CAMP QUIRKY: Introducing Our DV UK Speakers & Performers

This year Camp Quirky is proud to present the first ever DV UK tent. A space brought to life by inspirational speakers and performances. Join us in the tent to hear a diverse range of speakers discuss important topics from connecting with your faith in nature to the racial history of swimming. Meet some of the incredible people breaking down barriers in the outdoorsy/vanlife community.

What is DV UK?

In the first instance, Diversify Vanlife UK is a digital platform on instagram. However, it is so much more. Diversify Vanlife UK will be a community, a safe space for underrepresented and marginalised individuals within the vanlife and nomadic communities. A space where voices will not be silenced or quietened by the hands of others, but elevated and celebrated. 

Meet the Speakers/Workshop Leaders/Musicians

Amira The Wanderlust 

Say hello to Amira the founder of The Wanderlust Women, she is a Muslim British Indian currently living in the beautiful Lake District. The mountains are her office and she is training to become a Mountain leader. She describes herself as an adventurer and change maker, using her platform to encourage Muslim and ethnic minorities women to get outdoors and break barriers and misconceptions. Her vision is to normalize Muslim women exploring the great outdoors.

At Camp Quirky she will be talking about how she connects with her faith in nature and the importance of representation and diversity in the outdoors. She believes representation in the outdoors is important and her aim is to change who the outdoors is perceived for. She knows there is an image & stigma of Muslim women who wear the niqab and hijab. She wants to change the world one step at a time! 

What are you most looking forward to at Camp Quirky?

“I am really looking forward to being a part of this festival, it will be my first time. It will be super nice to meet like minded people and share stories!”

Winnie Poaty 

Say hi to Winnie, an African, British open water swimmer. She lives in the Lake District and is a business owner and mother of two children. She is a qualified Lifeguard, and an advocate for self care, self love, mental wellness and diversity in open spaces. Winnie taught herself to swim in her adulthood and since then it has changed my life for the better. 

She loves open water swimming as it stabilises her mind. After years of suffering with her mental health, it’s the sport that helps her the most.  

As a black swimmer who loves the outdoors my ambition is to get more minority communities outside. At Camp Quirky, I’ll be discussing the racial history of swimming and her personal swimming journey.

What are you most looking forward to at Camp Quirky?

“I’m so excited to be joining Camp Quirky to share my love, joy and goodness of open water swimming. I’m even more grateful to join as I’m keen to highlight the lack of diversity in open water swimming but in open spaces”

Evie Muir | Peaks of Colour 

Evie Muir is a Domestic Abuse Specialist, racial justice activist and freelance journalist. With over 8 years’ experience supporting survivors with intersecting experiences of gendered and racialised trauma, Evie now works with services committed to ensuring their practice is anti-racist and LGBT+ inclusive. A survivor herself, Evie’s embeds personal and professional expertise through her writing, which seeks to platform the survivors’ voices too often marginalised from mainstream media. Evie is also the founder of Peaks of Colour, a Peak District-based walking club by and for people of colour, which explores both the outdoors, and by and for routes to healing and recovery.

Is the outdoors racist? What barriers do marginalised communities face when accessing outdoor spaces? How can allies better advocate for racial justice? In what ways can a Black, Intersectional and Decolonial feminist ethos plant the seeds for more equal and equitable access to nature, and the therapeutic benefits it offers? Join Evie Muir, founder of Peaks of Colour as she answers these questions in an introduction into rural racism.

What are you most looking forward to at Camp Quirky?

“The wellness sessions, as an racial justice and gendered justice advocate who has currently experienced intense bouts of burn out, I’m hoping this weekend offers me an opportunity for respite and healing.”

Lee Newbery | The Adventure Squad

Meet Lee Newbery, who is both a quirky van owner and a debut children’s author from South Wales. 

He is delighted to be offering a mini workshop in which he will talk about his book, The Last Firefox, how he became an author, and get creative juices flowing with a create-your-own-magical-creature workshop.

What are you most looking forward to at Camp Quirky?

“I really can’t wait for the Quirky Campers festival, and am especially excited to delve into the community in person, and for like minded vanlifers from all across the country to meet in one place and share our passion!”

Absolutely Lucy

Absolutely Lucy is an adventure travel blogger who has spent over seven years solo travelling across the globe. Her travel blog and eBooks give women the tools to feel safe and confident when travelling solo.

She’ll be sharing what inspired her to start travelling, stories from her travels, along with tips and tricks for helping you to set out on solo adventures of your own. Real, raw, honest advice from a solo female traveller who has seen it all.

What are you most looking forward to at Camp Quirky?

“I can’t wait to meet other members of the vanlife community – some I’ve been following for years already so I’m excited to finally cross paths. As someone who is still very new to vanlife, I can’t wait to have a peek at some other vans and to get some new tips and ideas for my own.”

Beej & Beth

Meet Beth and Beej who converted their own van, Juan, back in 2019 with plans to travel around Europe. They both retired from their day jobs and had dreamt of a road trip around Europe for many years. Brexit and Covid then came along and plans changed! They relocated to Shropshire, travelled more around the UK and are currently setting up a holiday home and cookery school business. The two of them, and their dogs, Bruno and Enzo, continue to make the most of van-staycations around the UK and are hoping to head to Europe in the future. 

They are in their 50’s but didn’t see any reason why vanlife wouldn’t be for us, despite the many youtube videos they saw of 20/30 year old couples converting a van.  It fitted perfectly their plans to travel, stay on a reasonable budget and have total flexibility on when and where to go.  Also, having long careers previously and kids that have now flown the nest, they had a decent budget when it came to their choice of van and the conversion costs.  They bought their van in early 2019 and came to Camp Quirky in May of that year with nothing more than a shell and a couple of camp beds…They left with amazing ideas, lots of inspiration and made some great friends along the way. 

What are you most looking forward to at Camp Quirky?

“It goes without saying that meeting some old friends and making some new ones is definitely on top of the list.  But right up there are a few other things that we are really looking forward to looking around other vans, sitting around the firepit with other vanlifers and hearing great talks from some inspiring people – this years line up looks better than ever so we’re looking forward to listening and learning.”

Phillipa Cookman

Phillipa Cookman (she/her) is a professional singer that has been working in both the UK and internationally for nearly 20 years. Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music she has worked as a session musician, backing singer, lead singer and guitarist and is currently on the UK theatre tour with the tribute show, The Sound Of Springsteen. 

Phillipa identifies as gay and is so pleased to be invited to play as part of Diversify Vanlife, a wonderful campaign she fully supports. Expect a fun, interactive show of acoustic covers done in an original way with the possibility of some requests! 

What are you most looking forward to at Camp Quirky?

“I own and have been (very slowly!) doing up my own camper van and am really looking forward to Camp Quirky to have a nose at the other vans and finally get to meet some fellow van lifers!”

Linzi Evans 

Say hi to Linzi, a solo female vanlifer, proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and lucky to be a part of the team at Quirky Campers. She self-converted her own camper, Stevie, back in 2018 and has been living the vanlife ever since, having spent time exploring Europe and the majority of the UK with big plans to see more in the future.

Linzi is looking forward to sharing my experience with vanlife and how it helped her overcome a great period of strain and grief in her life – losing her dad. Stevie is so much more than a metal box on 4 wheels, it’s her safe haven. Her dad was actually the reason she got into vanlife in the first place so she has a lot to thank him for.

What are you most looking forward to at Camp Quirky?

“I’m really looking forward to connecting with others and hearing their experiences on how vanlife has helped them through tough times in their life.”

Fancy joining us at Camp Quirky? Secure your ticket here today!

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