Volunteering: a winning team
12 December 2022
In 2017, Romain Sorlin drives The SeaCleaners' old used Ford. The association was just one year old. He heads to Paris to attend the Nautic boat show, alongside the few employees who are carrying the Manta project at arm's length. Today, in 2022, more than 30 volunteers take turns on the two imposing stands of this emblematic show. Let's take a look back at the journey of this great family that has become The SeaCleaners.
Since its beginning, The SeaCleaners‘ goal has been to unite people around a common cause: plastic pollution and the preservation of the oceans. It is therefore a great success to see that more and more people are wearing the colors of the association every day. Currently, more than 25 local action groups, made up of 400 pro-active volunteers, are involved in local pollution clean-up and awareness actions.
“It usually only takes the will and motivation of one person to create a team. History has shown us that once this first person dares to take the plunge, the others follow, for a magnificent result and group cohesion!”
Conviviality and mutual support: the key words of the volunteer project
Romain insists on one particular point: a local action group goes beyond a simple extra-professional activity. It is also a group where trust, mutual aid and conviviality must reign. Because giving your time for the oceans is good, but doing it while having fun and pulling together is even better.
This is done through moments of sharing at the end or outside of the actions, but also through the diversity of the events in which the volunteers are involved: in 2022, the SeaCleaners were present at 6 major French-speaking festivals, allowing thousands of festival-goers to become aware! A good way to attract the new generation and encourage them to get involved for the oceans.
“The most committed volunteers are over 50, but we bring together all ages, all social classes and all genders. It is also thanks to our events and partnerships that we are increasingly able to attract regular young volunteers. It's incredible to be able to reach such a wide audience and create such a mix of generations. ”
Sea clean-up: a team effort
Another way to convince young people? Sports partnerships. More and more sports clubs are joining The SeaCleaners in their adventure, and raising awareness among their members, supporters and both amateur and professional players. This is the case of the RCT, the UBB or the FC Girondins de Bordeaux who have not hesitated to play the game and to carry the voice of the oceans on many occasions, allowing our teams to address new, diversified audiences, not always aware of the preservation of the oceans.
If we feel that schools play a key role in raising awareness against plastic pollution among the under 25s, motivating teenagers to take action is still a bit complicated. This is why themed litter picks in partnership with sports organizations or celebrities are a real development goal for the volunteer division.
Conveying positive messages and combating inertia
Today, the number of registrations to become a volunteer is soaring. A real success for the volunteer division.
“The volunteers are the beating heart of the association. I said this at the very beginning of The SeaCleaners adventure, but today it has never been so true. We still have things to improve, but it’s very motivating to be able to work with them to make our systems evolve and become more and more influential locally. This evolution is also the victory of the whole team, from the director to the coordinators, who give everything for this family. When I see all that has been achieved in 2 years, I tell myself that we can be proud of ourselves. The best part is realizing that this is only the beginning of the adventure…!” – R.S.
Would you like to join our team of volunteers and participate in civic actions?
What happened in 2022 ?
🙏 2300 registered volunteers: + 35% of registrations this year
🗑 6.5 tons of waste collected
✅ 105 actions recorded
🚬 82,121 cigarette butts collected
😷 1082 sanitary masks
🎓 1781 students sensitized