Helping out in Hampshire

Avatar for Carole Oldham
By Carole Oldham

Carole Oldham puts her planning experience to good use as a volunteer at CPRE Hampshire.

I’ve been a member of CPRE for a number of years. I started looking for a new volunteering opportunity when my involvement with project managing the development of Ropley’s Neighbourhood Plan came to an end. I joined the CPRE Hampshire team in March 2019, and became Chair of the Planning and Policy Group (PPG) in June 2019 and a Trustee this year.

Championing the countryside I love

I feel passionate about protecting the countryside and making it, and the benefits that come from spending time in the natural environment, available to as many people as possible.

Living in a rural area on the edge of the South Downs National Park, we’re fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful countryside and wildlife. My husband and I love walking on the many local footpaths that we can access from our front gate. I always get a boost from the lovely views and wild plants and animals that we see and hear.

'The leadership and proactivity of the group helps define the direction in which CPRE influences positive policy change.'

I chair the PPG, which is made up of around 25 enthusiastic volunteers and staff members who work to support CPRE’s aims and objectives. The leadership and proactivity of the group helps define the direction in which CPRE influences positive policy change, allowing us to protect the countryside as much as possible so everyone can enjoy it.

Carole Oldham walking in the countryside near Ropley
Carole Oldham walking in the countryside near Ropley

A variety of volunteer roles

In addition to planning, the group benefits from expert volunteers in a wide range of areas affecting the countryside, including affordable housing, transport and aviation, farming and local food, minerals and waste, the rural economy, and energy and water.

I’m also involved with two sub-groups, one that drives our campaigns and the other that works with our volunteer district group planning leads on responses to local plans across the county.

I have a number of roles at CPRE Hampshire, things have grown somewhat! I balance this work with my interests which include classic music, opera, travel, walking and gardening.

I’m really enjoying my time with CPRE Hampshire. It’s great to be able to feel that you can bring some of the skills and experience you have built up during a 30+ year career in business to such a worthwhile organisation and make a difference. I’ve also met loads of interesting and talented people and am learning new things all the time.

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.

A wooden fingerpost pointing to South Downs Way
The South Downs National Park, where Carole loves to go walking