Q&A with Martin Abrams
Job title: Parliamentary Campaigns Advisor
Typical hours: 9am until 5.15pm
What are your main duties and responsibilities?
I'm in charge of recruiting and mobilising a core group of campaign champion volunteers. They will support our advocacy work and will meet with MPs face to face, to lobby and basically give nature a voice.
Can you describe a typical day in (or out) of the office?
There is no typical day really. I'm quite lucky in that I split my time between the RSPB's London office and the RSPB's headquarters here at The Lodge. So any given day is quite different.
I also travel around the UK quite a lot, keeping up contact with regional colleagues and colleagues in the countries as well. That flexibility of working in two different locations is what really impresses me about working for the RSPB. Obviously the travel between the two can get a little bit tiring at times, so if there is a downside to it I'd say that's one.
Which qualifications are useful or necessary for this field of work?
Essentially I don't need any proper qualifications for this, but I think what's essential is that you have a lot of experience. So, to go into this job I worked for a year as a residential volunteer on a reserve, and that's really how I got my foot in the RSPB door.
It was very different to what I'm doing now. I was doing land based stuff and I was a volunteer warden at Old Moor nature reserve at Barnsley, South Yorkshire. The eight months that I spent there, living and working on the reserve, really helped me to get in to the RSPB.
From there I moved to London and worked within the RSPB's London team, and I eventually got the opportunity to move to the campaigns team here at The Lodge where I've been for the last two years.
Which personal qualities do you feel make you suited to this job?
You need to be outgoing and you need to be able to engage with people on a daily basis, whether it's volunteers, politicians or colleagues within departments across the RSPB. You just need to have an engaging personality. You also need to be organised and have a sense of focus.
For you, what makes it worth coming into work each day?
What I love about my job is that I can combine my passion for both politics and conservation. I'm very politically minded, but it's incredibly important to be politically neutral in this job. I would call myself an environmentalist – I love the natural world. I love being able to speak up and step up for nature in my day to day work, and it's just a great opportunity to work in both of those fields.
Are there any downsides?
The downsides that I can think of with my particular role would probably be not being able to achieve as much success with our campaigns as possible. Not all of our campaigns are successful but we work really hard to make as many as good as possible. We must make sure that we celebrate the successes of each and every campaign, and learn from the ones that we don't have so much success in.