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My First Work Experience – Discovering More About the Environment at PECT

Category: General

Date: 22.08.2017

Time: 08:42

During my time between GCSEs and Sixth Form, I am doing work experience at PECT. I was initially looking for some work experience somewhere for this time and when I came across PECT I was immediately interested in what the charity does.

As PECT generally covers the areas I would like to continue working in for the future, and because I really enjoy this field, this seems like the perfect place to build up my experience. I am currently still unsure about exactly what I would like to do as a career, but the opportunities I get here may help me figure this out!

As a rather shy person, I often find I need to build my confidence, so I believe this work experience at PECT will really help me now and later on with being confident around gaining experience for my future. It already seems to be helping me get myself out there more, so I am looking forward to the opportunities PECT will give me.

During my GCSEs, my enjoyment of Geography really stood out. I adored the physical side, looking at rivers and coasts; however my main interests swayed more towards the human side of Geography. In this area the main topics were population change, evolving urban environments and tourism.

In population change we studied the current exponential growth in the world population, and how it differs in richer countries to poorer countries, and the effects it has. Specifically in the UK, how this has created a lack of water in densely populated areas like cities, and excess water in sparsely populated areas, and I enjoyed studying how this was managed.

In changing urban environments, we covered sustainable cities. We had a case study of a city in Brazil called Curitiba that had make significant changes to the environment of their city. This included things like; increasing green space, massively improving the public transport (especially the bus system), and planting masses of trees throughout the city.

In tourism, we covered ecotourism (specifically another case study). To achieve a larger profit from their tourists, by using less energy and money; the power was from solar cells, the water for the guests was collected rainwater, all of the food provided was locally produced to help local farmers and to reduce the carbon footprint. I found these specific topics interesting because they were more towards improving the environment and making it more sustainable.

Once I start my A-levels, I plan on studying Geography, Religious Studies and English Literature (fingers crossed I get the grades I want!). I think the experience I get here at PECT will support my A-level choices well so will help me get experience in this field, and this experience will be extremely helpful.

This subject also ties in with my personal interests: I have now been vegetarian for going on two years, and have done plenty of research about how much energy, and water, is saved in being so. When I first came across this I found it very interesting, thus it made me want to become veggie straight away!

I am very thankful that I have been allowed this voluntary time here at PECT and I can’t wait for the next few weeks here!

Eleanor Whitwell is a volunteer with PECT.



Travelling the four corners of Peterborough

Category: General

Date: 27.07.2017

Time: 14:35

When I decided to work at PECT during my gap year, as opposed to travelling the ‘four corners of the world’, most people I disclosed this to clearly thought I was missing out on something. This was evident by their reactions: ‘but this is your chance to go exploring’, ‘not going to spend the year travelling then?’, ‘you’ll be working all your life, you’re missing out!’.

Luckily, I’m not one to take things too much to heart and besides, I had no reservations in deciding not to devote my year to travelling because instead, I had the opportunity to travel the four corners of the ‘Big City’ that is Peterborough. Community is something that is close to my heart, and whilst I could have been experiencing communities across the world, where best to invest than the community that is closest to home.

I first recall starting out at PECT as a fairly shy, inexperienced 16-year-old school girl in a voluntary position with little confidence in my own ability - I can hardly recognise myself looking back then. However, over the course of my time at PECT, I have massively gained in confidence through the many opportunities PECT has given me.  These include things like: networking at events, interacting with the community through our projects and ultimately delivering a lunch and learn presentation to staff members – much to my reservations - to which I am now grateful to Laura, my manager, for encouraging me to have the nerve to do so! 

Deciding on my best moment at PECT is certainly a difficult one because of the many memories I have. However, my fondest memory at PECT ties in with my combined competitive nature and love of baking. The occasion was our Great PECT Bake-Off. This meant a lot of baking and a lot of cake-eating! It comprised of all staff members taking part in a series of bake-off challenges each week to synchronise with the Great British Bake-off programme.

For the first year that I took part, I was still at school at the time, and recall running to the PECT offices, eating endless amounts of cake and then darting back to school all in the space of my lunch break. Certainly worth it for those showstoppers!

In my eyes, I have had just as much experience in a new and exciting working environment as I would have had whilst travelling; loving every opportunity I have been given. Now as I turn a page and venture on an International Business degree at Loughborough University, I will take the skills, experience and most of all the PECT values I have gained during this invaluable placement year on the next step of my journey. 

And, as the saying goes - once a member of #TeamPECT always a member, which means I exPECT to be back in the not too distant future!

Michaela Anthony – Digital Marketing Apprentice at PECT


digital marketing
gap year 

A rewarding couple of weeks work experience at PECT

Category: General

Date: 18.07.2017

Time: 10:06

As a young Geographer, I am always enthusiastic to be involved with the community and current local environmental opportunities. After just finishing my second year at the University of Leicester, studying BSc Geography, there is no time like the present to gain hands on professional experience before finishing the final year of my course.

Many modules within my degree have introduced the anthropogenic impact on the environment and innovative ways to ensure a sustainable future. However, my aim over the summer was to gain some valuable experience within the environmental sector.

Being locally based, PECT’s values towards the community share the same values as mine. After looking through the PECT website I found many interesting projects that sparked my attention. After getting into contact with the team, this led to an exciting couple of weeks of work experience at PECT!

Throughout the two weeks, I was introduced to many areas within the charity. The main projects I shadowed consisted of: the Business Energy Efficiency Cambridge and Peterborough programme (BEECP) and Investors in the Environment accreditation scheme (iiE). BEECP works alongside small businesses offering energy efficiency initiatives and possible capital grants. iiE is a national environmental accreditation scheme, helping businesses save money and reduce their impact on the environment.

On the first day, I was introduced to members of the PECT team and informed of their involvement with the range of different projects that the charity runs. During my time at PECT, I had the great privilege of attending a business networking event, where I was able to speak to businesses about the BEECP and iiE projects. This gave me the opportunity to network with representatives from an array of enterprises and build on my confidence and communication skills.

I also shadowed the business advisor during a variety of site visits including a local gymnasium. We completed an audit and an energy review of the building. The lighting and heating were analysed to explore alternative technologies or methods that could save both money and energy. I calculated this using a green house gas calculator within an excel spreadsheet. It was fascinating to understand the positive savings sustainable energy technologies can have when replacing older products! This will prove to be extremely valuable for the environmental modules I will study in my final year at university.

Throughout the second week I also audited the local shopping centre for the iiE accreditation scheme. It was extremely beneficial to understand the environmental policies and projects the centre had put in place to achieve their green status. They had mainly reduced their energy consumption through a mall refresh and a robust recycling system, this was very interesting in understanding the details of the policies that had been implemented.

During my work experience placement, the financial claims manager kindly suggested I apply for a new role PECT were appointed on behalf of Anglian Water. After reading the job specification it sounded perfect for me. I applied and was successful after the interview and I am now looking forward to my new role as a Keep it Clear Project Officer!

This will include educating local businesses and residents on ways to dispose of their waste in a sustainable and safe way to prevent drains from becoming blocked and causing floods. I am grateful for the opportunities that PECT has led me to and can not wait for the new role to begin at the end of July! It will provide me with even more experience before I return back to university in September.

Ruth Brookes - Volunteer at Peterborough Environment City Trust 


Business networking
Anglian Water

My time at PECT

Category: General

Date: 13.07.2017

Time: 16:49

With the summer break arriving, it means school is out and sadly my year volunteering with Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) has come to an end.

Initially, I joined PECT as part of my sixth form BTEC course, where we were given the valuable opportunity of completing a year’s work experience. Having volunteered previously at local charity shops, I had an idea of what to expect, however I soon discovered that volunteering at PECT wasn’t just your typical voluntary role.

I have a passion for conserving the environment and hope to study marine biology, biodiversity and conservation at university and so when the opportunity came up at school to do volunteer work as part of our course, I jumped at the opportunity. I knew that I would not be able to secure any volunteer work with marine animals in Peterborough, being over an hour away from the sea, so I looked into environmental charities instead!

I stumbled across the charity PECT and decided that this would be the best pathway for me. The people I have met here are wonderful and since working here I have definitely developed as a person and come out of my shell more, not only whilst working here but also whilst being at school.

My predominant role was working alongside April with Investors in the Environment (iiE) as part of the business team. I found this experience very rewarding through the many skills I have had the opportunity to develop, such as writing my very first blog post on a topic close to my heart: marine biology.

It has also been rewarding to be able to see first hand the iiE members work their way up through their accreditation levels from Bronze to Silver and even some reaching top level Green status! In addition, I had the pleasure of being invited along to the iiE Awards 2017, where I had the opportunity to help present the awards to individual organisations for achieving their accreditation and to give out special awards based on achievements of certain businesses.

During my time at PECT, I soon discovered that although everyone on the team is very diverse from each other, they are joined together through their love for the environment and it is so nice to see how one common interest can bring so many people together.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at PECT so far and look forward to what the future holds.

Holly Nightingale – Volunteer at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT)