Interview with Polly Kitson, Volunteer Manager

, 20 July 2022
Interview with Polly Kitson, Volunteer Manager
Polly Kitson © Emma Chaplin

Tell us a bit about yourself

I live in Worthing, right by the sea, with my partner. Until recently I was a head teacher and had been in teaching for many years. I have always wanted to explore other careers and the chaos of the past few years propelled me into taking that leap. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and have volunteered as a ranger for the South Downs National Park for about eight years. This new role combines my love of the outdoors and some, hopefully, useful transferrable skills.

What do you love about where you live?

Worthing has this amazing combination of the beach and the Downs. Both are so accessible and really beautiful.

How are you finding your new role?

I'm enjoying it immensely. Everyone I have met, staff and volunteers, have been so welcoming and helpful. I have really enjoyed learning about the work that the Trust does and the people involved.

Are Sussex Wildlife Trust volunteers/roles different from others you’ve worked with?

I am not sure that they are different, but they are certainly very passionate and dedicated. The commitment they have shown to Sussex’s wildlife and countryside is very inspiring.

Are there particular volunteer vacancies we’ve got at the moment?

At the moment there are vacancies on some of the reserves, for example Levin Down and Ebernoe Common. The education team are always on the lookout for adults to support sessions with children. Due to staffing changes and challenges over the past year or so, some people may have applied to volunteer and not been placed. I would encourage these people to get back into contact with me if they are still interested and we will help them to find that perfect volunteering role.

How do you switch off when you’re not working?

I love to spend time with family. I have a large, noisy family that all enjoy camping, walking, barbecues, the odd pint at a lovely country pub. I also enjoy kayaking, reading and my lovely garden.

Dog, cat or neither?

I love both but currently don’t have any pets. I have to borrow my sister's dog to get some puppy-time at the moment – a large, dopey lab/ridgeback.

Tea or coffee?

Both but if I had to choose, tea.

Favourite place in Sussex?

So many. Ditchling Beacon the other day was magnificent. Worthing beach, mid-winter, when the tide is out.

If you're interested in volunteering with Sussex Wildlife Trust, find out more here 

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