Name: Laurie Davies

Job title: Senior Caseworker for Member of Parliament and

Councillor, Stroud Town Council

Qualifications: MSc Marketing and Communications, BA Joint Honours in English Literature and Education

Why did you become an environment/sustainability professional?

From my initial experiences of volunteering with a social action charity I was inspired by the ability of people and myself to make positive change on many issues, along with the importance of engaging with young people and communities in general to enable change to happen, and the difference that can be made when young people and communities feel they have a voice and our listened to.

What was your first environment/sustainability job?

My first experience of working in a social action and community setting was working for the youth education charity, Envision. Envision have offices in Bristol, London and Birmingham and empower, educate and support young people to create their community social action projects on issues they believe affect their local community whilst building essential skills needed for their future careers.

How did you get your first role?

I first started volunteering with Envision in my second year of my undergraduate course in Bristol. I then secured a part time role as a school support worker in my final year of university and then successfully gained a place on their internship scheme after graduating. When I left after 4 year I was working as  a project coordinator at their Bristol office.

How did you progress your environment/sustainability career?

After Envision a took a career break to spend time with my young son. During this time I ran a successful election campaign with my son in toe to become a local councillor as well as start a Masters degree in Marketing and Communications with the intention of using these new skills within the charity sector once completed.

What does your current role involve?

As a Senior Caseworker for a Member of Parliament my work is very varied. However the main role of the job is to make sure all constituents voices are heard and issues acted upon when possible. Issues may involve issues with benefits, housing, immigration, education, healthcare. The role involves often hearing distressing stories and situations but it can also be hugely rewarding we are able to help people with the difficult issues they face ending in positive outcomes.

How has your role changed over the past few years?

My role as Senior Caseworker is still relatively new since the General Election in 2017 but it felt like a clear natural link to my previously role of empowering young people to take part in social action.

As a the youngest member of the Stroud Town Council, I make it my priority to make sure decisions made are taken with consideration to how they may affect young people in our town. I am also passionate in supporting local projects through the various community fund grants we run.

What’s the best part of your work?

Working with people that are passionate about caring for the world and the people in it as well as having the opportunity to have a positive impact on peoples lives.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Seeing things that I feel desperately need changing to create a fairer and empowering society and not having the power to make those changes.

What was the last development/training course/event you attended?

As part of my current role I often attend training sessions run by parliament that range from ‘Writing a Brief’ to Mental Health Awareness.
I have also recently completed my MSc is Marketing and Communications which used to look at issues relevant to Stroud as well as political communications.

What did you bring back to your job?

They different ways in which to communicate ideas and views, that is so important when wanting to create positive change and inform people of different ways of thinking.

What is/are the most important skill(s) for your role and why?

Listening. Its such a simple thing but so crucial. I believe we all have the obligation to listen and hear other peoples views or how things affect people differently. Without listening we would never know the changes needed to make our environment and society a better place to live. More listening and conversations are always needed.

Where do you see the environment/sustainability profession going?

I am not entirely sure and I don’t think I ever have been . All I know is that I am at my best when I am able to help others and feel part of a community and will always seek opportunities that allow me to continue to do this.
Laurie Davies will be speaking at our Green Careers Catalyst Workshop in Stroud on 16th June. For more information and to book visit  http://catalysechange.com/portfolio-item/catalyst-programme-events-outreach/