We offer a diverse range of posts in the form of volunteering, paid employees and training opportunities. From horticulture to customer service and youth work to environmental projects. Take a look at a day in the life of some of our team from across the South of England.
Pete Carne, Apprenticeship Supervisor
Hi Peter, welcome to ‘Day in the life of…”.
What is your role at Groundwork South?
My role at Groundwork is Apprenticeship Supervisor. Currently I train and assess apprentices who work for Glendale, a grounds maintenance contractor. They are part way through a Horticulture Apprenticeship. I am also running a conservation volunteering project at Groundwork’s Goblin Combe Environment Centre. Volunteers take part in a range of conservation activities at the site to help maintain the woodland and wildlife. I am also running a similar project called NEET Express which focuses on helping young people ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ build their skill-set and confidence levels.
How long have you worked here and what were you doing beforehand?
I have worked at Groundwork for 2 ½ years. Before I worked here I was a Design & Technology Teacher at a secondary school.
What’s the most satisfying part of your role?
The most satisfying part of my role is seeing the development in the young people I work with. I’ve seen confidence levels grow and witnessed their sense of achievement and belief in their own abilities.
How have you changed as a result of your role?
I have become more aware of the range of difficulties which face clients and better equipped to get the best out of them.
Who do you think you’ve helped the most through all the projects you’ve been involved with?
The apprentices on my first project had developed massively. For many of them it was the first time they had seen any sort of course or programme all the way through. I’m really proud they’ve gone onto employment.
Joe Osborne, Green Doctor, Sussex and Surrey
Hi Joe, welcome to ‘Day in the life of…”.
What attracted you to Groundwork South?
I had spent a couple of years trying to find a job in the environmental sector in Birmingham after leaving university. I volunteered for various organisations, and when I saw the Green Doctor job advertised in Brighton I thought I’d try my hand. I was very pleased to be offered the job, and moved there two weeks later to start.
What does a typical day in your job with us involve?
Each day I visit people at their home and try help them become as energy and water efficient as possible.
This generally involves having an in depth conversation (and sometimes a cup of tea) with the residents to find out what their concerns are and their household habits.
It is then my job to suggest improvements they could make which could reduce their energy and water usage, and of course reduce their bills. There are loads of devices that can be fitted to a property to either directly save energy or water, or to highlight and remind them where their usage is highest. I can also point them in the direction of other organisations who may be able to help further with bills and offer other financial assistance; there really is a lot we can do for people on each visit.
What do you like about being a Green Doctor?
I like being able to help people and being able to see the difference the visit has made to people’s homes and lives. I also like meeting new and interesting people, and with this job I get to do that every day! Being able to say I work for a charity also makes me very happy to be a Green Doctor.
In one sentence tell us what Groundwork means to you
To me, Groundwork means promoting a greener way of living, as well as investing in people; both things I believe are vital for the future.
What are the issues and ideas that motivate you in life?
I love to be outdoors, whether it's out on the South Downs or on my allotment, so anything I can do to preserve this and spread the message of green living to as many people as possible drives me.
Find out more about Green Doctors programme: http://www.groundwork.org.uk/Sites/south/Pages/green-doctor-with-southern-water-south
Pete Densham, Facilities Manager, Saltmill Park, Cornwall
Hi Peter welcome to ‘Day in the life of…”
What was your background before joining Groundwork?
After 23 and a half years in the Royal Navy, I was offered the job as Manager of the Pilgrim’s Pitch in Saltash, Cornwall, in 2010.
What are you responsible for?
I run the pitch, pavilion and sports development as part of the community project. The pitch itself is on the banks of the river Tamar and can be seen from the Tamar Bridge when crossing from Devon into Cornwall.
What have you achieved since being in the role?
In the last few years I have been working here, we have built a small team of paid staff and volunteers and we also employ Site Supervisor. We have restructured the management of the facility and concentrated on building strong relationships with Barclays Football Foundation, Plymouth Argyle FC and the Town Council.
It’s worked well, last year we had more than 11,000 people using the pitch!
We are now in our second year of running local community tournaments which are well attended with teams from as far as Penzance and Devon.
Our next venture is to organise and run an annual Groundwork South Golf Day, to raise money for a new training centre for the park.
Find out more about SaltmillPark: http://www.saltmillpark.org.uk/
NOTE: since writing this piece the new training centre was installed and officially opened.