As summer rolls into Autumn, the sky takes on a certain subtle shade of blue, the leaves turn yellow and orange, and the bushes around Mortonhall are heavy with blackberries. It’s hard to believe, firstly, that I’ve used up nearly all my annual leave (!), and secondly, that I’ve now been a TCV employee for just over eight months.
I’m beginning to feel like part of the furniture, though, not least because I’ve now taken on two regular commitments within the organization. One is mentoring our Coastal Communities group on a monthly basis, helping them towards outdoor careers and positive destinations after their year-long traineeship with us. The other is leading one of our regular mid-week volunteer groups – a responsibility that builds upon the practical conservation skills I’ve learned this year. A few weeks ago, we dismantled some of the “guerilla” mountain bike trails that had sprung up around the beautiful Hermitage of Braid, and pulled up some equally beautiful, but equally “guerilla”, Himalayan balsam. Hopefully, in my role as Youth Engagement Officer, I’ll be coming up with ways of turning the mid-week groups into a more attractive option for young people.
I’ve also been working on funding applications, delivering more Employability Awards, travelling all the way to Girvan Academy, in South Ayrshire, to help with our Get Some Credit programme, as well as carrying on with my Forest School Level 3 leader training.
Plenty more coming up for the Skills and Employability Team this autumn. Watch this space…