Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Profile of an OceansWatch Volunteer: Becky Trenner
Becky Treneer grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall in the UK into a sailing family.
“It’s something I was brought up with and something that is intrinsic to my nature I suppose,” she said reflecting on her past.
Becky worked in various water sports centres and became a dinghy and powerboat instructor and taught sailing for numerous years.
“I’ve got a range of different experience in different boats and I am now starting to really concentrate and focus my career, shall we say, into the sailing world.”
But sailing is not the only thing she has worked with in her career.
“Well I have a background in, and a degree actually, in arts and events management. I did a lot of work with youth which took me on to doing education work and being an outdoor person, I decided I wanted to do something that I really wanted to do so I went off and worked in an adventure center teaching and youth leading.”
Becky joined the boat in Italy, made the transatlantic crossing from the Canary Islands and began her volunteer work with OW in Grenada. With her project management background, she took on the responsibility for compiling island reports, meeting with some of the Yacht Clubs and marinas and of course, talking to yachties.
“Personally I find OW a really a very interesting concept and there is so much potential and opportunities that OW can get involved in. My personal area was all about the educational side of things having worked in various educational settings and knowing the value of working with young people and communities and also being an outdoor and marine person I have a lot of interest in the marine wildlife so tying the two together was somewhat of a natural concept I ‘spose.”
From Grenada, the team travelled to Union Island, Bequia, St. Lucia, Dominica and Antigua spending time gathering information and making contacts.
“I think we have covered so much in the last three weeks. We have met some really very influential and interesting people. I think personally talking to a couple of organizations and people that are just very interested and very supportive and learning that there are people out there that want to make a difference and help out, I don’t think I realized how much of that was going on.”
Looking for ways to help the communities is a part of the team’s research.
“A common issue that kept coming up was certainly the issue of rubbish, the garbage, and the disposal of it. With the impact of all the yachts and visiting people in the islands they just don’t have the systems to be able to deal with the rubbish and so a lot of the organizations we spoke to were really concerned about that and obviously disposing of that in the right way, “Becky said.
“There also seems to be a lot of individual organizations working, but not necessarily the network that perhaps in more developed areas are used to,” she continued. “This became an issue with people just talking about the communication and the links between groups.”
“We observed this (success) in Grenada where we actually saw 4-5 different organizations come together and work together on a security network for visiting yachts. I think it’s just a question of pulling the resources and there is so much enthusiasm, so many people who want to do good things but we need to bring them together and that’s a problem that we found,“ Becky reviewed from her findings.
Her time with OW ended in Antigua so she could pursue other goals, but she made a difference. Laughing and happy, it was always fun to be around her.