Friday was my last day at environmental organisation Changeworks.
I’ve been working in the Waste Prevention department for two years. It’s been a total pleasure to work in a passionate and creative team with people I now consider as friends as well as colleagues.
Kathleen my manager made this leaving card, our magic words are ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ so she came up with a new 3 R’s for me (brilliant!). We take worms to nurseries so she’s drawn our wormery (worm house) and me on a banana (we feed banana skins to the worms and sing about in the composting song). My new book is called ‘Banana me beautiful’ and includes artwork of bananas that are people so this card is totally genius!
Thanks to Changeworks for such a great send off, I absolutely love the heather, scarf and butterfly necklace (and love that I was told it’s like I’m flying off as a butterfly, awww!) and it was a lovely night of drinks, food and demonstrating how bad we are at guessing whisky (all I can say is it’s not Laphroaig, and it was…laphroaig!).
My job at Changeworks
I worked visiting Edinburgh schools delivering assemblies, workshops and storytelling. I encouraged schools to finish their food with Mr Silly Sausage, trained eco teams to be Zero Waste Heroes and made paper and compost in bottles. I also spent time developing new resources, organising events, managing projects, writing press releases and writing for the Changeworks website. I delivered training to teachers and local authorities too.
I started full-time at Changeworks in September 2009. In February 2010 I reduced my hours to 4 days a week to have a day to focus on writing. A year later in March 2011 I reduced my hours further to 2.5 days a week and finally decided to make the difficult decision to be a full-time freelancer (yikes!). Changeworks have been incredibly supportive, when my CBeebies programme was taken into development Evelyn brought out the champagne and colleagues later came along to my CBeebies premiere and to my book launch. I am so grateful to them for all their encouragement.
There are so many to choose from, here’s my top 10:
- Spending my second to last week working with schools on the Isle of Barra
- Training Dorset Waste Partnership to Finish their Food with my Silly Sausage and being blown away by their results (they reduced food waste in the winning school by a whopping 95%, well done Dorset!)
- Organising the What Rot compositing competition and seeing the children really excited as they brought their compost samples to be judged
- Being part of the exciting new Changeworks blog team, having blogger lunches and receiving and sharing feedback on our blog posts
- Presenting Finish Your Food winners Craigroysten Primary School with a sausage on a fork trophy
- Designing and delivering the Heroes at Home competition for the Waste Free Edinburgh project. Especially presenting pupils with their winning bikes at The Bike Station. Meet the winners and here me explain a bit more about the project in this fab film made by Michael MacLeod for the Guardian Edinburgh
- The Christmas Parties (was great to be part of the team planning and running the party the last two years)
- Planning and running the Make Waste History Summit 2009
- Working with so many great schools, pupils and teachers in Edinburgh
- Having my views challenged on a daily basis and changing my thinking as a result..
On that note, does change work?
Working for Changeworks has totally revolutionised my thinking. I wrote a poem about Energy Saving Light bulbs in response to this change and even jumped in the sea on the 1st January to try to persuade people to consider green new years resolutions. If you knew me before I worked at Changworks, you’ll know this is a big change!
Thankfully this is not really ‘Goodbye Changeworks’. I’ve been working for Changeworks on a freelance basis making films and audio. I’m glad to say this looks set to continue. I’m currently producing a fuel-efficient driving audio feature for the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre and making Greenerleith Zero Waste Podcasts that involve Changeworks projects too.
What’s next for me aside from that? Well that’s another blog post…