An internship with a difference

Avatar for Aidan Semple
By Aidan Semple

Aidan Semple’s involvement with CPRE Lancashire began with an internship project on brownfield redevelopment.

I found out about CPRE last summer when an internship opportunity was advertised through the University of Liverpool careers website. After researching the work CPRE do, I quickly realised that this was an organisation I wanted to work with, with their efforts in fighting for sustainability and environmental protection something I am also very passionate about.

The internship project I worked on was focused on brownfield redevelopment in the Liverpool City Region for the 2019 Year of the Environment initiative. The project involved working with local councils, property consultants and other local stakeholders to encourage brownfield redevelopment and subsequent protection of the region’s countryside and greenbelt.

After completing this internship, I began to learn more about the volunteering opportunities at CPRE Lancashire. This was something I was eager to get involved with. Whilst the brownfield project I worked on had come to an end, I felt like I could still contribute through volunteering work with CPRE Lancashire to spread these key messages of local countryside conservation and sustainable living.

My countryside connection

I grew up just outside Oxford, where I had quick access to the countryside. By going on regular walks and runs, I have spent plenty of time in these areas. So I know not only the positive peaceful effects they have on mental wellbeing, but also their importance for ecosystem conservation and overall sustainability. These experiences I have had with the countryside and my understanding of its importance for environmental conservation and mental wellbeing are why I am passionate about helping to protect it.

I am primarily a social media volunteer for the CPRE Lancashire group. Working with other volunteers, I help to manage the social media accounts, on Instagram in particular. This volunteering doesn’t take up too much time, meaning I can balance CPRE work with my university studies. Having both skills and experience using social media, but also the teamwork and collaborative skills gained from the internship last year, puts me in a good position to offer the best input and help I can in promoting CPRE online.

Why I volunteer

I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that, while it may be a small role, I am still playing my part in fighting for the conservation of the countryside and the promotion of sustainable living. Additionally, working with an influential group such as CPRE over the past year has helped me build a network of co-workers and fellow volunteers. As a university student who will soon be looking for employment, the work experience gained and the connections I have made through both my internship and my volunteering work for the CPRE Lancashire branch puts me in a much stronger position moving forward into the working world.

I’d encourage anyone considering volunteering for CPRE to take a look at some of the various volunteering opportunities available. Regardless of age and occupation, there are a range of volunteering opportunities so that everyone can get involved.

More specifically for students like me, these volunteering opportunities provide you with the opportunity to contribute towards the promotion of rural conservation and environmental sustainability. They also help you to build a network of co-workers and volunteers, in a way that means you are still able to balance volunteering work with your studies and your social lives.

Could you spare some time to volunteer for your local CPRE and stand with the countryside that you love? Learn more about the experience of volunteering for CPRE, the countryside charity, or drop us a line: volunteeringteam@cpre.org.uk.

CPRE volunteer Aidan Semple
CPRE volunteer Aidan Semple Aidan Semple