I provide opportunities to enable people to get outside and engage with our natural world. I feel strongly that you have to have a connection with something in order to want to look after it.
I have a degree in Environmental Science, I am a Forest School practitioner and also a playworker. During my career, I have worked for:
- The Environment Agency enforcing environmental law,
- Groundwork running community projects and in the education centre.
- The Outlook Meadow and Woodland offering countryside sessions for all ages.
- I am currently contracting to the Country Trust where I deliver farm visits and manage a team of coordinators who offer farm visits to children from areas of disadvantage.
- I run ad-hoc Forest school and environmental education sessions.
- I am involved with various projects within my local community.
Why are you drawn to this area of work and how have you helped community groups take their first steps to action in the past?
Through my work at Groundwork I was involved with numerous different community groups, consulting with them, enabling them, and in some cases project managing projects alongside them. At all times I feel that it is important for the community to have ownership of the project and for them to drive the project in the way that suits them.
I undertook several months charity work in Nicaragua with a charity called Nueveas Esperanzas, working with very poor communities living on volcanoes. Projects ranged from testing drinking water, building rain water tanks to give access to clean water and building roads to support safe travel of avocados to market! I learnt a lot about people’s perceptions and a lot about how people’s place different value on things.
I think it’s important to listen to what is needed/wanted/desired and then to provide relevant bespoke support to enable this to happen. It may just be providing a different way of looking at things, or alternatively linking to other organisations or providing ideas of how to get something off the ground.
What is your vision of your region in 2050?
I’d like the air to be fresh, birds to be singing, children playing, everyone would have access to healthy food and to the lifestyle that they choose without detriment to others or to the planet.
Everyone will have knowledge and understanding of the impact of their choices on our planet. All the right choices will be easy and affordable.
The environment will be the first thought in all decisions. Everyone would realise how beautiful our planet is and want to do their bit to enjoy it, but leave it in a better state for future generations.