Gillingham residents Des and Carol Felix have been awarded the RSPB’s highest honour, the President’s Award, at the charity’s Annual General Meeting.

Des & Carol presented with their award from RSPB President Miranda Krestovnikoff, (c) Heather Stuckey

The RSPB President’s Award is our chance to recognise those volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to help save nature. The husband and wife team volunteer as fund raisers, campaigners and “stalwarts” for the Medway Local Group with various roles including organising events, editing the group newsletter and group publicity officers.

Carol & Des have helped formed the backbone of the Medway Local Group for over 18 years and have been an ever constant source of support in the face of a stream of complex and contentious national RSPB campaigns that have affected their Medway area of North Kent, including the current #SaveLodgeHill campaign to save the best site for nightingales in the country.

“It would be difficult to think of a couple more deserving of the award!

The list of everything they do is mind-blowing. But it is the manner they do it that adds to their contribution. They are tireless, calm, absolutely dedicated, endlessly efficient, warm, humble, but perhaps most importantly ever ready to seize the initiative. They ensure that our Medway Local Group reaches out into the community, and all our members there see and hear from the RSPB at a local level.

David Saunders, Medway Local Group member says: “It would be no exaggeration to describe them as the backbone of the Medway Group or the glue that holds us all together. Not only do they publish the Newsletter, Carol and Des perform the role as membership secretaries, they run and organise the Hempstead Valley Stall at Christmas, they collect and collate the pin badge box money, and organise volunteers for our events and that is just what I know they do and I’m sure they do much more than that. They have even enrolled their children and grandchildren in the group. It would be difficult to think of a couple more deserving of the award!”

Des and Carol flanked by family members who also volunteer for the RSPB, Image (c) Dave Saunders

Only six RSPB President’s Awards are allocated each year, recognising the outstanding contribution of volunteers. The charity could not deliver much of its work without such individuals and choosing just six is an annual challenge. Rewarding support and achievement is important to the RSPB and we have lots of opportunities across the UK where people can support our work. For details, please visit