National Operator Interviews: Lee Wray-Davies

Interview with: Lee Wray-Davies

Keep Britain Tidy, England


City where the organisation is based: Wigan

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 49/3


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Both
  • Chocolate or chips? Chips
  • Film or book? Book
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: ‘Love you mum’ from my daughters
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (although for the sake of humanity I probably should not sing!)

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Trying to take a family selfie recently at my sister’s 60th birthday party, when we were all in 1970’s fancy dress. There are a lot of us, it was hilarious trying to fit everyone’s wigs, flares, roller skates and a lightsabre into the picture.

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

At the start of September 2017 we completely changed the criteria for our Bronze and Silver Awards, and Green Flag application processes to make it more ‘Eco-Coordinator friendly’. Since then we have been breaking records for the numbers of schools newly registering or reengaging with the programme in England! I’m happy to say we are very busy at the moment.

Activities by Keep Britain Tidy

During the academic year we run Green Flag Assessor training for volunteers who visit our Eco-Schools once they have submitted their Green Flag application. This year for the first time we have been delivering our new teacher training course ‘How to become a successful Eco-School’. During the year I also attend numerous sustainable education conferences and workshops for schools or families that have been organised by regional educational offices and local charities. Every March Keep Britain Tidy hold the Great British Spring Clean, last year over 1000 Eco-Schools took part in this, helping their communities run litter picks over one weekend. 

An inspiring story by Keep Britain Tidy

My inspiring story is about one particular nine year old boy I met at an Eco-Schools event when I was the guest speaker.  I was ‘warned’ by his teacher that he could be quite disruptive so they would sit him near the exit in case he was too loud. At the start of my presentation it was clear he was having trouble remaining focused, however when I mentioned how many students were involved in the Eco-Schools programme globally, he behaved perfectly. Afterwards I asked him if he had enjoyed it, his response was ‘I don’t feel silly any more if I do Eco-Schools work because I  know there are 19 million other kids around the world doing the same as me - that’s brilliant!’ 

For the rest of the day this little boy was fantastic and gave me a pirate paper hat that he had made from recycled newspaper to say thank you for telling him about Eco-Schools. That’s why I believe the International Eco-Schools twinning is so significant.