9th November 2018
There was success to be celebrated for the great work being done on the Land Trust site at Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park at the TCV Heroes Awards 2018.
The People’s Postcode Lottery award for Volunteer of the Year was won by Pat Lipscombe who started as a volunteer Urban Ranger at Greenwich in 2012. The award recognises a volunteer who goes above and beyond in their activities or conservation tasks, inspires other volunteers and makes a real difference in their local community.
Pat helps to look after the Ecology Park and visitor centre at weekends, dealing with a wide range of park users and visitors. She now helps train new ranger volunteers, takes part in regular habitat management workdays, helps out with school education visits and runs holiday activities for families and children.
Pat explained why she chose to get involved with volunteering at the park, highlighting the positive impact it has on her mental health.
“I live in a very urban environment and I feel quite depressed if I stay too long in that environment. If I get out into the green it makes me feel a lot better. It keeps me sane. It’s the main focus of my life and it is probably the most important thing to me. It brings me a lot of joy; it’s what I call fun.
“The people I’ve met here I really like and I wouldn’t have said I was a people person before I came here. It’s great and gives me an awful lot.”
Joanne Smith, Senior Warden for Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park paid tribute to Pat’s contribution:
“I think what makes Pat volunteer of the year is the fact that she does so much for us. She’s got to the stage now where she actually helps other volunteers, which I really like and without us asking. She will talk to and greet new volunteers; she will help out weekend rangers. There are so many strings to her bow.”
Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park was also voted runner up in the Heart of the Community Award after welcoming thousands of people through its doors to have their own moment with nature.
The park, owned by the Land Trust, has been managed by TCV since 2002, and provides the only green space and access to nature in the urban environment. From its annual ‘Frog Day’, summer den building and wildlife photography, the park welcomes 16,000 visitors every year including nearly 1,000 schoolchildren. The park attracts a range of volunteers in terms of age, ability, background and ethnicity. They are all a key part of the park’s success and are involved with every aspect of work.
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