Case Study: North East Arts Touring Screening of Vitamin Sea

18th March 2020

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In this case study, NEAT Shows discuss their partnership on organising a film screening event looking at solutions to plastic pollution, offering insights into different ways of collaborating with local organisations and individuals.

The Partnership

At NEAT Shows we promote theatre performances and cinema screenings in rural venues across Aberdeenshire and Moray via a team of dedicated Volunteer Promoters. NEAT also runs a Young Promoter Scheme to encourage and empower young people to get actively involved in promoting arts events and in doing so develop transferable skills in arts and event management. Working in 29 communities we promote around 200 events per year

We were approached by Charlie Barrow from Aberdeen For A Fairer World MDEC who was interested in promoting an event focusing on coastal plastic pollution. Aberdeen for a Fairer World aims to educate and enable people in the North East of Scotland to take action to create a fairer world. Currently they are:

  • a leading member of the Aberdeen Steering Group raising awareness of fair trade and initiating linked activities
  • working with local authorities, schools, teachers and pupils, through their education section, the Montgomery DEC, to develop global learning / learning for sustainability / citizenship activities across the curriculum
  • a key member of the International Development Education Association of Scotland (IDEAS), a network of organisations and individuals involved in Development Education and Education for Global Citizenship across Scotland.
  • facilitating initiatives such as One World Week and One World Day through local partner networks
  • focusing on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, which aim to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change between 2015 and 2030.


VITAMIN SEA by Cal Major

His idea was inspired by the film Vitamin Sea by Cal Major. Vitamin Sea follows Cal Major’s 2-month journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats, the length of mainland UK, by Stand Up Paddleboard. The film focusses on positive solutions to plastic pollution, including the importance of community, connection to nature and protecting our wellbeing through time outside.


The Objective

Through a screening of Vitamin Sea, Charlie was keen to engage with a community to explore issues around pollution and highlight local businesses who were taking steps to reduce their dependency on plastic and moving to a greener and more sustainable way of servicing their customers. The initial idea was to have an outdoor sea-side screening, unfortunately our cinema equipment is only suitable for indoor screenings and therefore a suitable venue was sourced.

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One of the pre-screening presentations

The Event

The event took place at Stonehaven Town Hall on 25th November 2019. We provided and operated the cinema equipment along with website and social media marketing.


Opening Presentations

The following gave pre-screening presentations:

Amy Barclay – Surfers Against Sewage: A grassroots movement that has grown into one of the UK’s most active and successful environmental charities. They are dedicated to the protection of oceans, waves, beaches and wildlife, fighting long and hard to protect what we love and won’t stop until it’s completely clean, safe and protected for everyone, forever.


Crawford Paris – East Grampian Coastal Partnership: East Grampian Coastal Partnership is a not-for-profit limited company representing individuals and organisations who have an interest in the wellbeing of the local coast between Kinnaird Head, Fraserburgh and the mouth of the River North Esk, by St Cyrus.


Thomas – The Rubbish Club: 9-year-old Thomas is the founder of the Rubbish Club. Thomas wants to help the environment and tackle the worlds litter and plastic problems. Starting with his small village he has created The Rubbish Cub!


Each presenting organisation had a stall giving them the perfect opportunity to further engage in conversation with attendees. Following the screening, Charlie hosted an information audience discussion around various environmental issues with a strong focus on plastic pollution.


The Raffle

This was a free event and attendees had the option to donate and/or buy raffle tickets. This was to cover room hire and screening licence, the profit was split between Surfers Against Sewage and East Grampian Coastal Partnership to support their ongoing work.

Raffle prizes were sourced from local Stonehaven based businesses who have a commitment to reducing their dependency on single use plastic and moving to a greener more sustainable service delivery model.

This was not a quick draw raffle, each business had their own PowerPoint slide which highlighted their green credentials, for example, only using compostable packaging, stopped stocking single use plastic bottles or even small steps of using paper straws.

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Stalls at the film screening event


We were extremely pleased to be invited to support this event. As an organisation we feel this opportunity has given us the stimulus to forge further partnerships with environmental organisations as co-promoters to highlight environmental issues.

It was an extremely informative evening with over 50 attendees engaging constructively in open discussion and debate along with enjoying an extremely moving and beautiful film.

Charlie’s green raffle was a stroke of genius, with each gift complementing the event’s theme and highlighting the positive impact small businesses can have on the environment by moving to greener operational models.


Prizes were donated by:

Stonehaven Paddleboarding – Dave regularly clears plastic pollution from the coastline when operating as a Stand Up Paddleboard tour provider.

The Marine Hotel – have committed to abolish single use plastic straws in bar. Their beer production uses reusable rather than plastic kegs and does not use plastic film to transport.

The Bay Fish And Chip Shop – All their takeaway packaging is compostable including veg-ware cutlery. They also publicly advertise their fish suppliers and sustainable credentials.

Graingers Deli – also have commitment to reduce single use plastic and co-owner Dave is a surfer and therefore guardian of our waters!

Waterfront Bar & Café – abolished single use straws.

Charlie’s Stoney Rickshaw – flies the flag for sustainable travel,but as a ‘vehicle’ they ensure they use eco-friendly lubricants and reusable Velcro rather than plastic cable ties.


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The Raffle!

Images: NEAT Shows

#GreenArts Day: Wednesday 14th March 1NEAT Shows are a member of our Green Arts Initiative: a networked community of practice for Scottish cultural organisations committed to reducing their environmental impact. It is free to become part of the community, and there are lots of resources and case studies (like this one!) to support #GreenArts organisations. Take a look at our Green Arts Initiative page for more information.

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