When did you start working at Birmingham FoE?
‘I started in 1990 doing mainly reception but also did general administration and worked on memberships and subscriptions. I also got involved in some of the campaign meetings on Monday nights, particularly the ones on Biodiversity, which is my special interest.’
What was it that made you decide to join Birmingham FoE as a volunteer?
‘I have always had an interest in environmental issues and the work of Friends of the Earth. I was also involved in the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and supported both when I was teaching. There have been many varied and interesting campaigns over the years such as biodiversity, transport, recycling and the Tyseley incinerator campaign.’
How has it changed here over the years, since you started?
‘I think it has grown bigger, there are more employed people here as well as more volunteers and members now. There have been lots of improvements, particularly in reception with the refurbishment works.
When I started everything was done manually, and the computer system took a while to get used to, but now it is all computers.
The newsletter is much better now, I remember that it used to be in broadsheet format and came in three piles which I had to help collate together. It is now much more up to date and easier to read as it is all in one!’
What are your most memorable moments from your time here?
‘I don’t have a single memorable moment as there has been so much going on! The main things that stand out are the friendships I have made and meeting lots of new volunteers over the years. I got on particular well with Dave Clare and Val Stevens and have had the chance to learn lots of new things during my time here.’
What would you say to anyone thinking about volunteering, who is not sure?
‘I would say definitely give it a go, it is very rewarding and you feel you’re contributing in a very practical way. I have done so many interesting things since I started.
Lots of members don’t take an active role and yet it really keeps you in touch and makes you feel you are doing something worthwhile.
Although I’m no longer working there, I will remain as a member and keep in touch with the campaigns.’