Internships at TCV Waltham Forest: a guest blog by TCV Interns.

Internships at TCV provide valuable support to help run environmental and community projects while providing interns with training, support, and experience. Interns will gain vocational experience to enhance their employability and build on their existing skills.

Recently 3 interns from the USA, Carlie, Maddie, and Brennan, spent 8 weeks at Waltham Forest and wanted to share a little about their time with TCV through a blog. TCV’s London Health & Education Manager, Abi Townsend, said “It’s been fantastic to have Carlie, Brennan, and Madi working alongside us in Waltham Forest and I hope that their experience volunteering with us at TCV has given them lots of new skills and ideas to take forward in their future careers.”

Intern – Maddie

“My name is Madi Williams and I’m a student from the US who had the opportunity to intern with TCV this past summer. I’m a student at Santa Clara University studying psychology, public health, and sustainability. When looking for an internship for the summer, I was hoping to work for an organization that engaged both my interests in health and sustainability and was more than happy when I found exactly that at TCV!

Working at TCV has been a great experience as one of my biggest goals for interning abroad this summer was to gain experience in community health and engagement. At TCV, I was given the opportunity to explore the different ways a non-profit can engage with different populations in their community from under 5 sessions with young children to nature sessions with schoolkids to Green Gyms with special needs adults. I learned how events can be tailored and restructured depending on the population as well as how there can be different approaches to engaging and speaking between the different age groups.

As a public health student, I particularly enjoyed working in Green Gyms. Although TCV is primarily a nature conservation charity, I enjoyed learning how they work to incorporate health and well-being into their everyday mission. It was great to see how these work days brought together community members in conservation work while also providing them with some physical exercise and social connection. I loved to hear from these volunteers about how they truly enjoyed their time with TCV so much so that they continue to make the effort to return each week”.

Intern – Carlie

“My name is Carlie Lussenden and this summer I worked as a volunteer officer at The Conservation Volunteers in London!

This summer, I was lucky enough to enrol in a program through my university that placed me at a internship in London. I am studying Political Science at University of California, Los Angeles and was hoping to gain some hands on experience working at a non-profit. Through my program, I was placed at The Conservation Volunteers.

During my 8 weeks here, I was able to work on a variety of projects, whether that be helping with family events in parks around London to working on a biodiversity action team maintaining wildlife habitats. These projects allowed me to connect with so many people in the greater Walthamstow community. I loved being able to educate children about the natural world and learn practical conservation skills with adults during Green Gym! I think my favourite project during my time here was working with school children, offering activities like pond dipping! Seeing how curious and passionate they are about the environment is so rewarding.

The Conservation Volunteers does an great job at serving the greater community and connecting all sorts of people to nature. Working on different projects also taught me more about the environment, practical skills, and how TCV successfully operates on national and local level. I also feel lucky that I was able to work on a jobsite that not was not a typical 9-5, helping to build community and spend my days in London outside in nature.

This summer was also not like any else, with rail strikes, heat waves, and rising COVID-19 cases, not all of our days went to plan but TCV still made do! I loved my summer in London and I am sad to leave. Thank you TCV!”

Intern –  Brennan

“My name is Brennan and I am an American university student interning with TCV for the summer. At university I study politics and international development where climate change and environmental concerns are at the forefront of many of my classes. Working with TCV allowed me to understand conservation and environmental protection through an engaged, hands-on lens. I learned so much about ecology and the environmental issues facing urban communities like London. As I hope to move into a career where I can work in climate policy, I will take the lessons I learned during my internship about the importance of charity work and the role of local communities as stakeholders. 

Working with TCV taught me a lot about flexibility and adaptability. I was able to engage with the community and the local greenspaces in a variety of ways. Doing practical conservation work demonstrated to me the importance of community and grassroots involvement in keeping our greenspaces safe and healthy. Our green gyms showed me how meaningful parks can be for helping people engage with their communities as well as the importance of interacting with natural spaces while living in an urban environment. Working with school groups and younger children through our learning and family events has been very meaningful. With the many environmental and climate challenges the younger generations will face in the near future, it was very rewarding to know that I was helping provide environmental education to this group. Seeing the little ones enjoying themselves and hearing their positive feedback were some of the highlights of my time with TCV. One family wrote and decorated a thank you card for us which I will truly cherish. If I could spend another few months in the placement, I would love to do more work interacting with the council for the borough so I could better understand how TCV engages with local government.

It was a pleasure working with TCV and getting the opportunity to live in London for the summer. I am returning to the United States with an enriched understanding of urban ecology and a strong appreciation for conservation work. I am eager to return to London as soon as possible and I am very thankful for all the community members who I had the pleasure of meeting and working with.”

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TCV Volunteers

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