BEACH Buddies is teaming up with a group of students from the University College Isle of Man (UCM) to take on a major beach cleaning challenge in the Scottish Islands, with the aim of setting up a new branch of the charity.
A team of 12 students and tutors involved in the Employability & Skills Programme at UCM are now raising money to fund their trip to meet Islanders from Arran on Scotland’s west coast.
They will be joined by Beach Buddies’ founder Bill Dale for the five-day visit, who will set up the first official British Isles group of the charity under the name ‘Arran Beach Buddies’.
The Manx team is joining forces with Aaran’s local community, including their schools, to kick-start a regular beach cleaning initiative on the Island, building on the experience of the Manx Beach Buddies which started the same way 12 years ago.
In order to raise money for the trip, UCM students have already embarked on a new initiative to clean up community areas around Douglas. They started with a major task close to the College, where they cleaned up the areas in Willaston.
The team aims to raise funds by offering to clean up ‘litter hotspots’ all over the Isle of Man, focusing on areas inland.
UCM’s Employability & Skills Coordinator, Kate Bergquist, said, “Based on this initial success, we came up with the idea of trying to raise some funds for our trip by taking on further challenges.”
“Our team is very enthusiastic and has already identified a number of areas all over the Island which they could tackle.”
“We are now asking companies, groups and individuals all over the Island if they would like us to help clean up the areas around their offices, car parks, parks, glens or streets in return for a small donation which would go towards the £3,000 costs of travelling to Arran in July.”
The UCM Employability & Skills Programme helps students develop their critical employability skills such as: effective communication, creativity, adaptability, teamwork, problem solving, resilience, time management, self-confidence and coping with challenges, all relevant skills that are needed to secure quality and sustainable jobs.
Kate Bergquist added, “The students have been planning the Scotland trip for four months and have done a lot of research, during which they found many similarities between Arran and the Isle of Man. They feel their recent experience with Beach Buddies has taught them a lot about pristine coastlines and they would like to share their knowledge and expertise with the residents of Arran”.
Bill Dale added, “We feel the idea to clean up all sorts of areas will not only be good for the Isle of Man, but will also help to greatly increase the students’ self -confidence and raise their personal awareness of how litter is polluting the environment and endangering wildlife.”