“I had no experience of working with the public…but now it’s what I enjoy the most!”
Andy has been inspiring people to join Dorset Wildlife Trust since he started with SWWFL in 2016: as a passionate wildlife advocate and someone bringing skills and experience from previous careers, including the military services. He’s found that you never stop learning.
My military career
I passed out from RMA Sandhurst in April 1980 and enjoyed being a Platoon Commander and particularly a Company Commander commanding roughly 220 troops. In 1999 I was transferred to RARO (Regular Army Reserve of Officers) but I was never again active.
I enjoyed various training appointments was a big supporter for the army cadets.
My service was mainly as a reservist and this enabled me to train, study and develop a civilian career in business and marketing.
Why I become a fundraiser
I had retired and I love all things wildlife. I applied to work for South West Wildlife Fundraising Ltd through my compassion for Dorset Wildlife Trust and the work they do.
What I’ve learnt and how I’ve developed my skills
The biggest part of the learning curve was listening to people and interacting accordingly. Listening and focusing on people’s interests is a great asset. I had no experience of working with the public and it was challenging and daunting at first, but now it’s what I enjoy the most!
I made a point of learning as much about wildlife, conservation, and the ethos of The Wildlife Trusts and in particular Dorset Wildlife Trust and local issues. I’ve done this by connecting with the trust and adapting the way I work so that everything I have on display and my knowledge is focused on what we are doing locally.
I got used to working on my own by adopting the ‘improvise, adapt and overcome’ military ethos. Giving feedback to the office team about the venues you work best in is important and helpful as we are all different and perform better in different settings.
I view what I do as public relations on behalf of Dorset Wildlife Trust and it’s incredibly rewarding to talk about, share and learn all aspects of local wildlife.