Helen Webb like most of us had seen and read news stories about the effects of pollution on our oceans and its marine life, we all say "how terrible" it is and something should be done, but how many of us get involved?
Helen and her dive buddy Rachel decided to do something positive to help, she thought of all the people who use the oceans for pleasure; divers, boaters, surfers, swimmers and even paddlers at the beach that have the privilege of using the sea with no cost. This sparked an idea to help raise money for marine conservation.
Helen explains that if we imagined a huge turnstile that we had to pass through to get to the water, and we had to pay an entrance fee of £1 for each use, we could raise millions of pounds a year, which in turn could be used to fund conservation projects.
Think about it, if you had to pay only £1 to enjoy your time in the water, would you be deterred? A tiny amount from each of us could turn into a huge sum that could be used to help sort out some of the pollution problems.
In May 2011 Helen set up Sea-Changers using the original idea as the template. Everyone involved is a volunteer, and they give some of their free time to building relationships with companies and organisations that are linked to the sea in some way. They collect donations from their customers which is then donated to Sea Changers who collate and distribute the raised funds to marine conservation charities, to help them carry out their good work.
Since Sea-Changers inception many thousands of pounds have been raised and given out in the form of grants. All the money raised is given out and over 60 different groups have received monies to help with their work.
A typical example would be the Newquay Marine Group made up of inspired local people who received a small grant in 2013 to help get sea cleanup work off the ground. The group have been so successful that they have now grown to 300 members, who get regularly involved in beach clean ups and various other projects to clean up their local coastline.
I find people like Helen truly inspiring, we all say we care but it takes special people to do something about a problem that seems so big. The work of groups like Newquay Marine shows that we can all get involved and we can all make a difference.
Adventure Underwater supports Sea-Changers in their efforts, and will do whatever we can to help them grow and develop, they need people who are interested in volunteering to get in touch, so please take the time by clicking on the Sea-Changers icon below, and read for yourself how you can help.