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Dom Ferris - Surfers Against Sewage is speaking at the Sector Strategic Forum
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Dom Ferris - Surfers Against Sewage is speaking at the Sector Strategic Forum

3rd October 2019 - Birmingham

Dom has been with SAS for almost 10 years, moving up in the charity from Campaign Officer to the role of Head of Community and Engagement. During this time he was responsible for the grassroots growth of their Beach Clean, Regional Reps, Community Events and Education programmes from just a handful of activations in 2009 to almost 2000 beach cleans, 175 Reps, 1500 schools and upwards of 100,000 engaged and empowered community volunteers of all ages and backgrounds (and even project managing two ocean plastic awareness events on behalf of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall in 2015 and 2018).

In August 2018 Dom took a 6 month sabbatical for a 50/50 split of reasons! Those being a huge thirst for an epic adventure and the realisation that he needed to take some time away due to challenges with anxiety and depression. So, he packed his mountain bike and headed out on a series of backcountry MTB expeditions that saw him bike over 2000km (and up over 200,000ft of vertical ascent) in the mountains of Oregon, Washington, Tibet and Nepal, raising £2764 for the men’s mental health charity CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) and along the way.

He is also the founder and director of Trash Free Trails, a community led movement dedicated to empowering people to protect their trails and wild places and during his time away he came to the firm realisation that he needed to dedicate more of his time to increase the reach and impact of Trash Free Trails.

Upon his return to SAS Dom was delighted to be offered the opportunity to become the Education Programme Manager for Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). This was a wonderful opportunity that enabled him to work on and develop the area of SAS work that he is most passionate about but also to have the freedom and energy to work on Trash Free Trails in his spare time.

This all leads to what Dom would like to speak with us about on the 3rd of October. As someone who has worked within the wonderful outdoor education world since his time as an eternally damp trainee instructor at the Red Ridge Centre in Mid-Wales in 1996, Dom is hugely encouraged and excited to hear that  the IoL are going to be ‘challenging the outdoor learning sector to take action and responsibility for the places that give us so much (for free!)’.

Drawing on this experience and his dreams for the future of outdoor learning, he’d like to demonstrate the natural power of grassroots movement building and explore the immense potential to create positive environmental change that exists within the outdoor activities community!

Dom is in the blue/green t-shirt in the photo.

“People protect what they love but love only what they know” – Jacques Cousteau

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