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Think big and make it happen!

My name is Amanda Wilson and I am a volunteer with the Marine Conservation Society.  My volunteering role involves organising beach clean ups at seven beaches in my local area which covers Carrick, Larne and Newtownabbey. 

I work closely with the relative councils to arrange the borrowing of equipment and waste collection. I promote the Marine Conservation Society and the work they do in any way I can which has involved a broadcast on Radio Ulster, a short piece on the 7:30 Show and via Newspapers.

I decided to get involved with this Charity as I came across their website and I realized there was an opportunity to be part of something much bigger and with a much greater impact on the environment than something I could have done on my own.  At the time I was reading a degree in Natural Science with an environmental focus at the University of Cambridge and therefore, I understood the importance of litter surveys at the beach cleans.  Collecting scientific data is a great way to make a contribution to the campaigns of the Marine Conservation Society, a collection of highly enthusiastic and active conservation practitioners!

This volunteer role really appealed to me as I love being outdoors and I wanted to help MCS in their aim to ‘turn the tide on marine litter’!   I would encourage  people to ‘try out’ something that is extremely enjoyable as I really feel that I can make a difference here in Northern Ireland.  The role is completely flexible as a beach clean up can be organized at a time which suits the volunteer.

The skills involved in my volunteering role are a passion for the environment and marine wildlife, enthusiasm for getting out there and doing my bit and I also make use of my organizational skills when planning events and ensuring things run smoothly.  It really is very, very addictive and you get such a ‘fuzzy glow’ from knowing you’re helping the environment!

I am continually advertising my next beach clean.  There are four beach cleans per year for each of the seven beaches that I’ve ‘adopted’.  These events and in particular, litter surveys, make a massive contribution to marine conservation and  I like to remind other volunteers that what they are doing is actually making a huge difference.  I would like to encourage others to think BIG and MAKE IT HAPPEN!