The fight to save the world’s oceans starts early for some like six-year-old Charlie Hamilton-Cooper, dubbed a “litter hero” for his spare time spent cleaning rubbish off beaches across Northern Ireland.
The young boy from Crossgar has taken part in cleaning up 40 beaches across Northern Ireland with the help of his parents Jonathan and Catherine Hamilton-Cooper.
Charlie Hamilton-Cooper’s quest to save the oceans started when he overheard his parents talking about the state of the oceans. From then on, the Crossgar schoolboy decided to take matters into his own hands.
Jonathan Hamilton-Cooper, Charlie’s father, told Ulster News: “He came into the room one day and I was talking with his mum about the plastic in the sea in an article we saw and he took a great interest in it. He was really concerned about the fish and the animals, that the plastic is basically harming in his eyes, so he wanted to do something about it.”
In March 2017, Charlie Hamilton-Cooper started his beach cleaning journey, completing 24 beach cleans in 11 different locations within a year. His discoveries included finding live flares at Minerstown beach, and highlighting over 50 bags of dog poop on Newcastle Beach.
The young campaigner and his parents have helped to educate others too, including a group who had a balloon release arranged, resulting in them changing the activity.
Charlie Hamilton-Cooper found 84 discarded Fisherman’s gloves at Tyrella in one day. Spelling out STOP THIS with the gloves, his photograph was retweeted around the world 690 times.
Earlier this year, Charlie Hamilton-Cooper was the youngest to be honoured at the Live Here Love Here Community Awards in Belfast, winning the Newry Mourne and Down Litter Heroes Award and a Special Volunteer Champion Award for all his work.
Image Source: Charlie’s Quest to Save Our Oceans Facebook Page
You can find out more about Charlie’s Quest to Save Our Oceans by visiting his Facebook Page
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea