We are delighted to introduce George Cook, who has supported our City Of Change campaign through Avon Wildlife Trust.

Why did you join the City Of Change campaign?

The City Of Change campaign aims to do important things in Bristol and I wanted to get involved to help make nature, wildlife and conservation jobs accessible to everyone!

What do you think young people may contribute to your company?

Avon Wildlife Trust wants to inspire people to take action for wildlife and young people can play a crucial role in helping us achieve this. We have regular young volunteers and an active youth forum who advise us how we should operate and help us with various projects and events. We are looking for more young people in these groups and they can have an invaluable role in getting our messages out to wider audiences and communities.

What do you hope younger people may contribute to your company?

I hope that young people can join in with the activities and programmes offered by the Trust to experience and enjoy nature and local wildlife and learn the benefit it can have to their lives and mental wellbeing. I hope they can join our youth forum or maybe even become a young trustee and help steer the direction of the Trust. I hope they can engage with the trust and help us share our campaigns and messages across Bristol and into their communities.

What do you think companies may be missing by having a lack of younger voices/influence in the company?

By excluding youth voices, companies miss out on opportunities to engage with young people and whole sections of society. Working with young people allows companies to hear fresh ideas, new perspective and tap into the creative energy that young people can provide!

What advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?

I wish I had been told that there are many different ways to work in conservation if you have an interest in wildlife and the environment. You don’t have to work in a zoo or become a vet if you like animals. There are many different roles in the conservation sector including practical conservation roles, education, fundraising, communications, membership and finance. Have a research online to find out which roles would suit you and your skills set the best.

However the advice you always hear when asked about starting getting started in conservation is to volunteer. This is a really great way to gain experience, skills and find out if you would enjoy this work as a career. Avon Wildlife Trust offers a young volunteer programme which can give you a taste of what its like to work for a conservation charity whilst teaching you new skills, meeting new people and of course, getting outdoors!