Our new Project Assistant!

In this blog we hear from our Environmental Conservation Apprentice Anthony, on finishing his training and starting his new role, Project Assistant, at the Trust. Congratulations Anthony!

Hi, I’m Anthony and I have worked for DCRT for almost 3 years now. During my time with the Trust, I’ve worked on the Living Heritage of the River Don project and I’m currently working on the Hidden Heritage, Secret Streams project, both funded by the National Lottery. Over this time I’ve completed my Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeship in Environmental Conservation. This month I move onto my new role as Project Assistant, so thought it would be a good time to reflect on my time as an apprentice with the Trust.

Me on my first ever volunteer day with the Don Catchment Rivers Trust – I soon passed my driving test and was able to drive the van!

My first day was in October 2017 when I started working on the Living Heritage of the River Don Project. I helped to run volunteer days along the Don Valley Way, a walking route along the River Don, that I would later be managing my own volunteer activities on. I also worked at several community events to promote our project and recruit new volunteers. Completing my level 2 apprenticeship provided me with lots of transferable skills to help me with my future career in the environmental sector. It gave me both useful qualifications and extremely valuable experience in the sector.

While completing my Level 2 I learnt how to treat invasive plant species such as Himalayan Balsam, gained a ticket to use a brush cutter and acquired a first aid certificate. These qualifications and skills are just a few of the many I acquired at the Trust to help me gain employment in the environmental sector.

Removing the invasive species, Himalayan Balsam

At the end of the project there was an opportunity for me to apply to do a higher level apprenticeship with the DCRT. This was working on the new lottery project based on the River Rother, Hidden Heritage, Secret Streams. I was succesful and started my next apprenticeship, where I worked on and ran volunteer days, conducted plant surveys, gained a chainsaw qualification and created interpretive media to promote the Trust. It gave me the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and improve my leadership and volunteer management skills.

Anthony working at an event in Chesterfield

The past three years have allowed me to gain both the practical and theoretical skills I need to be able to take up the Project Assistant role. Without my apprenticeship it would have been incredibly difficult to get a job in the environmental sector, so I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and for the help of everyone at the Don Catchment Rivers Trust. I’m looking forward to my new role and continuing to work with our fantastic volunteers and my colleagues.

DCRT volunteer Dan and Anthony, on his final day as an apprentice

Want to work in Conservation?
In 2021 DCRT will offer two work experience placements to students in Chesterfield (aged 16-18 years). Students will have the opportunity to gain valuable and diverse experience in the conservation sector, including:
* Working outdoors and in rivers
* Protecting nature and inspiring others to help
* Experience working with a team
* Representing the Trust at community events
* Training opportunties and office skills
Want to know more? Email info@dcrt.org.uk