Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been awarded the Blue Peter Badge. Other recipients include the Queen, David Attenborough and Captain Tom Moore.
England footballer Marcus Rashford and climate activist Greta Thunberg have been awarded gold Blue Peter badges for having ‘accomplished great things, inspired a nation, saved a life or shown bravery and courage’.
Rashford and Thunberg join a small list of people who have been presented with the coveted badge, including the Queen, Sir David Attenborough, Dame Mary Berry, astronaut Tim Peake and the late Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Marcus Rashford, Man United footballer, successfully pressured Prime Minister Boris Johnson into an embarrassing U-turn over the Government’s free school meals policy in England. His campaign placed pressure on the Government who insisted that child food poverty could be dealt with through the Universal Credit system. The U-turn came after the Government whipped Conservative MPs to vote against a Labour motion in the House of Commons calling for the extension of free school meal provision following Rashford’s campaign.
Rashford said he was ‘so proud’ of those who had united behind his campaign and that he was ‘overwhelmed by the outpouring of empathy and understanding’, promising his supporters to ‘fight for the rest of my life’ to end child hunger in the UK. Speaking on a video call, the 23-year-old icon said of his badge: ‘I appreciate it greatly – I am happy that I’m able to spread positive messages and show a side of me that people might not know of.’
Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg, 18, came to global fame after boycotting classes at school and striking in her native country. Her exploits have seen her travel across the world to warn of climate change, famously butting heads with Donald Trump after the former US President pulled out of the Paris Climate Deal.
Just weeks before the first Covid lockdown in the UK, Thunberg attracted thousands of demonstrators in Bristol as she gave a stump speech and marched through the South West English city. She has since said that the coronavirus crisis has ‘shone a light’ on how ‘we cannot make it without science’ and accused the world of listening to ‘one type’ of scientist while ignoring others warning of climate change.
She also told Blue Peter: ‘A lot of what I do is not for me, I just want to give people the best chance to be the best they can be.’
Thunberg, who came to global attention after boycotting school to demonstrate in her native Sweden, was given her badge for raising awareness about climate change and for inspiring ‘a generation to make a positive change for the planet.’ She said via video link: ‘Thank you so much. I don’t know if I deserve this but I am very honoured by this and I will put this in my room and take great care of it.’
The Blue Peter Gold Badge Awards
The Blue Peter gold badge special show also features children who ‘achieve incredible things’. They will receive surprise messages from Stormzy, the Harry Potter cast and Premier League footballers.
The show’s editor Ellen Evans said: ‘The Blue Peter Gold Badge Awards is a feel-good show about the extraordinary things that young people achieve. ‘Each year only a few gold badges are awarded to our amazing audience who have shown outstanding bravery, overcome adversity and achieved the most brilliant things.’
‘It’s so difficult to choose who is awarded a badge and I hope that (the children who received badges) inspire others with their stories as both Greta and Marcus have done.’ Presenter Mwaksy said: ‘Each year we get so many amazing letters from kids at home telling us about the things they have achieved. Some make us laugh and some make us cry so it is fantastic to be able to award some of our viewers a gold badge.’
The Queen was presented with a gold Blue Peter badge during a day-long tour of UK broadcasters in November 2001. Presenter Simon Thomas joked that it might help her get into some attractions for free, including the Tower of London. ‘She laughed, which was good because I thought, if the joke goes wrong, I’ll look very silly,’ he said afterwards.
World War Two veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore was awarded a prestigious gold Blue Peter badge for raising almost £33million for the NHS during the first Covid lockdown. The war hero, who died after testing positive for coronavirus last month, completed 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden by his 100th birthday, receiving donations from more than 1.5 million supporters.
Sir Paul McCartney was also awarded a gold badge. Presenter Lindsey Russell described him as ‘a beacon of light’ and was helped by Captain Sir Tom’s grandchildren to surprise him with the badge and to comply with social distancing measures.
Blue Peter – which first aired in 1958 and has had continuous seasons ever since, making it the longest-running children’s TV show in the world – is on CBBC and BBC iPlayer at 5pm on Thursdays.
Original source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk