Seabirds Social Impact 2020

As a social enterprise we run like a business with the aim of using it to support wellbeing and community resilience. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone but we have still managed to have a significant impact. In the past 2 years Seabirds has donated over £8.5k to Surf Solace, Hove Surf Life Saving Club, T4K Covid Crisis fund, Women Wellbeing & Water and Surfers Against Sewage. For the remainder of the year we will be donating to Leave No Trace Brighton and in 2021 Level Water. All these are charities and community groups that have a social and environmental impact and are aligned with the values of the local sea swimming community. A considerable amount of our ability to raise unrestricted funds has come through the running of our online Swim Shop and we owe a big thank you to all our customers for supporting our mission!

The Environment:

Seabirds stands for clean seas, clean beaches and the elimination of plastic pollution. To this end we try to keep our environmental impact to a minimum.

We sell alternatives to single plastic products or recycled product where we can – the mugs, pints, robes and towels for example.

Leave No Trace Brighton which was formed in 2020. Seabirds gives support, volunteers and collaboration. We will focus our fundraising for them in Autumn/Winter 2020.

Surfers Against Sewage – Seabirds is a member of the 250 club through a monthly donation, our way of being part of a powerful network of leaders, driving forward a movement for change and to protect the UK’s unique coastal environment. Together with their network of ocean activists, supported by peer-reviewed evidence, Surfers against Sewage challenges the government and water companies to end sewage pollution in rivers and the ocean. They provide the only national real-time water quality service that protects all water users from pollution.

Water Loggers

Seabirds Director Kath is the Hove Water Logger for Water Loggers and many of our Salty Seabird community have signed up to also be Mid Sussex Water Loggers. From Water Loggers at We Swim Wild "The  #Waterloggers are our regional representatives across the U.K. They look after their local stretch of water completing beach, river and lake clean ups. Twice a year they take scientific samples of their local waterway so we can test for levels of microplastics at Bangor University under the direction of Dr Christian Dunn. This research informs our annual ‘ U.K Plastic Waters Report’. This overview of micro plastics in U.K waters will help us lobby the government to start testing U.K waters for levels and quantities of micro plastics. If you would like to be involved get in touch and don’t forget to tag us on your swim spot clean up using #wastefreewaters #weswimwild.​​​​​​​" 

Vitamin Sea – we are signed up to be part of this initiative with Cal Major following our event in Nov 2019 – showing her film focusing on community action around plastic pollution, the need to reconnect to nature in order to drive a desire to protect it, and the importance of time in nature for mental health and hosting a Q and A with Cal. ​​​​​​​

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Seabirds are Wellbeing Warriors! Our whole reason for being is to promote the use of the water to support our wellbeing. To this end we:

Promote Mental Health Awareness through our Pass the Salt blog, social media posts and within the Salty Seabird Swim Community. We have nurtured our Salty Seabird Swimming Community, a source of great solace to so many during the lockdown and ongoing difficulties of 2020. We have had collective story telling, smiley selfies and constant adjustment of the ‘rules’ to accommodate policy changes from No.10. We have welcomed new members as best we can and the group continues to advise and support each other.

Community Building and Resilience is central to what Seabirds stand for.

Our Salty Seabirds Swim Group is now at2.5k members – this requires admin-ing, rules constantly changing to react to C19, story telling and virtual meet ups in lockdown and of course swims, tea and chat.

The two Seabirds Directors are member of the Network of Admins of Outdoor Swimming Society Wild Swim Groups. We build links and friendships with other swim groups and swimmers.

Support for local charities; We have supported Martletts Hospice Charity by providing the image for their Christmas Card Campaign; Survivors Network – through our International Women’s Day event (our last mass event before the pandemic hit!) we raised. £325.

We raised £1634 for Thousand 4 £1000’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund. This went directly to those in our community locked down like the rest of us but destitute due to insecure immigration status.

Wellbeing through Swimming for ALL:

We have signed up to the Black Swimming Association DIPER Charter and have a lot of work to do to make our swim group membership better reflect our whole community.

Level Water We will be raising money for Level Water in 2020 and through into 2021. Level Water’s Mission is ‘A Fair Start in Sport’ the only UK swimming charity who provide specialist one-to-one swimming lessons for children with physical and sensory disabilities. Proceeds from our Arctic Tern Challenge will go to Level Water. Find out more here

Our Wellbeing and Water courses will run again in 2021 (referral only).