Hello everyone, my name is Giovanna Bisoni, and I am not a nature geek.
.Despite my decidedly not very environmental academic background (think English Literature and Art History), thanks to my personal interest in sustainability and community development I landed a Community Engagement Natural Networks traineeship based at the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, in sunny Shotts, Norh Lanarkshire.
Lucky for me, CSGNT is located within its own stunning nature park, as well as being an extremely dog friendly office. Did I mention I love dogs? I mean, how cute is Ruby the Golden Retriever pup? So cute.
For now, my role here is to support anyone in the office who might need help with Community Engagement. So far I have been enrolled to help out with a school engagement in Deanburn Glen, the planning of an allotment in Anderston, a youth community project here in Shotts, and a group of volunteers in Motherwell.
CSGNT covers the whole of Central Scotland, so I’ll be travelling a lot (on my trusty bike, using many trains, and hopefully driving a van in the near future), but also delivering environmental activities here in Shotts. I already started running a fortnightly volunteers group here at our Nature Park, and I got in touch with a local school which is keen to do more John Muir Award activities in the near future. The trainee before myself let behind some very fertile ground for me to develop more projects on. Thank you Rebecca!
During the last two months I have been learning lots about local communities and how to support them, while going out with TCV and attending as many trainings as possible. This traineeship has definitely brought me outside of my comfort zone, which is something I recommend doing from time to time, altho it’s bound to get wet sometimes. This is Scotland after all.
In the next months I am looking forward to further developing the projects I mentioned, getting involved with the local schools to deliver some outdoors education, attending more trainings and events, supporting our local volunteers group here in the Shotts Nature Park, and seeing these cute faces everyday.