Meet the team
I relocated to Torridge in 2016 with my wife and three cats. I founded Earth Friendly Foodware and ReFuse & ReUse to help businesses and individuals reduce their dependence on single use oil-based plastic.
North Devon reconnected me with nature. As I learn more about the negative impact humans are having on our planet, the more motivated I become to encourage others to make changes to lessen that impact. Plastic Free North Devon offers me the opportunity to help educate people to understand the plastic problem we face and motivate them to make different choices.
I settled in North Devon with my family 11 years ago. I am a former Royal Engineer and traditional carpenter so have always been keen on being outdoors both at work and play.
We live in an amazing place, and the more I find out about it the more amazing it becomes. Watching Blue Planet II made me realise just how much damage is happening because of what we are doing. It’s undeniable and when my children, and maybe grandchildren, ask what I did when we found out about this I can tell them that I did the best I could through Plastic Free North Devon.
Director of Operations - ANNE-MARIE EVELEIGH
As a mum of three I am passionate about ensuring that we preserve and protect our environment for future generations. I am a true believer in the power of individual actions and felt that now was the time to act. Joining this group of passionate individuals has been inspiring and I am excited about what we are going to be able to achieve in the future.
Chief Executive Officer - CLAIRE MOODIE
I am an avid surfer, lover of the marine environment and all things outdoors, this makes me passionate about the need to protect and preserve this fragile resource. Not only does it fulfil and enrich so many people’s lives but the future of the human race ultimately depends on its health. Having worked on many conservation projects around the world including working as a Surfers Against Sewage representative for the last 5 years means I have not only come face to face with some of the worlds most majestic creatures and witnessed the issues they face but I have seen what happens when people come together to tackle an issue to create positive change within their communities. This is exactly what we are trying to do here in North Devon and I am so proud of what we and our very supportive local community have achieved so far and I’m very excited to see what else we can do.
I have always been an environmentalist, choosing, despite the wrath of my parents, to become a vegetarian at the age of 9! As a keen educationist (I teach English at Braunton Academy) and a lover of the natural world, I started the Facebook page, Plastic Free Braunton in August 2017, after a trip to my husband’s family home in Guernsey. My sister in law had recently created Plastic Free Guernsey and was having success at reaching a wider audience. On a whim, I setup my own page and overnight, with the support of Jasmine Bennett, Claire Moodie and James Szymankiewicz, it turned into Plastic Free North Devon and became a sensation reaching over 2,000 followers. I believe that change begins with children, and that is why I am passionate about getting the message over to the children I teach.
As a recent Human Geography graduate, I have become increasingly aware of the environmental impacts we bring upon nature and the different approaches in reducing this at an individual, corporate and governmental level. Having returned to North Devon after graduating, I have become more aware of the impact of plastic on our local environment and our responsibilities as individuals to act upon this. So, volunteering with PFND was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and empower others to adopt this responsibility.
Chair - JAMES SZYMANKIEWICZ
I am a GP working in Ilfracombe and current chair of PFND. Having lived, worked and surfed in North Devon for over 20 years I have seen the growing effects of marine litter and other man made impacts on our local environment. We have become disconnected from the natural world and this so clearly manifests itself in the global plastic pollution crisis we are now facing. I feel very strongly that we can change thing for the better, particularly now that I am working with such an awesome team at PFND!! I am really proud of what we have achieved in a short space of time but there is plenty more work to do!
Volunteer Coordinator - JO HIGGS
I’ve been passionate about the environment and wildlife since I first wrote a letter to WWF aged 7, asking for information for a school project on Red Pandas! I have since fulfilled my lifetime ambitions of working for WWF and helping on a sea turtle conservation project.
PFND is therefore a cause close to my heart, and I am delighted to be able to share my knowledge and passion to help this beautiful part of the world become plastic free.
Devon-grown, immediately after completing my degree I hurried back from the suburbs of Leeds to the silent pull of the Atlantic ocean; and to work for the Pickwell Foundation and help bring Plastic Free North Devon into existence.
As a local surfer and surf instructor, living metres from the beach, I witness the devastating effects of plastic pollution on our coastline on a daily basis and feel dismayed at what I see.
Also studying an MA in Dance and Somatic wellbeing, I’m fascinated by the connection between the body, community and the landscape we inhabit, and am in constant pursuit of a holistic approach to healing for our bodies, our culture, the earth and the relationships between these.
I’m super inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s book Hope in the Dark to bring a hopeful outlook to this important movement.
LYN & PHIL STRAHAN
We moved to Croyde 10 years ago, to live by the sea and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. After watching the film “A Plastic Ocean” it became impossible to walk on the beach without seeing all the tiny pieces of plastic washed up, or to see people drinking from a takeaway coffee cup without breaking into a cold sweat! We love the quote - “The greatest risk to our planet is the belief that someone else will fix it”. It’s so true and so we had to get involved. Being part of Plastic Free North Devon we have met fantastic people and love being part of a community making a real difference to their environment.