Hi everyone! My name is Bella, and I am an Environmental Social Science student at the University of Kent. I have recently joined the University Sustainability Team to carry out a work placement as part of my undergraduate degree, and I am very excited to get involved with the amazing work that the Sustainability Team are doing. I really wanted to do a year in professional practice to get experience of working in a professional environment, to learn more about my own interests and potential career paths, and to put the skills that I have learnt throughout my degree so far into practice.
My main interests are community conservation and learning about how we can act to mitigate the climate and ecological crisis. I am looking forward to working on a variety of projects with the Sustainability team that I hope will help to improve biodiversity and bring our local community together to make positive change. This term I will mostly be working on the Hedgehog Friendly Campus project and with the Kent Community Oasis Garden (KentCOG), where volunteers can come to spend time in nature, garden, and grow food.
The Hedgehog Friendly Campus project is particularly exciting for me as I have been lucky enough to have regular hedgehog visitors in our garden at home during the lockdown, and so I am passionate about raising awareness of the dangers that hedgehogs are currently facing. In the past decade we have lost over a half of rural hedgehogs and a third from towns and cities, largely due to habitat loss and fragmentation. This forces hedgehogs to move into more urban areas where they may not be able to find enough food and water and are threatened by poison or traffic. The University of Kent has already been awarded the Silver Hedgehog Friendly Campus status as a result of efforts to make the campus a safer place for hedgehogs to live, and this year we will be working towards achieving the Gold Hedgehog Friendly Campus status!
I also enjoy learning about the impact that the climate crisis is having on our mental health and, with the Wellbeing subgroup from the SAC Sustainability Working Group, set up a series of Climate Cafés to create a space where we can safely express our feelings about climate change. We are hoping to run more of these online events so please get in touch if you are interested. In my free time, I enjoy travelling, spending time in nature (especially at the beach with my dog), meeting up with my friends and family, and watching Marvel movies whilst I crochet!
If you have any questions about the projects that I will be helping with, or want to get involved, please feel free to contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.