Joanna Toole, the Exmouth animal welfare campaigner who tragically died in the march Ethiopean Airlines crash, has been recognised with a posthumous RSPCA Honours award for her work creating a safer world for animals.
Accepting the award on her behalf at the RSPCA Honours Event on Thursday night (27 June), Joanna’s father Adrian Toole said: “From early in life Joanna had the one mission, to protect animals from suffering, and she fully shared the values of the RSPCA. In later years her work concentrated on the marine environment but either at work or in her private life there was no injured, mistreated, or lost animal whose cause she would not take up.
“A deep sense of justice and fairness underlaid Joanna’s whole character and thus her instinct in word and action was to defend all creatures that would otherwise remain voiceless.”
36-year-old Joanna worked for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and was travelling to Kenya to head a panel discussing possible solutions to the problem of derelict fishing equipment in the sea. Tragically she didn’t reach her destination when the plane crashed near Bishoftu, six minutes after take off, killing all 157 people on board.
Mr Toole was presented with the award by vet and CBBC star Rory Cowlam at the ceremony hosted by comedian John Bishop.