Hello friends, my name is Harry, I’m a third year Film Production Student, and I am embarking on my quest as one of your new SGO project officers.
Hailing from the far away land of Devon in the Southwest of England, I’m very grateful to say I loved where I grew up. From long hikes across Dartmoor, to sea swimming on sandy beaches, spending time in our natural world has been an important part of my life from a young age, but it wasn’t until I reached the age of 14 that I realised that it wasn’t just something I could take for granted. Being amongst nature had begun to be where I felt most comfortable.
My journey into environmentalism really kicked off when I started working for a seasonal company as an outdoor activity leader on bushcraft camps. I’d already been involved with the scouts growing up so as an 18-year-old who didn’t really know what they were going to do in life, this sounded like a perfect opportunity. And it was! Don’t get me wrong, it was hard work and physically demanding, but getting to teach kids how to make fires, shelters, and play games all whilst being able to share valuable knowledge on the environment felt like a really cool job. The best detail though, was due to the fact that the location was rather middle-of-nowhere, the company would allow staff to live in a contained campsite right there in the woods rent-free! Now I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but living in my 5-man tent for 6 months of the year in that little tent village was one of the times I’ve experienced true community living, so much so that I rejoined the company for a further two years. So not only was I teaching the next part of my generation about nature, but I was also continuing to be drawn in by it, therefore I grew to do my own research and ultimately began to do my part in helping to heal the world. It was also during this time and space that I would mix with my colleagues, learn from their shared experiences, and grow to feel excited and inspired for how I could make my mark on this world.
And yet the perfect job had it flaws. Unfortunately, the season would end as winter started, and I’d have to find something else to do. It did feel tricky to stay motivated sometimes, especially after my first season, but eventually after developing some courage, I started to chase new opportunities.
I found myself working for Santa’s Lapland in Finland spreading Christmas cheer in temperatures reaching -30C (yes, I got to meet Santa) (no, I wasn’t an elf). I got to live in another magical world. Every day was a snow day, I saw the Northern Lights, and it reinforced my belief in why this world is something we need to protect.
When Covid came along I joined up as part of a food bank. This taught me a lot about why it’s important to do our best to help others, especially those who are less fortunate. It helped me to realise that the good times can turn bad for just about any of us, and so I now do my best to see others without judgement, because it’s impossible to know what people may be going through behind the scenes.
After each of these experiences however I’d began to feel like something was really missing. I lacked a sense of purpose and direction. My life was very higgledy-piggledy, so to speak. So, I did some self-analysing and realised what each of these experiences lacked was a chance to explore my sense of creativity. I wasn’t particularly high-achieving in school, but subjects like Art and Photography were where I found success and enjoyment. I’m also a massive movie geek – especially on the subject of Star Wars – so as a result, after my few years of random excitements I applied to go to university and study Film Production here at CCCU.
It was tricky at first overcoming the hurdle of imposter syndrome, but since getting over that phase I have since allowed myself to believe in my own abilities and taken on the role of producer in each of the films I have created. It’s the organisey role and basically means project manager. It’s not something I saw myself doing before starting university, but I’ve really enjoyed how it has pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me that hard work can truly pay off.
And now I’m here beginning my role as an SGO, excited to combine my two big passions of filmmaking and eco-warrioring. I’m keen to create content which can feel both watchable and informative allowing for you to easily understand the small steps you can follow to help out environment. I’m also eager to explore the subject of eco-anxiety, something that I have personally struggled with, and to help those who may be going through their own battles with this in the form of future blogs or events. After all is said and done, I’m happy to be starting this new role and look forward to what unknown challenges are ahead of me.
I’m not really sure the appropriate way to end this, so I’ll finish with these words.
Do ya bit!
See you later.
By Harry Cooper, SGO Project Officer