What Rebecca did on her work experience week with us

Christa Project and Volunteer Manager




Rebecca Worley, a Year 12 student from St John the Baptist school in Woking, joined Christa Emmet for a week of work experience. 
We thought you would like to see what she got up and here’s her account. 





Today was the first day of my week’s work experience with Surrey Hills Society. First, I got to meet the team, who introduced themselves on the Monday morning Zoom meeting and explained a bit about their role for me. After this, I did a task to begin collating the ideas and themes from the ‘Postcards from the Future’; which is a scheme where Surrey Hills is asking people to write in and share their hopes for how our future will look in 75 years. They will use this to create their management plan. At midday, Christa and the team took me up Box Hill to have lunch with a view! In the afternoon I got to sit in on a couple more meetings and format some ideas for Friday’s meeting at Astolat House.

This morning, Christa and I attended a forest bathing session at Newlands Corner, led by Justine with a group of women from the Shifa network. It had been organised by Christa, using funding from the Nextdoor Nature project. It was an amazing experience, I felt very calm and relaxed afterwards, and when we did a group reflection at the end of the session it was so lovely and inspiring to hear how these women felt after reconnecting with nature. After a quick lunch we then met with Sam to put up signs along the Gomshall to Dorking Rail to Ramble route, which is where you walk the trail, then you can catch the train back to your car. It was a stunning route, with gorgeous views of the rolling hills. I saw some Belted Galloways and I saw some Roman Snails for the first time! Unfortunately, we ran out of time to put up all the signs and ended up missing our train, but that was all made up for by the lovely walk.

Today I went to the Surrey County Council networking event, where I met many different people in many different careers, all of which were very friendly and willing to answer any questions about the different jobs they all had. In the afternoon, Christa and I met with students from Box Hill School to do some more Postcards from the Future with them. We had lots of good discussions about the current state of our planet and the impacts of climate change, and it was really valuable to hear their input.

Today I was lucky enough to attend an event organised by Community Rail and Surrey Choices, with support from Surrey Hills. We met at Redhill station, where a representative from Community Rail spoke a bit about the different ways to buy a ticket, how to use a ticket machine and the ways to book or ask for assistance boarding the train. On the train to Farnborough North, we did some drawing activities to engage with the landscape we passed through, and the wildlife that lives there. When we arrived at Farnborough North we went to Reggie’s Garden, which is a lovely community green space created in the garden of the old station master’s house. Some members of Blackwater Valley Trust led a walk to the nearby fishing pits and pointed out some of the wildlife along the way. After a tour of Reggie’s Garden, we had lunch, then I got to see the Surrey Wildlife Trust offices when Christa and I popped over to pick up some resources for tomorrows activities.

Today we went to Astolat House to discuss ways to improve the green spaces around the building. We met with some people from the organisations that worked in the office block, along with several members from Surrey Coalition for Disabled people. Once introductions were made, we walked around the building to see the spaces available which quickly pinpointed some accessibility issues that were a quick fix, but also sparked some good ideas. On the walk we also spotted a bee orchid, the first one I’d ever seen, which was an inspiring reminder that even the act of not mowing the lawn can make our green spaces a little bit wilder. After that, we reconvened in the board room to share ideas over lunch. It was a very constructive and productive session; many ideas were presented, and everyone got involved.

When the meeting ended it sadly marked the end of my work experience with Christa the Project and Volunteer Manager and the Surrey Hills Society, but I am so grateful to have had this amazing opportunity and to have met so many incredible people.

Rebecca Worley



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