I joked with Louise (Transforming the Trent Valley Scheme Manager) that she has just had her first ‘Sarahversary’ and asked if we had to sum up our 1st year of the scheme what three words would we choose? For me, I chose easier, amusing and informative. Louise chose supportive, fun and challenge. At first, I thought she meant I was a challenge! What she meant was that the Scheme has had a challenging first year and I must agree with her. Why? Louise reminded me (some in her own words) that in our first year we’ve had to set up an office, build a team of nine people over 12 months, start the majority of the projects, engage with thousands of people, had a wet summer, one house move, two babies arriving, one wedding, then a REALLY wet winter, and now a “MASSIVE WORLD WIDE PANDEMIC!”. We ask in jest, whatever next?
Although we have had a challenging first year, I believe that as a team we have worked hard together and supported each other throughout the challenges. Therefore, I chose 'easier' as one of my words. We do work well together and have bonded as a team and for some, we’ve learnt from our previous experiences which makes the challenges seem a little easier to work through collectively.
Why did I choose informative?
I feel personally in the last 12 months that I have learnt lots of new skills, ideas and gained a vast range of knowledge with Transforming the Trent Valley. In particular, the Trent Valley’s importance in the World Wars, how to be a WildChild, how to reduce my single-use plastic, improved my wildlife ID skills and learnt more advanced formulas in Excel. I look forward to gaining even more knowledge and skills over the next few years with the scheme.
My third and final word to describe our first year would be 'amusing'!
Although times are a little strange and challenging for all of us at present, as a team we are doing a great job of keeping each other sane and our morale positive by finding new ways to communicate with each other whilst working from home. We might be working in our own homes across three different counties, but the team jokes, banter, chats, competitiveness and challenges are just the same as if we were still working in the office.
In summary, the first year of the Transforming the Trent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme for me has been a team success and hopefully will continue to be successful through its lifetime. As a personal final note, I’d like to say thank you to the Transforming the Trent Valley team and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust for making my first year an enjoyable one and I look forward to continuing working with you all over the next 12 months.
Whilst working from home I have had the chance to better appreciate the wildlife and my garden more and would like to share these photos with you.