Blogger: Laura White, PA to the PA Manager
Have you ever been so totally bowled over by something that even a couple of days after the event you’re still thinking about it? You feel your mind wandering back to the moment and as you savour the awe you felt you smile to yourself in a goofy way, making people around you raise their eyebrows. Well I had that kind of experience yesterday and even now while I’m writing this I’m shaking my head at the unexpected way life has of being beautiful? I bet by now you’re waiting for me to talk about a moment with nature so thrilling its vibrancy leaps off the page. But you’d be wrong. I spent all day yesterday, as I do most working weeks, in the office.
As usual on the last Wednesday of the month I was note taking at an all-morning meeting. During the meeting we were updated on the plight of the turtle dove. Like a majority of our nature it’s fighting for survival. The story of its demise is both shocking and all too familiar! But what bowled me over was the passion and the knowledge of the person updating us. He knew where they wintered, where they summer and how far they travel between the two places. He knew how many broods they had in the 70’s and how many broods they are having now. He understood completely the issues facing their ‘food security’ on all legs of their journey and he also understood the simple measures people can take to improve their plight but what was most impressive is how he is willing to fight for their survival. He spends hours reading and deciphering huge swathes of legislation. He meets with MP’s and MEP’s to discuss policies and to put the case for nature. He works with farmers and land owners advising them how to make their land productive both for humans and for the birds. He types emails, makes phone calls and attends meetings. He updates systems and interprets data. And he even finds time to attend an internal meeting and inspire me! This morning I hit my desk running. I arranged a particularly difficult meeting, sorted out some particularly fiddly paperwork and dealt with some interesting calls from members of the public all with a smile on my face, because by doing that I’m supporting a team of people who do all of the above everyday.
There was a John F Kennedy quote that always stuck in my mind. He was being shown around NASA and he sees this guy sweeping the floor of the rocket assembly building and he said to him “what exactly is your role?’ and he said, ‘I put men on the moon, sir.’ He didn’t see himself as a cleaner, he saw himself as part of a team that put men on the moon. This is the same way that many people within our Public Affairs Team feel, people like Laura and myself. We believe that maybe, with our combined efforts and support from you, we can help halt the decline of the turtle dove and other wildlife species.