Creative workshops turning litter into lanterns while raising awareness of the marine environment
The organisation: Marske Litter Action is a group of local volunteers working together to keep Marske-by-the-Sea litter-free and to create positive change in the area. The organisation's aims include:
- Organising regular litter picks at different locations around the village
- Managing litter equipment cabinets where volunteers can access equipment at any time
- Being advocates for sustainability and encouraging people to make small changes to reduce their use of single use plastic
- Campaigning to stop sewage pollution on Marske beach
- Working in partnership with other groups and organisations in the village to reduce litter; highlighting the negative impact of all forms of litter and promoting the aims of our organisation to reduce this impact.
Marske Litter Action organises groups of volunteers to work on specific projects according to their interests.
The initiative: Sofia's grant funded a series of creative community workshops, culminating in a fantastical lantern parade in October (2022). Local artists worked with a number of groups - including schools, clubs and community organisations - to create lanterns made from collected marine litter plus other sustainable materials such as willow and tissue. The community workshops, along with drop-in sessions, were held throughout September. The outcome was the evening parade, which brought together the local community and participants, carrying their imaginative sea-themed lanterns in Valley Gardens at twilight - lighting the way as they made a procession to the beach.
The lanterns were shaped as marine creatures - jellyfish, seahorses, lobsters and fish - as a way of raising awareness of the impact people have on their environment, in particular on the oceans and marine animals. The project was a huge success engaging people in conversations and activities that will change behaviour, encouraging them to look after local marine wildlife, take care of the environment and be responsible for their impact on it. Everyone who participated pledged to become a Marske Guardian of the Sea.
Marske Litter Action worked in partnership with Marske Community Partnership (MCP) and Stellar Projects (local event producers) to realise this project.