To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are championing a couple of the talented and inspiring women that we are privileged to collaborate with at Bear & Bear.
Natalie Fee is a presenter, author and award-winning environmental campaigner. She was so shocked by the amount of plastic washing up on the shores of Bristol, her hometown, she set up City To Sea. Natalie and her team are fighting back against the tide of plastic floating into our oceans with campaigns promoting awareness and stopping plastic at source. Their motto is “Connecting our actions to our oceans”.
We are hugely proud to be supporting City to Sea through our contributions to 1% For The Planet. Every member of this organisation donates 1% of their revenue to approved not-for-profit entities doing good for the planet.
Nat is changing the way we look at the natural world and proving that one person really can make a difference! We wanted to find our more about what inspired her, and how others can follow in her footsteps:
If someone has a cause they really care about, what advice do you have for them about getting involved and committing to it?
Identify your talents, create some space and follow your heart. If there’s something that you’re passionate about changing, first off see if there are people already doing it in a way that resonates with you. Can you offer your skills, time and energy to them? If it’s something you want to create, or pioneer, then make a list of your top three talents, work out how those talents could be used for your cause and start doing it today. The world needs you!
How complicated and difficult is the process of setting-up an organisation like City to Sea?
Setting up your own organisation isn’t hard. Depending on what good you want to achieve you can choose from different structures to suit your objectives – looking into charities, community interest companies (CICs), social enterprises or B-Corps is a good place to start! I chose the CIC route for City to Sea, which meant we could be a bit more light-footed and responsive than a charity yet still be able to apply for grants and receive donations.
What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
To remember, and repeat the phrase, “I am enough”. Many of us go through life battling with an inferiority complex or feel we have to prove ourselves to something or someone, but we can unlearn those patterns. By choosing to adopt a more relaxed, self-loving attitude we free up a lot of energy and can settle into being who we truly are. Less critical, more kind!
How do you think you’ve been able to utilise your previous experience within the media and journalism world for City to Sea?
Media and communication skills are without a doubt key to the success of any campaign. My own experience in producing TV as well as presenting on camera helps our work at City to Sea both in terms of the production of our films and on stage – I love being in front of an audience and being the messenger of important, environmental information, but in a way that (hopefully) is engaging and memorable!
What have been the biggest highlights or profound moments in your journey? Has there ever been a situation you’ve thought “damn, I am making a real difference here”?
Winning awards and getting encouraging emails is very nice, as if I’m not doing a speaking gig or press interviews, I generally spend most days racing through to-do lists, answering emails and juggling phone calls. Too little of my working days are spent out in nature enjoying what I’m working to protect. So it’s really lovely when someone or something pops up and recognises you for what you’ve achieved, as it’s often hard to see the wood for the trees (or the rivers for the seas) from behind a screen.
And finally, which female leader or personality inspires you?
Caroline Lucas, co-leader of The Green Party. She’s worked tirelessly on environmental issues for over 30 years and is still graceful, wise and full of beans. Anyone who can survive in politics for that long and still strive for a better world deserves organic peonies (plastic-free of course) delivered (by bicycle) to her door every week they’re in season.
Visit the City to Sea website to find out more about how you can support Nat and this inspirational organisation: