Hi! I am Emily Stevenson, I am 20 years old and am currently in my final year at Plymouth University studying Marine Biology. Alongside my studies, I am also the co-founder of Beach Guardian CIC. Having lived in Cornwall for much of my childhood, I feel like I have such a deep connection with the ocean and have always had the strong desire to protect it. My family and I have always cleaned the beaches, but after witnessing firsthand the increase in litter washing up on our coastlines, I knew I needed to do something. This is what led me to study Marine Biology, to get a better understanding of marine life and the pressures on our oceans.
Here at Beach Guardian CIC, we organise community beach cleans, work with businesses and MPs to find alternatives to plastics and visit schools and use the plastics collected off the beaches to create educational art-work with the children. We have recently launched our Crowdfunder campaign to raise money for new litter picking equipment and more tools and resources to continue educating and raising awareness. I thought a jumble sale would be a great idea as I believe selling second-hand items is a great form of conservation, which is often overlooked. This would not only reduce the demand on new items of clothing, and therefore reducing carbon emissions and plastic packaging, but I also believe that the re-using of clothing may also aid rid the wasteful mindset of many.
We chose to collaborate and share the fundraiser with the Sea Watch Foundation because we know they do such amazing and necessary work to improve the conservation of marine mammals in the seas around Britain. So many people came to support us and wanted to find out more, and the UPSU volunteering team were so great in helping me organise and prepare for the fundraiser. I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and we hope to work with Sea Watch again in the near future.
Sea Watch Foundation would like to thank Beach Guardian for not only the fantastic work they do but also their donation to support our work.