National Volunteer Panel – North of England
Meet the National Volunteer Panel members from the North of England region…
I live in Barrow in Furness Cumbria and worked for the BT for 42 years, installing digital telephone exchanges and managing an engineering workforce. I have also been a Call Centre manager and NVQ Assessor/Invigilator. I was a “Young Enterprise” business advisor at a Local Special Needs school, where I also became Chair of Governors. I undertook “Teaching Assistant” training and qualified in 2008, which greatly enhanced my time at school.
I have a strong passion about the history and heritage of my town and locality, successfully leading a campaign to prevent a housing development that would have had detrimental effect on an ancient Monument – Furness Abbey
I became involved with the Woodland Trust in 1999 when a millennium wood – How Tun Wood was planted, adjacent to where I live. Myself and my wife Lilian have looked after the wood ever since. I registered as a volunteer warden in 2004. In 2017 I became a Trust speaker delivering “Standing Up for Trees” to many groups and organisations, and recently became involved Ancient Tree Identification/recording.
The National Volunteer Panel is a natural action from the Trust’s “Investors in Volunteers” accreditation, and as a representative for the Northern England area, feel I can give volunteers the interface needed between them and the organisation.
I also enjoy my allotment, watching Rugby League, & walking in the Lake District and Scotland.
I strongly feel we must preserve and protect what forests and woodland ecology we have and look to increase our stock at any opportunity.
Living in Manchester for the past ten years ideally places me to travel easily across northern England. Frequently, driven by train, I take in and explore the diverse countryside. On energetic days the bike plays its part too. I travel regularly to London, taking in the Thames, the London plane strewn plentiful green spaces and galleries, museums, concerts, often with my daughters. These are all pleasant reminders from a professional business background in technology in the City.
The passion and interest in all things green and blue probably spawned from early roots in the Dartmoor National Park and manifests itself through regular lead volunteering related activities in the Forest of Bowland, urban Manchester, Calder Valley, and as trustee of a Lancashire country park. Golf sometimes plays a role and has definitely improved my knowledge of trees! With a hands-on leaning towards gaining countryside skills I now have a more useful understanding of how the countryside really works, and the opportunities it presents.
At the Woodland Trust, as a volunteer woodland creation champion, I enjoy working with landowners, communities, and schools; increasingly gaining knowledge of trees and woodland management and enthusiastically encouraging people to get involved.
As I have found in other similar environments, integrating and involving volunteers effectively in any organisation, supporting and managing volunteers into a worthwhile shared experience, is not easy. So I am looking forward to influencing the exciting, groundbreaking initiative that the volunteer led panel brings, where everyone has a voice, encouraging regionally a collaborative and open way of doing things. And fun too.
If you would like to contact Paul or Jon you can email them here: