Tag: charity work

 

After finishing A-levels, I joined the British Schools Exploring Society‘s summer expedition to the island of West Spitzbergen in the high arctic.

The nine week expedition was broken into three phases: scientific exploration, adventure and for my group, geology. Our science phase was spent studying the 24 hour daylight conditions and monitoring how sea birds have adapted their breeding and ‘lifestyle’ strategies accordingly. Sadly the Ptarmigan which we were hoping to study had been decimated by hunters shortly before our arrival!

Whilst in the Arctic I witnessed first hand the retreat of glaciers and the thinning of the ice sheets and the impact of such changes on the flora and fauna.

I traveled the length of this incredible island with two friends, supporting environmental charities, wildlife conservation and the local communities through donations, payments for guided tours and exchange of information.

The Aye-aye at midnight and the Indri’s haunting calls through the dawn forest are one of my strongest memories… and the leeches!

 

Following several months in Tanzania (see previous post), I flew to Nairobi, caught the train to Mombassa (left pretty damn quick due to a cholera outbreak) and then worked my way up the Indian Ocean coast.

After a wonderful trip to Lamu island, I finally joined the Kenyan Wildlife Service and the Worldwide Fund for Nature at their Mkokoni base camp, close to the Somali border.

I had the privilege of working under the tutelege of Dr. Julie Church, the renowned scientist and advocate for conservation.

My tasks included community outreach awareness programme, collecting the huge amounts of tide-borne litter, and aiding in turtle conservation.

After graduating, I joined the Student Partnership Worldwide charity (now Restless Development) on a 3 month training course in Zanzibar and Tanzania prior to spending a further 3 month ‘outreach’ placement in remote villages of the Usambara mountains of northern Tanzania.

The team of European and Tanzanian students integrated into village existence: living in mud huts and taking water from the river each morning whist setting up tree nurseries, model farms, multi-cropping experiments, teaching in the schools, promoting forest management, water management awareness courses, sustainable management awareness, and whilst trying to learn Kiswahili (with varying success!).

After a bout of tapeworms, malaria, tetanus and hospitalisation, I joined the Kilimanjaro Soil Development Association advising on organic farming practices and erosion control before returning to the Usambara mountains, and then headed north to Kenya and south to Madagascar.

 

Working with the International Women’s Committee- Baku, I designed a marketing brochure and revamped the landscape proposals for the orphanage. The brief was to help raise funds and provide a landscape scheme so that the 160 foster children (housed in former military barracks), could realise their dream of a playground space incorporating equipment, features and natural play.

The playground is currently being improved under Phase 1- restoration.

As a student of Hinchingbrooke School I volunteered to restore the brick Wendy House and gardens, built as a retreat for an eighteenth century Earl’s daughter.

In subsequent years I also provided designs, plants and urns for the herbaceous Long Border, Rose Garden and House Terrace around the historic Hinchingbrooke House, seat of the Cromwells, Montagus and Earls of Sandwich, and presently the classrooms of the school’s sixth form.