Mosaic Young Champion Karl wins National Parks UK Young Volunteer of the Year 2015!

Its absolutely fantastic news that Karl Epps, Young Champion for our Mosaic Project in the New Forest National Park has been awarded Young Volunteer of the Year 2015 by National Parks UK.

Karl said, "got some great news today that I've won the National Parks Young Volunteer Award - I wasn't expecting this but I'm absolutely chuffed!!!"

We were very proud that all those shortlisted in the young volunteer category were Mosaic Young Champions, demonstrating the impact that our Mosaic Youth Project is having on inspiring young people to get involved in National Parks. National Parks UK thought that all three nominees in the Young Person category impressed the judges, with New Forest's Karl Epps ultimately being named winner. A wheelchair user, Epps has worked with New Forest National Park to better ensure inclusiveness at national park events. Highly commended were Ollie Barnett of Exmoor, and Adam Philip-Philips of the Lake District.

Karl has served as a volunteer for more than two years and has done a variety of jobs, from helping to maintain gardens, to assisting in office work, to interacting with the general public. Judge, Helen Steers said,

"He is clearly a passionate, committed advocate for our wild spaces. It is especially inspiring to know he is out there talking about the huge impact nature can have on an individual's health and wellbeing. In addition, Karl's focus on inclusion and accessibility will have a tangible effect for many other people in his own area and can serve as an excellent example for other wild spaces."

Described as a "true champion" by his fellow volunteers, Karl credits volunteering with helping him to grow as an individual and overcome personal reservations he had held as a result of his physical challenges. A huge congratulations to him!

To see the full list of winners, click here.