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Swim the Eden – Update

I wanted to give David and the trustees a quick update on our Swim the Eden challenge.  We’ve got 26 days to go until the first day of our challenge and wanted to thank you again for all your support so far.
Here are some of the key highlights over the past month.

We’ve had a very large number of people get in touch about coming down to join us during our swim. This has ranged from local school kids who want to share a tin of beans at the end of the day while we’re camping, an elderly woman who swims everyday and has swam in the Eden for 65 years and farmers who want to bring their family down to wave as we swim past. These small gestures go a long way and we’re very proud that we’re inspiring people to reconnect with the natural world right outside their front door.

You’ve helped us generate a lot media interest and we’ve had many outlets contact us, from a CNN reporter who loves outdoor swimming, a Vogue photographer with an interest in siblings and twins, a BBC presenter with no previous wild swimming experience whose been roped in to do a whole day with us and many local newspapers and magazines. This is a huge help in promoting our conservation message and hopefully will make people rethink their own relationship with our natural heritage.

The Outdoor Swimming Society, the UK’s biggest wild swimming community (21,000 subscribers) has tipped our Swim the Eden expedition as this years big swimming challenge and they’ve run a competition for 10 winners to join us on the final 2 days of our adventure.

On a personal level your grant has enabled me to organise and plan what will undoubtedly be an unforgettable adventure and a journey that, alongside my brothers Robbie and Jack, I’ll never forget.
We’ve got an upcoming swim across the Corryvreckan on August 2nd as a training exercise for the Eden. The Corryvreckan is the 3rd largest whirlpool in the world and shipwrecked George Orwell and his brother while he was writing 1984 on Jura, we’ll be swimming straight across it and will be the first brothers to do this. I know David is a fan of unusual adventures and thought he might like that one.
The Corryvreckan Vortex
I will keep the updates coming as we get closer to the start date, back to the pool for me!
Have a great week.
Best regards,



Natural History Museum’s ‘Dippy’ to go on national tour

The Natural History Museum in London reports today that the Museum’s famous Diplodocus, Dippy, will go on tour from early 2018.

The Museum will run an open call to indoor venues in the UK to host the Diplodocus and its ambition is for Dippy to visit every region of the country.


See The Telegraph for more information.

The Great Barrier Reef 2050 long-term plan

New report states:

“Actions under the Reef 2050 plan will ensure the Great Barrier Reef continues to be among the world’s best managed and protected World Heritage areas.”

Click here to learn more.




Show the Love

Shakespeare’s words have been given a new meaning in a short film created by Ridley Scott Associates, launched yesterday as part of the Climate Coalition’s new campaign ‘Show the Love’.  The video features some of the UK’s biggest stars quoting Shakespeare to show their love for all things Earthly.

Amongst others, the video features David Harewood, Emilia Fox, Meera Syal and Stephen Fry in a short film for the Climate Coalition’s new campaign ‘Show the Love’ – show the planet some love and turn Valentine’s Day green.

Visit the site for further information.


Living on One Dollar launched on Netflix

StFF beneficiary – Living on One – produced an inspirational film: Living on One Dollar, which launched on Netflix on 1 January 2015 in the US and Canada.


End of Year Waste Ventures Update

In 2010/11 Waste Ventures was awarded first prize in StFF/MYOO’s Beat Waste Challenge and reports on 2014’s work:

2014 was an exciting year for Waste Ventures Charities as it marked critical additions to the team and the development of some tremendous initiatives.We have hired a new Executive Director for Waste Ventures Charities. Jo Hill was the Director of Ventures at UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs where she raised £10 million to support the most ambitious social ventures in the UK. She has developed a high impact strategy for Waste Ventures that brings together funders and pioneers to scale up waste picker led services. Already, under her leadership, Waste Ventures has secured investment to replicate the Waste Ventures model in Nepal.

To support our work, we have received generous funding from the Peery Foundationand were recently selected for the Grand Challenges Canada ‘Stars in Global Health’ funded by the Government of Canada.

Outlook for 2015

We are incubating a new set of waste picker initiatives that have the potential to create transformational impact in India. Our current projects include:

Waste Picker Franchise
This is a low cost, high impact model that moves waste pickers off the dump into dignified green jobs, doubling their incomes and diverting 83% of waste away from landfill. We are partnering with Hasiru Dala, a network of 5000 waste pickers and I Got Garbage, an online performance management platform that tracks data daily. We are currently raising funds to grow the franchise model. To set up one franchise costs $10K, generates 10 jobs and creates a long term livelihood for waste pickers.

Waste Impact Bond
We are developing a structured, results based financing mechanism to provide patient capital for the delivery of waste services at scale. The waste sector lends itself to an Impact Bond due to the tangible, measurable results such as:

  • Number of dignified, green jobs created for waste pickers
  • Volume of waste composted and recycled
  • % of waste diverted from landfill

The Waste Impact Bond has the potential to be a future game changer in terms of unlocking millions in long term private finance to mainstream the implementation of waste picker led services across India.

Thank You

In addition to the gratitude I have for our funding partners, I also want to wish you – my friends, family, colleagues, and mentors – a heartfelt thank you for your support to help us tackle one of the world’s biggest social and environmental challenges. If you would like to know more about our initiatives, feel free to reach out to me at or Jo at We are also humbled and grateful for your continued support and contributions.

Happy Holidays and Warmest Greetings,


Parag Gupta
Founder and Board Chair
Waste Ventures Charities


Parrys Raines – website relaunch and news of Antarctica Conference

Parrys Raines is a MYOOZE, team member of the Plastiki Expedition and supporter of StFF – and she’s still only 19 years of age.


Parrys’s CV includes:

Environmental Law Student
Environmental Educator and Adventurer
3 times Australian Representative to UNEP
Sustainability Leader
Climate Reality Leader
Ambassador for Aim for the Stars Foundation
WWF Youth Ambassador and Earth Hour Ambassador
Team member of the Plastiki Expedition
Partner & Aust. Rep. International Youth Accord on Biodiversity
Enviroweek Ambassador

Visit her new website and learn more about the Antarctica Conference here.