Sally studied a postgraduate course in aquatic resource management at Kings College, University of London...
Sally had originally studied environmental chemistry at Wye College, London where she developed good analytical skills, creative thinking, writing and general communication skills plus a desire to make connections to solve environmental problems.
Her career has progressed through several different roles in urban environmental issues - water, wastewater, waste and energy working in tertiary education, the private sector, with small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the UK and overseas.
Domestic energy efficiency is an area of work which is new to her having started as Kirklees Council's energy efficiency officer in January 2006. She feels that her degree subject was not directly relevant to the position but rather it gave her a good overview and context for the work.
Her role requires her to perform a range of tasks. She is the first point of contact for councillors, other departments and organisations, and members of the public. She also delivers presentations to organisations and to the public. She is involved in project management, marketing initiatives, tendering processes and contract management.
Sally's duties also include:
She stresses that there is no need for a high level of technical expertise in her role. Environmental commitment, awareness of how the domestic energy sector works, climate change and fuel poverty issues are fundamental. Prospective candidates would need skills in project development and management, partnership working with a range of organisations and be able to provide information and support for the public.
When she arrived there were a number of grant schemes being delivered for which she became responsible. She was then asked to develop a Kirklees-wide strategy for affordable warmth, consulting with over 40 organisations many of which have become active partners. They also embarked on developing an area-based initiative which is now being delivered to all 170,000 homes across the authority, offering free insulation to all suitable homes - a first in the UK.
Sally enjoys the variety of skills used. She feels that, as with anything, the more you put in, the more you get out. She works with a lot of different people and agencies.
However, the downside of the job is that dealing constantly with a very large number of enquiries, often with residents who are vulnerable and need a lot of support, can be emotionally challenging and very time consuming. She also mentions that, as with many jobs, there are too many meetings and emails.
Sally is interested in ongoing learning in her chosen fields, continued problem-solving and finding creative solutions to major environmental problems across the planet.
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