My name is Ethan and I have been on a five week placement with Birmingham Friends of the Earth during my second year of university.

I already had an interest in environmental politics before I came here, so coming to BFOE has allowed me to explore my interests while also making a difference through environmental campaigning. I found this placement through my university and once I arrived I found that the staff were incredibly passionate about what they were doing. It was also rewarding to be making a positive impact in my local region. 

While I have been on placement I have learnt how important it is to work as a team and how everyone pitching in allows individuals to become empowered. My role has involved monitoring BFOE’s social media feeds, this has opened my eyes to the myriad of coalitions and groups operating within Birmingham. Seeing that BFOE is contributing to these coalitions makes me proud to be part of the team.

While helping out our Campaigns Support Worker, I have found that collaborative thinking and communication is pivotal to volunteering as it means that the organisation will run smoothly. Alongside this, the fact that BFOE is based in The Warehouse alongside other like-minded organisations, has shown me the value of cooperatives and the important role they play in a community.

As a result of my placement, I have been inspired to join my local Green Party and I hope that I can continue to make a positive impact, in the same way BFOE have positively impacted my development.

If you are interested in working with a welcoming community and have an interest in making positive change, I highly encourage you to get in touch with Birmingham Friends of the Earth. 

Written by Ethan Winkworth