Eloise Marner has been volunteering with the Gatwick Greenspace Partnership. She has written this blog about her experience.
Author Eloise Marner
Coming up to the end of my first year at university I had the same question running around my head; what am I going to do this summer? Of course, the dream would be lying on a beach with a book for three months but sadly this was not an option. Thinking about my course (Physical Geography), my interests and my location, I didn’t want a boring office job filing or making coffee; I wanted to get out and do something useful and relevant to my studies.
After extensive research of typing ‘environmental jobs Crawley’ into Google, I came across Gatwick Greenspace Partnership (managed by Sussex Wildlife Trust). I had heard of the Sussex Wildlife Trust before and so got in contact and was able to work with them over the summer. I was unsure what working with Gatwick Greenspace Partnership would entail so went in with an open mind and thoroughly enjoyed what they had to offer.
The work has been extremely varied and interesting; from helping to run activities in schools to clearing endless rhododendron to sorting out paperwork in the office. It has been lovely to be outside everyday (particularly in this sunshine!) and my tan is looking ever better for it. If I had to choose a favourite part, I would say traipsing around the woods around Gatwick looking for reptiles and putting up a Malaise Trap as it was quite relaxing and I learnt a considerable amount about all the different creepy crawlies!
The main reason I chose to volunteer this summer was to start experiencing what life will be like when I eventually leave University and I believe this is an important step for young people to take. Employers and Universities nowadays are very keen to see potential employees having work experience as it shows they are dedicated and serious about their career and ultimately will gain experience that will put them above the competition. Volunteer work is brilliant to put on college applications, UCAS and even your CV to make you stand out and have advanced knowledge.
Aside from all that, it is also really good fun and a great to meet new people, gain skills and to spend time helping the local wildlife.