Day to day Garner & Tonic is just me, Vicky (Vic) Garner. I work from my home in Falmouth, Cornwall with the occasional working day in London. I have a trusted group of freelancers I call on for bits like website creation and graphic design.
I began my campaigning life 20 years or so ago. My first campaigning job was with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). It’s where I learnt how to get the attention of decision takers, how to create a big impact with a small budget and how the success of a campaign is dependent not just on awareness raising, but on finding solutions.
I went on to run SAS, during which time we were instrumental in the re-writing of outdated European legislation governing water quality. Standing up to fight the corner for the water user in the committee rooms of the UK and European Parliament, sitting down with civil servants to thrash out the detail – that experience was formative for me.
Those years taught me that making noise about a problem is only the first step. You need to evidence it and you need strong ideas and well-researched solutions to fix it.
I have continued to apply that way of thinking to everything I have done since.
At the most basic level, I am a researcher (a gatherer of stories and a builder of narratives) and a communicator (someone who can tell the story and engage and inspire individuals, organisations, businesses, policy makers, to act).
How I do that depends on what my client wants.
I might be designing and running stakeholder engagement workshops or public consultation events. It may be about sitting down in the room with the client themselves in order to get under the skin of their business or their product in order to inform their brand narrative or marketing campaign. It may be about understanding the political climate, the appetite for change and the policy mechanisms and drivers through which that change could be delivered.
I am not a fan of greenwash. There is only one planet earth, we need to tread lightly and time is tight.
It is true to say that I can only work with people, brands or causes I believe in and that I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
And I am of the mind that when you find the right people to work with, great things can happen. So if you believe that too, perhaps Garner & Tonic is worth a phone call.
To garner; to collect, find or assemble something, especially information
Tonic; giving a feeling of vigour or wellbeing. Stimulant, restorative, refresher
I am not a hoarder of stuff. But I do love to collect stories and experiences so that we can better understand the world around us and in many cases evidence a need for doing things differently
I also like to find solutions to the problems those stories might highlight – I won’t leave you sinking in any mess I might uncover. My aim is to restore, refresh and stimulate positive, vibrant change and to help promote different, more long term ways of thinking, doing and indeed consuming
Very smart, teaches you as much as you want to learn. Great listener.Tim Walton, CEO Living Villages