Well I was lucky enough to be born in Cyprus, where I spent nearly every day of my childhood playing on the beach with my big brothers.
My family then moved back to Brighton where I acquired a pink flowery wetsuit and learnt how to surf at the West Pier as it slowly fell into the sea around me. This led me to working as a lifeguard on Brighton beach before starting my adventures across the world.
After spells in NZ, Australia, Indo and Morocco, my partner and I ended up in South America where we founded and ran Al Agua Ecuador for 3 years. A little NGO that used surfing to bring vulnerable children back into education. We also tackled plastic pollution with local schools by giving free ‘Environmental English’ lessons and trying to show locals in the market that a banana doesn’t need to be put in 5 plastics bags.
After the birth of our son however, we started to realise that content as we were in Ecuador, our family was just too far away. So after 10 years of bouncing around we returned back home and now are lucky enough to live on Shoreham Beach. When I got back to England I often thought about the plastic pollution in the beach town where my child was born. The problem has got so out of control I could have easily felt overwhelmed and got depressed about it, instead however, I hit up SAS and got the ball rolling on a number of projects.
As a surfer from Brighton, SAS may not have saved my life, but they have definitely prolonged it. The water quality in the 90s was absolutely terrible and it’s thanks to SAS that I no longer have to duck dive in sewage. It’s important to remember these things and that we can make a difference, I look forward to playing my part in the next wave of projects.
Now working as a Seafront Officer in Brighton, not only do I get to surf back at the West Pier (with bits still falling on top of me), but I get to talk to school groups and members of the public about some of the big issues we are facing, and more importantly, what we can do about them. So if you’re in Shoreham or on the beach in Brighton, make sure you stop by and say hello.