London Greenspeaker – Athen Ayren
Athen is a Greenspeaker based in North London and she is happy to deliver Greenpeace presentations across London. If you would like to contact Athen, to request she speaks at an upcoming event, then please complete the form below.
Campaigning has changed in the time I’ve been volunteering with Greenpeace. In the earlier days I was dragging my wobbly pasting table all over town. Now I’m more likely to be out with an ipad round my neck, or – even better for a coldophobe like me – writing blogs on the sofa.
Some things I have learned during the past 9 years include:
- Most volunteers are genuinely awesome people. Out of tens of hundreds of Greenpeace volunteers, only 2 of them have been people I would cross the road to avoid (and neither of them lasted 5 minutes surrounded by all that awesomeness).
- Working with Greenpeace makes me say ‘awesome’ a lot.
- Especially awesome is working Greenpeace at Glastonbury. Nothing else comes close.
- Then again. The adrenaline of a successful action is hard to beat.
- Now, not to brag. But if I was not with Greenpeace, I would not have been admiring the 2 identical drummers at the Radiohead gig last month.
- Neither would I have been on stage with U2 at Wembley. (Unless I suddenly change my ways and start writing stadium rock instead of odd songs).
I have also learned that:
- No matter what, after a campaign, there will always be enough energy to debrief in a local hostelry.
- None of us take this lightly, although we do have fun doing it we would not be giving up precious spare time if we couldn’t trust the organisation to have accurate facts, clear goals and a strong success rate.
- Tabards can be sexy. Not all our campaigns are glamorous or involve fluffy creatures but a green tabard – complete with side ties and frontal pouch – makes up for a lot.
All of the above are absolutely true except for one. Brownie points if you spotted it. The bit about the tabards. Practical, yes. Sexy? Snarf. We do get some great T-shirtage, however I have concluded it’s best to be inside the bear suit in winter. The stormtrooper costume is obviously the coolest so far but a bit too chilly round the edges.
So anyway. As well as my be-tabarded-or-otherwise shenanigans I just about find time for my job. I’m a musician. I teach, write, play. It has been known for me to spend too much time on tinternet and when no-one’s looking, to make embarrassing noises at pictures of kittens. I’m no climate expert, can rarely quote you 30 facts on deforestation or the latest figures on Arctic ice thickness at the drop of a fairly traded beanie hat. That doesn’t mean I haven’t done my homework – I do read up. I just seem to absorb the salient bits and then can’t remember how I know them.
Although speaking in public may always be a little scary, I was honoured to be asked to join the Greenspeaker team. I’m far from perfect, so I’m not about to point the finger or insist you sign up for sandal making holidays. I talk about what we do, how and why. I hope it makes a difference.