After lots of hard work and some minor technical hitches – my laptop decided to quietly die the day before – we launched Refill Worthing. By working in collaboration with Adur and Worthing Councils and City to Sea CIC, supported by West Sussex County Council and Southern Water, Worthing Climate Action Network created a buzzy and lively event, with excellent post-event promotion.
Our fantastic official launch took place on 15th August 2018 at St. Paul’s café, with over 70 people (and nearly 100 in some reports!) in attendance. Visitors enjoyed stalls, presentations, workshops and a prize-draw to win a bespoke Refill Worthing Chilly Bottle. Attendees heard from Cllr Dan Humphreys, leader of Worthing Borough Council, about their support for the scheme and the council’s wider commitment to tackling single-use plastic waste. This was followed by presentations from Mala Nathan, Refill South-East Coordinator, Atlanta Cook, Marine Environment consultant and Honorary Life Member of Surfers Against Sewage and Cat Fletcher, award-winning waste prevention activist.
Following the launch, Refill Worthing was on the local BBC news, in the local paper and the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce summer review. As lead coordinator for the Refill Worthing scheme, Michelle Furtado, developed and delivered the launch. This included organising volunteers to sign-up Refill Stations, mobilising local campaign groups for the launch and subsequent media promotions. The energy from the event is being harnessed and again, by working collaboratively, Michelle is providing mentorship for another local activist group to deliver Plastic Free Worthing. The full launch report is available at our online Refill Worthing drive.
The Refill Worthing scheme continues to be promoted within the wider Worthing CAN message. On the 8th September 2018, we represented our local area for the Rise for Climate global protest. Our event in Worthing town centre, attracted supporters from Brighton to Bognor, all determined to stand with others around the world and demand urgent action on climate change. We had many positive conversations with passers-by and found some new volunteers to boot. Our work and that of others locally, will also be promoted at the forthcoming Big British Beach Clean and Green Dreams festival. We are achieving significant action locally and creating change. Importantly, the simplicity of the Refill scheme allows us to deliver this change in a business-friendly format, creating an excellent platform for new working relationships with statutory organisations and business networks.