Chris Williams interviewed Russell Fitzpatrick
What do you do at Birmingham Friends of the Earth?  
I am involved in a lot.  Better to ask what I don’t do!  I act as a receptionist, do painting, decorating, electrical work, plumbing, make things anyone asks me to make (e.g. a bike trailer for Maud) and I have worked in the cycle shop.  I’ve been working here since January 2005.  It was only supposed to be a temporary thing but I just can’t leave the place and don’t intend to.
How did you get involved here?
I saw an advert at BVSC.  I liked the idea of the work involved and the city location meant I could get here easily.  If I had to get from Perry Barr to Kings Heath or Bordesley Green, say, it would involve two buses and it would be typical to find the 2nd bus leaving the bus stop just as my 1st bus arrives.

Why do you like working here?

I can do so many new things and in greater depth than normal.  I am able to learn and to use my own initiative.
What environmental issue are you most interested in?
Transport above and beyond all else. Living in the Netherlands for 10 years has brought home to me the fact that it’s perfectly easy to live without a car.  It made me realise how easy it is to cycle.  In the Netherlands, cyclists are not seen as poverty-stricken or wimps as they sometimes are here.  I am aware of a neighbour that drives her child to school despite it being just a 5 minute walk away.