFN’s 25 years. Watch his full speech here.

Our Hope Gala also featured a collaboration between WFN and Fashion for Conservation. FFC’s amazing fashion show featured designs from Deborah Milner, and Mother of Pearl, and highlighted how high street decisions impact wildlife and conservation efforts globally.

A sincere thank you to our all of our speakers, sponsors, donors, guests, and staff who made the evening such a great success. A special thank you to Gala Partner The Corcoran Foundation, sponsors Soneva, Jupiter Asset Management, and Steppes Travel, and to Event Organiser Hannah Ramuz, and Gala Chair Catherine Faulks.

To learn more about our 25th Anniversary Fund, or to donate, click here.

To view our Hope Gala Programme, click here.

To view the Highlights Film from the Gala, click here.