“When I saw an advert on an Enfield Council site for volunteers to help with tree planting in 2020, I thought it was something I could do to make a difference to improve the environment.”
Walking football. This is one of the hobbies Peter Palmer likes to get regularly involved in. Palmer is an active chap. He is also a dedicated Thames21 volunteer and gets involved in our Enfield Chase Woodland Restoration project and Restoring Enfield’s Rivers initiative (in partnership with Enfield Council). Here, communications manager Liz Gyekye caught up with Peter Palmer to interview him.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I retired after 44 years working in enforcement. I had been involved in doing some volunteering work in that time – mainly connected to sport.
I have been a coach with Special Olympics for more than 30 years and marshalled at sports events. Here, I coach athletics in North London.
I have also had experience in coaching swimming, basketball, football and ten pin bowling in the past. It was also exciting being UK head coach for events in Athens and in the States in the past. Back in the days when I was younger, I was involved in a range of sports and have competed on four continents. Currently, the only competitive sport I take part in is walking football.
Wow! You have an active lifestyle Peter. How did you get involved in volunteering with us?
When I saw an advert on an Enfield Council site for volunteers to help with tree planting in 2020, I thought it was something I could do to make a difference to improve the environment. When I met with Thames21’s Nik Cain, I realised the extent of the scheme and the benefits in relation to flood management and not just the benefit of seeing a beautiful wood. Once the first year of planting was completed, I joined a small team of regular volunteers who carried out aftercare of the trees up until the present planting season. I feel that I have been even more active this year with helping to plant more than 1,000 trees.
During the tree care time, I became aware of the opportunity to be involved in keeping Enfield’s rivers clean. I have helped plant in some wetlands, maintain reed beds, clear brooks of rubbish and planted trees. In some ways clearing brooks gives the most immediate satisfaction as you can see the visible pile of rubbish you have removed. It does puzzle me how some of the large dumped things managed to get there in the first place.
Why volunteer with us?
You get a range of benefits when you volunteer with Thames21. There are the benefits to the local environment, reduction in flood risks, cleaner brooks and human benefits. Volunteering for Thames21 keeps me active; it gives me a sense of doing something to help others and a comradeship with some regular volunteers who have become friends.
Would you like to get involved in some of our volunteering events? If yes, click on link below to find out more from our events page.
If you are a corporate group, please book with Thames21 using our corporate volunteering page.