Jade Allen and Melanie Shears are the two latest young recruits to join Cumbria Wildlife Trust, as Apprentice Conservation Officers. Both share a passion for wildlife and hope that their two-year apprenticeship will equip them with the skills and experience for exciting careers in conservation.
Twenty-year-old Jade, who lives in Endmoor, said: “I’ve lived in the Lake District my entire life and grown up surrounded by nature. I jumped at the chance to work with Cumbria Wildlife Trust because of my passion for all things in nature, especially animals!
“I’ve had some great experiences already, especially being able to survey the grey seal colony at our South Walney Nature Reserve which I will now be taking the lead on for the rest of this winter. During my apprenticeship I hope to get stuck in to as many different areas of conservation as possible and learn as much as I can; I think it will be a truly amazing one-of-a-kind experience!”
Melanie lives in Heysham and explains why she wanted to join the Trust: “I went to university and started working full time in a corporate job but realised this wasn’t the right path for me. I knew I would be much happier if I was doing something where I could make a difference. I love being outdoors, so I leapt at the chance of an apprenticeship with Cumbria Wildlife Trust. I am particularly looking forward to gaining some hands-on conservation experience, as well as getting involved in events and fundraising at the Trust.”
Jade and Melanie’s apprenticeships are funded by Green Futures, a programme run by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, which offers opportunities to young people to get actively involved in environmental projects, including the Environmental Apprenticeship scheme. The two year scheme combines college studies with certified training courses and hands-on work. Not only does the scheme help local young people to get onto the career ladder, it also invests in their education and personal development. Green Futures is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and is one of 31 projects UK-wide that make up Our Bright Future.