The Vayyu Foundation | UOcean Project
Fighting against plastic pollution
Uniting communities against plastic pollution in our local waterways and coastlines
The Vayyu Foundation is a registered environmental charity leading the fight against ocean plastics and climate change through positive mental health activities. They are a young and dynamic charity who work with local communities across the UK uniting them against plastic pollution in our canals, rivers and beaches.
Their UOcean project is a community-based mission to remove one billion kilos of marine pollution by 2030. Their project has seen exponential growth, impacting over 15,000 individuals and removing a staggering 320,202kg of plastic from UK waterways and coastlines through 1,403 canal, river and beach cleans.
Having worked in many areas in the UK, they were keen to extend their project to Kent. With two schools on board, Sevenoaks School and The Judd School, and over 250 young people willing to participate in the cleaning of Sevenoaks waterways and the River Medway, the group received a grant of £2,000 through our Environment Themed Programme to cover cost of equipment, DBS checks for new volunteer leaders and transport costs.
The positive effects and long-term benefits of this grant is that it creates a clean, safe and enjoyable environment in which individuals who would never have usually had access to these kinds of activities can build strong connections to the environment.
The beneficiaries reported feeling confident, connected and felt that being outdoors gave them the ability to be connected to local waterbodies they had never been to. Many of the participants now go to these local waterbodies on a regular basis, creating community connection and environmental guardianship.
One of the students that came on one of the initial clean ups, was dis-engaged, not really listening and kept to the back of the group, they tried to encourage him with little affect.
A situation occurred where one of the bridges was closed for construction work. Orienteering was not one the groups strongest skillset but he had completed a lot of hiking and his dad was in construction, so he immediately took charge and found an alternative way around.
The rest of the group applauded him, and he began to socialise, mix and engage with the other students whilst benefiting the rivers with the clean-up at hand, showing how being outdoors and cleaning up the environment allows groups to bond and create connections to the outside and with each other which they didn't have before.