A woman from Haddenham has won the 'Animal Hero' award at the Animal Star Awards ceremony last Saturday.
Nicky Stevens received the award at the prestigious event held at the Marriott Hotel in Portsmouth for her work as CEO and founder of International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals (IAPWA).
Remarkably, another member of her team, Jo MacKenzie, was also a winner on the night, claiming the Veterinary Nurse of the Year title, while vet Katie Estrop, who could not attend as she is currently treating animals in Borneo, was a finalist in the Vet of the Year category.
Speaking to this paper about these successes, Nicky said:
“I'm honoured to have been awarded Animal Hero in the company of such inspirational animal advocates and am especially proud of our Romania Project Coordinator and Borneo Veterinary Director for their awards and tireless commitment to animals in need. The work we do would not be possible without our incredible team and valued supporters and I'm extremely grateful to everyone who has enabled IAPWA to develop into the charity it is today.”
Animal lover Nicky was inspired to launch her charity after a trekking trip to Borneo ten years ago raised her awareness of the plight of stray dogs in the region.
After three years of negotiations with the government, IAPWA took management of the city dog pound, replacing inhumane methods of population management with their own programme.
Their project involves neutering thousands of strays every year, delivering education sessions on a range of topics relating to animal welfare, managing an adoption programme for those struggling to cope on the streets and providing vital veterinary care.
IAPWA now runs similar projects in Penang, Romania and Philippines, as well as running a wildlife campaign to raise awareness of the link between lion cub petting and canned hunting.
To find out more about IAPWA's work or to donate please visit their website here.