Our 1st Catalyst Bootcamp was held in Bristol in August. The programme provided a mix of sustainability speakers, mentors and personal development tools – to support young women as confident & resilient change-makers – for green careers and planet. Urvi from London tells us about her experience and learning from attending the event.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your motivation for going on the Bootcamp.
I’m a 19 year old female who is interested in global politics and how to live sustainably. I’m from a deprived background and an ethnic minority, Not many people who live in my area are interested in sustainability. Therefore, when I saw the advertisement to attend the Catalyst Bootcamp in Bristol I thought it was the best opportunity to develop my interest in sustainability, and meet young and inspiring females in the same field.

Overall what was your experience of the Catalyst Bootcamp?
During the 3 days I met the most inspiring females in my life. I didn’t expect to meet such   active members in the sustainability industry. Meeting people who work for the UN from females who created their own startups in the local Bristol area showed me the variety of work I could get involved in as a passionate female myself.

young women with mentors

What 3 things did you like about it most?
Meeting local female change makers who live in Bristol.
The variety of women who attended the event – women in the UN to Poco (a sustainable restaurant).
Meeting females my age who are also interested in sustainability

Has it had any impact on your day-to-day behaviour? If Yes, can you give any examples?Since attending I have become more aware of pollution – especially living in London I see the first-hand effects of dirty air pollution in my area. As a result, I try to live a pollution-conscious lifestyle by using more public transport and walking to places rather than driving.

Has it had any impact on your day-to-day behaviour? If Yes, can you give any examples?
Indeed, the Bootcamp has made me more aware of my own wellbeing. Now, I regularly practice breathing exercises and try to do yoga once a day to control my own mental health.

If you were recommending the Bootcamp to a friend, why would tell them they should do it?
The primary reason I would recommend the Bootcamp to a friend is that you meet so many females who are interested in the same field you are interested in. Too often females are silent on issues surrounding sustainability they are passionate about because there aren’t any likeminded individuals who would campaign with them. But, the Bootcamp is the perfect place to find females who are as passionate as you are to make a change in the world!

Do you have any progress updates and/or comments about your Sustainability Pledge?
I got back in contact with my secondary school to discuss their stance on air pollution in West London. They seemed to be on board with the idea to become more polluter friendly and have the idea of using solar panels in the pipeline.

Do you have any other comments you would like to share ?
I would like to personally thank you for my place at the Bootcamp. Without it I would not have met such inspiring, passionate and motivated women in the sustainability field. I would also like you to continue donating bursaries to women from deprived and especially women of BAME backgrounds. Many females are too scared to participate in activities and boot camps like the Catalyse Change Bootcamp in fear of racism or financial problems. If we can get more women of colour to attend such meetings, it would open up such a huge wealth of opportunity for women to voice their opinions in a world where this may not be available for them to do so.

Next years Catalyst Bootcamp will be held on 1-3 August 2018 – again at Clifton Hill House, part of Bristol University campus. To reserve your Early Bird place BOOK HERE 

To get a taster of the full programme we are running a 1 Day Workshop on 3 February at Hamilton House, Bristol  For more information and reserve your early bird place BOOK HERE