Chris Williams interviewed Alison Breadon 

How long have you been volunteering at Birmingham Friends of the Earth?

About three years now but soon I will be disappearing for a while to have a baby.
What do you do here?
All sorts… I am the Line Manager for the Campaigns Support Worker; sometimes a receptionist; have organised speaker events; greet new people who come to Monday night campaigns meetings; often take minutes at meetings; contribute to the campaigns strategy meetings; and do personnel work such as help with recruitment and development of policies.
How did you get involved with Birmingham Friends of the Earth?
I have been a Friends of the Earth member since I was 14 years old but only donated funds until recently.  To be honest, I have a real fear of climate change and that’s what motivated me to be more active.  I had not done campaigning before but had volunteered and worked for other non-governmental organisations.  I did some research on the internet, came to a speaker event at the Warehouse and the rest is history.
Do you enjoy your work here?
Yes, it’s very varied and I have made some good friends.  It’s really flexible here so I can get involved in all sorts of things, following my interests, without being over-committed to one thing or another.  Volunteering here makes me do things that I wouldn’t otherwise do – for example, I was asked to visit my MP, which was quite empowering.  I would not have done this unless Birmingham Friends of the Earth had encouraged me to do so, and now I feel I can go back to speak to my MP about anything.
What environmental issues are most important to you?
Short answer: climate change.  I have a bleak outlook and I know we need to act quickly.  Also, as a Quaker, my faith motivated me to look after the planet: we have been entrusted not to abuse the planet but to treat it with respect.