I have spent most of my life near the water. As a kid I was fascinated by anything to do with marine life and the underwater world. This developed into an obsession with snorkelling and surfing. A way of exploring where I live that I never get tired of.
A move to St Ives in 2012 meant living only a few minutes’ walk from Porthmeor beach. Watching the Atlantic swells barrel-in drew me into the fringe sport of mat surfing. It’s not the usual choice of vehicle for surfers and it draws some strange looks but it proved addictive for me. My favourite break has to be mid to low-tide Perranuthnoe. What can beat a dawn session with a golden sunrise out with your mates and a few curious seals.
Inevitably time in the water means coming face to face with some grim realities. Rubbish and junk floating around the sea bed, sewage alerts after rain storms. You know how angry it makes you feel. Working at SAS is a chance for me to do more than just get angry or sad about these things. I’ve got the chance to do something about it.
So other than loving the water what else what else brings me to Surfers Against Sewage? I studied political science and international relations at Exeter University. My interest in global politics, policy and people led me to my first job as a writer and project manager for a communications consultancy. We supported international NGOs and government to get their stories out there and heard.
I went on to manage communications for the international human rights charity Forest Peoples Programme. Here I campaigned internationally with indigenous community groups, human rights organisations and environmental NGOs on issues spanning conservation, community land rights, illegal logging and deforestation. This work made me realise just how fragile our planet and its ecosystems are – and just how quickly we are destroying a balance we barely understand.
Working in the field of human rights really opened my eyes to the positive power of campaigns. I saw how grassroots community activism can stop forests and ecosystems from becoming wastelands. The future really is in our hands.
As Campaign Officer at Surfers Against Sewage I’m lucky to have a role that’s brings together these interests in environmental justice with my love for the sea. There’s some big battles ahead and I’m looking forward to joining you all on the front line to create a better future for our oceans and planet.