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A year in the life of: the campaigns and innovation team

A blog post by Paul Wallace

Paul Wallace
Campaigns and Social Innovation Manager

Posted 20/12/2019

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2019 has been an exciting year for the Campaigns Team. From litter protests to doggy ambassador competitions, to weeks of action and plastic fishing boats, to large-scale clean ups and engaged anchor groups, we’ve had a pretty eventful year!

During 2019 we launched our latest campaign, Cup Movement in Glasgow - Scotland's first cup recycling and behaviour change campaign - began full delivery of Upstream Battle Phase 1, delivered probably the most successful Spring Clean ever, continued the success story that is My Beach Your Beach, brought the current phase of the roadside litter campaign to an end and started to reboot Clean Up Scotland.

We also forged a wide range of new partnerships with funders, partners and supporters from Scotland and beyond, we built on relationships with existing funders and partners but also opened up new relationships that will be of value to our organisation in the medium to long-term.

We did all this at the same time as strengthening the connections between our campaigns and other parts of the organisation. Most of all we did it with a smile on our faces (or through gritted teeth!), continually challenging ourselves to go further and take more risks to make our campaigns the best they can be!

What have the team been up to this year? 

Paul, Campaigns and Social Innovation Manager

What’s been the highlight of your year?

It is hard to pick just one thing but seeing Upstream Battle and Cup Movement go into full delivery and the impact they are having on the ground has been brilliant – also starting the process to reboot and relaunch Clean Up Scotland, something that has been long overdue.

Were there any key learning experiences or takeaways?

You can never plan enough – and when you think you have – plan some more…. 

 

Also don’t be afraid to take a risk and do something different, the litter protest that kicked off the Upstream Battle Week of Action was put together in about a week.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

Again, it is hard to pick one thing, Upstream Battle Phase 1 concluding, launching Phase 2, an expanded My Beach Your Beach, a revamped Clean Up Scotland and the best Spring Clean ever!

Any funny stories to share?

A really funny thing for me (but not the team) is when I come in in the morning and say ‘I was just thinking we could……’.

Georgina, Project Officer for Roadside Litter and Cup Movement

What’s been the highlight of your year?

In early 2019 I started working on our Cup Movement campaign after three years of running ‘Give your litter a lift’. Having worked in litter prevention for the past couple of years, I have seen first hand the waste created by on-the-go consumption and packaging, so it’s great to be getting to the heart of the matter -and with something as topical and challenging as single-use items.

A highlight of my work this year, for both campaigns, has been interfacing more with policy and seeing my work contributing towards positive systemic change. It has also been great to see the legacy of our roadside litter work in general, with better collaboration and litter monitoring in place, as well as improvements to enforcement legislation in the new Circular Economy bill.

Were there any key learning experiences or takeaways?

I built a lot of learning through developing and running ‘Give your litter a lift’ and it has been interesting to apply this in the context of a different campaign. Having a paying membership brings a completely new dynamic to relationship management and partnership working. 

Also, every campaign has its own language (different audiences, tone, narrative), so balancing between two of them has kept me on my toes from a communications perspective – a blessing and a curse. Finally, despite being more focused geographically, Cup Movement is much wider and more complex in scope, which has been exciting and challenging in equal measure. I can already say how I would do things differently if I were starting again…captain hindsight to the rescue!

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

Cup Movement has generated a raft of exciting opportunities and prospects and I’m keen to see how everything unfolds. 

Any funny stories to share?

Taking part in the litter protest was hilarious -and I was the grumpiest cigarette ever. TRNSMT festival was definitely an eye-opener in more ways than one, from unfamiliar teenage trends (sheer dayglo everything!) to different people’s perceptions of single-use culture. Also it turns out that after 6 hours of relentless grime, I will turn down the chance to see Stormzy for free.

Aoife, Project Officer for My Beach Your Beach

What’s been the highlight of your year?

I joined KSB in 2018, developing and delivering our My Beach, Your Beach campaign – a bathing water quality improvement campaign which tackled littering and dog fouling behaviours at some of Scotland’s best loved beaches. It has been a pleasure to see the campaign through two seasons from its early origins, to a dynamic, impactful campaign delivering improvements for coastal communities. The highlight for me has been the variation of the role: from days on the beach, working with partners, photographing dogs, setting up gazebos, and meeting volunteers – it takes all manner of efforts to run a campaign, and the feeling when it all comes together is wonderful.

Were there any key learning experiences or takeaways?

Last week, we started a meeting by brainstorming answers to the question: what is the point? I’m happy to announce, that there was indeed plenty of ‘point’, and many reasons to do the things we do, but it is always so valuable to re-centre back to basics and ask ourselves: 1) why are we doing what we are doing? 2) is this the best way to achieve the goal? My key learnings this year have been: make space for creativity; partnerships are Everything (and how we learn the most!) and ‘team work makes the dream work’. 

I say the last point with some bitter sweetness as I move away from the Campaigns and Social Innovation Team and into my new role as Climate Change Officer. I am grateful for all that my Campaigns colleagues have taught me and will be ever-impressed by their creativity and determination to achieve a cleaner and greener Scotland.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

In 2020, I hope to keep re-centering and adapting our actions to align with the key question: what is the goal? I’m excited to get stuck into my new role as Climate Change Officer, and to help drive changes towards a positive future; the creation of “good new days” (a phrase coined by friends over at 2050 Climate Group). I look forward to beginning new working relationships with the people I will meet in the year ahead, and most of all, I look forward to moving things forward: 2020 needs to be a year of action for climate.

Any funny stories to share?

Somewhere in Fisherrow Sands, Musselburgh, there is a litter picking stick named after me. This comes after a pattern of litter picking equipment going missing at new “litter picking stations” installed this summer as part of My Beach, Your Beach. As an innovative solution to increase the chances of equipment being returned, members of Eskmuthe Rowing Club decided to trial naming each piece of equipment and adding googly eyes. I was honoured to be on the list as one of the chosen names! Watch this space for updates.

Heather, Project Officer for Clean Up Scotland 

What’s been the highlight of your year?

The Source 2 Sea week as part of Spring Clean. Who’s clever idea was it to tag the Plastic Fishing Punt onto an already busy week with Scottish Canals and McDonald Clean Ups? Me! I love being out the office and in amongst the action, working with partners from McDonalds and Scottish Canals. Events were open to the public and we had a large number of other organisations join us. 

Were there any key learning experiences or takeaways?

Remember to do Health and Safety briefs so that when McDonald's fall out of their canoe it’s not your fault...

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

Have more quirky weeks of action/themes week/activities as part of Spring Clean. I'm looking forward to getting out the office with high profile events as part of our work to support Year of Coasts and Waters.

Any funny stories to share?

Pulling out a toy car from the Forth and Clyde Canal clean up! Taking part in the litter protest - who doesn't like waking up at 5am to stand on a bridge in a crisp packet costume? 

Louise, Projects Assistant

What’s been the highlight of your year?

I’ve been with Keep Scotland Beautiful for 6 months now after being appointed the teams first Projects Assistant. I love the opportunity of getting involved with all the campaigns. I guess I’m nosey so this job has allowed me to be clued into all the things our team gets up to. On a serious note though the highlight of my year would definitely be the opportunity I’ve had to meet so many people and develop meaningful professional relationships both with external stakeholders and my colleagues. It’s one of the perks of working for a smaller organization; we’re all in the one office and on the one floor so you get a chance to chat with other teams, providing many opportunities to collaborate on projects. I was also lucky enough to take forward the delivery of our Week of Action for Upstream Battle, a campaign which looks at tackling marine litter by focusing on its journey from source (land) to sea. The event was an action packed, fun-filled week full of litter picks and gathered a lot of media attention. There were many stakeholders involved and it’s been great to continue working with them for other aspects of the Upstream Battle campaign.

Were there any key learning experiences or takeaways?

Ideas are developed best by involving your team and having good brainstorming session.

It’s amazing how easily you can bounce ideas of each other and formalise a plan of action when you’re part of an amazing team who all bring something different to the table.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

I am looking forward to continuing to help develop and seeing Upstream Battle Phase 2 launch. The Upstream Battle campaign has benefited from an interdisciplinary approach, our colleagues in the Education team took on certain aspects of campaign delivery. I am looking forward to seeing if we can continue to involve other teams, especially our heritage team with Phase 2. It will also be exciting to be here during Spring Clean as I hear there’s lots of exciting events planned, especially ones tying into Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

Any funny stories to share?

After my performance as Barry the Bottle during our litter protests my presence in Barry the Bottle costume was required yet again for the West Dunbartonshire Upstream Battle Pupil Conference… seems like people prefer me as Barry….!

I also ended up doing a photoshoot during the launch of Upstream Battle Week of Action as by the time our photographer arrived the litter pickers had finished and were on to their cup of tea! So the album of launch pictures consists of mostly my gorgeous face…. And for some reason my hair has a grey tint to it….

Rebecca, Project Officer for Upstream Battle

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

I am looking forward to meeting with more of the anchor groups at our event in the New Year and celebrating their successes with the project so far!  I’m excited to get my thinking cap on for some exhibitions and workshops in the New Year as well as planning for Phase 2 of the campaign.

 

2020 will be another big year for the Campaigns Team as we build on the successes of 2019 and roll out new and exciting activity. A big priority for us will be maintain momentum and increase our focus on prevention and behaviour change.

Overall, we want to deliver on our core mantra that underpins all of our work: Raise awareness, inspire action, gather evidence and repeat…..

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