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2020

2020 SES PIONEER WITH PURPOSE JOHN VOLANTHEN

2020 SES PIONEER WITH PURPOSE – JOHN VOLANTHEN

John is a world record-holding British cave diver who has been at the forefront of underground rescue and exploration over the last two decades. John began caving with the scouts at the age of 14 and continues to push the limits of underwater cave exploration to this day. In 2018, John played a key role in the Tham Luang Thailand cave rescue and was awarded the George Medal by the Queen for showing ‘great courage’. Using his background in medical electronics, John has built breathing equipment used to explore caves worldwide and designed and produced cave mapping technology. John lives in Bristol and spends his ‘spare’ time running ultra-marathons. 

2020 SES EXPLORER OF THE YEAR STEVE BACKSHALL

2020 SES EXPLORER OF THE YEAR – STEVE BACKSHALL

Steve captivates millions with his TV shows and expeditions ranging from the BAFTA-winning Deadly 60, to the critically acclaimed Big Blue Live, Alaska Live, Lost Land of the Volcano, Lost Land of the Jaguar and the adrenaline-fuelled series Steve Backshall’s Extreme Mountain Challenge and Down the Mighty River with Steve Backshall. His great passion is discovery – investigating new places and new species. He is prepared to go to the ends of the Earth to satisfy this passion. More recently, his book Expedition was published alongside his brand new 10-part TV series Expedition with Steve Backshall, which broadcast on UKTV Dave and saw him taking on physical challenges and encounters with extraordinary wildlife, in unchartered territory in the pursuit of new discoveries. Steve’s international acclaim extends off-screen too. Steve is an accomplished author penning both fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children. He is also a patron for numerous charities and an ambassador for the Scout Association.

Photo of Steve Backshall by Rohan Kilham.

2020 SES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT DR JANE GOODALL DBE

2020 SES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT – DR JANE GOODALL DBE

Dr Jane Goodall is founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace. She began her landmark study into the lives of wild chimpanzees at Gombe in Western Tanzania on 14 July 1960 and that research continues today. Established in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute has offices in 24 offices countries. Programmes created include the ongoing research at Gombe; TACARE – a community-centred conservation programme active in 6 African countries, that recognises the role that local people can play in conserving their natural world, whilst sustainably improving their lives; and two sanctuaries for orphan chimpanzees in South Africa and the Republic of Congo. In 1991 Dr Goodall founded Roots & Shoots with 12 high school students in Tanzania. Today, Roots & Shoots is active in more than 65 countries and empowers young people of all ages to become involved in hands-on projects for their community, animals and the environment we all share. In the past 30 years Roots & Shoots has involved thousands of young people in more than 100 countries who are now taking those values into their adult world. Dr Goodall is author of many books for adults and children and she features in countless films and videos. The recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, Dr Goodall continues to share her messages of hope and to inspire new generations to take positive actions for our world and all its inhabitants.

Photo of Dr Jane Goodall DBE by Stuart Clarke.