- Collaboration is key to becoming a climate literate nation
- More work to be done for a litter free Scotland
- A decade and a half of environmental legislation
- It's never too early to learn about the climate emergency
- Our strategy to inspire action for our environment
- FARE Lochend - Where good news is standard
- Glashieburn's LEAF journey
- An Interview with Travel Influencer Chris Lawlor
- Climate action with hope and optimism
- The Big River Irvine Riverbank Clean
- Eating nettles and gazing at clouds: a LEAF reflection
- #TakeItBack to the start
- Dalry Primary School's LEAF journey
- Pedalling towards a sustainable future
- Chirnside Primary School's LEAF journey
- Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre's Pocket Garden Experience
- To keep Scotland beautiful we all need to take action
- Applegarth and Hutton’s LEAF journey
- Our hope for a nature positive Scotland
- Becoming a Platinum Carbon Literate Organisation
- Volunteering with KSB and loving every minute
- We are all accountable for our actions
- Hillhead students talk keeping Kelvingrove Park beautiful
- Making it easy to choose a reusable cup for takeaway drinks
- Get to know...John MacLennan
- Get to know...Sandy Scott
- How Eco-Schools benefits pupils, teachers and communities
- Community gardening for climate, nature and heritage in Cumbernauld
- Tackling the litter emergency to protect our wild isles
- Scotland isn't looking so beautiful. We can change that.
- Get to know... Green Flag Award Judges
- Collaboration and innovation to tackle marine litter
- An introduction to Kinnesswood in Bloom...
- The litter emergency
- Our charity faces the environmental challenges ahead with optimism
- Wrapping up 2022
- Biodiversity - Reflections on COP15
- Small steps to protect biodiversity
- Why Mountains Matter
- It’s not just bees and butterflies on your flowers
- Wet Wipes - What's the Issue?
- Young Reporters on the Route: The Launch of Running Out of Time
- Getting to know... Tom Brock OBE
- Getting to know...Kyle Usher
- A busy day for Upstream Battle education
- Planning a Wedding with the Planet in Mind
- 'Disposable' vapes and the damage they cause
- Climate Emergency Training provides positive opportunities for young people
- Making climate action possible for everyone
- Reasons to be positive
- Shotts is ACTing NOW on climate change
- Hope is a Garden
- Do we need the word 'pests' anymore?
- Beautiful Scotland judging - the truth
- Supporting Scotland to be the very greenest destination it can be
- Arbroath - working together, inspiring local climate action and improving lives
- Reflections of a beach manager
- I do like to be beside the seaside
- Climate Action Schools - helping young people take action
- Inspiring and empowering young people
- Climate Ready Classrooms at George Heriot's
- Data drives decisions
- Litter, fines and doing time
- Why our Web Developer Cameron loves being part of Team KSB
- It's only one
- Why join the family of It’s Your Neighbourhood?
- YoungScot Legacy Event
- Why it is the sea and SDG 14 for me
- Litter picking - a surprisingly fun group activity
- Climate Action Skills and positive action for all
- Seeing community groups thrive with Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood
- (What to do on) a dreich morning on the Firth of Clyde
- West Lothian Litter Pickers – How I got involved
- Scotland’s Climate Festival – Seed funding for community action
- Climate Ready Classrooms at St. Paul’s RC High School
- Scottish Book Trust representative joins Pocket Garden judging panel
- Have #YourSayOnLitter - we plan to...
- Everyone has something to say about litter – time to make it count
- Who ya gonna call?
- Why I pick up other people's garbage.
- Getting to Know...Colin
- Creative Careers: Spotlight on Heritage #NoWrongPath
- Celebrating Scotland’s best managed green and blue spaces
- Taking small steps towards a more sustainable future
- Caring for our planet
- Football’s Power to Combat Climate Change
- Our work on the COP26 Youth Climate Programme
- What’s litter got to do with climate change?
- Scotland’s Climate Festival kicks off in Falkirk
- Responsible Tourism – an opportunity not to be missed
- Climate Change Vlog by Dalry Primary School
- Failing our future?
- Our Week of Climate Action
- #ScotClimateWeek - our impacts and actions
- Protecting the sand and sea
- Another fine mess – part one
- Designing a lower carbon Scotland
- Getting to know... Lisa Snedden
- Combating climate change with information, education and training
- Litter picking 500 miles was always Gonna Be easy
- 7K for 7 Flags Challenge
- Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow
- Smashing litter picking targets during an unexpected stay in Scotland
- Keeping our communities beautiful
- Celebrating our brilliant volunteers
- Designing a pocket garden
- East Haven Together
- It’s time to litter-ly turn anger into action
- Working in partnership to give communities a helping hand to clean up Scotland
- Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom
- We can all be climate ready
- Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School
- Taking part in It's Your Neighbourhood
- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- Lucky to live here
- A year of opportunity ahead
Our Communications Manager Suzanne had a chat with Nicola, our tip top Administration Officer, who’s favourite phrase in team meetings when we do the round-table updates on what we have been doing is a humble – ‘Business as Usual.’
When did you start work at Keep Scotland Beautiful and what does your role involve?
I joined our Corporate Services team in the summer of 2013. After working for the Ministry of Defence for over 10 years I felt it was time for a career change. I took a ‘leap of faith’ and joined the Fife Coast & Countryside Trust to help secure funding for ‘The Living Lomonds’ a landscape conservation programme in my local area. Working on the project nurtured my desire to protect and enhance our environment and to work for an environmental charity. I wanted to make as big a contribution as I could and the core of what we are doing here really matters and is a driver for me.
Taking a step backwards in terms of career progression has enabled me to move forward in making a real difference to our environment. Now I play a crucial part in helping the wider #TeamKSBScotland to achieve our objectives as well as giving nature a helping hand.
Reflecting on my interview for the role I remember saying that the Corporate Services function of an organisation is like the foundations of a house. Without good foundations the house will crumble. The central function supports the delivery of all the great work that our operations teams do and although my role might sometimes feel like a small cog in a large wheel, that large wheel helps turn the huge wheel that is our charity’s environmental work driving us all forward.
What does your typical day look like?
Normally I am office based and for those of you who visited or called our offices pre lockdown, I was usually the person to pick up the main phone or welcome you through the door. I manage a wide variety of issues to support our teams in the office and manage the enquiries that we receive through our info@ email. I am also on hand to assist our climate team with claims made to our funding streams. For me, a typical day would be something like – the post has arrived, the toilet is blocked, the printer is jammed, the phone is ringing, you need stationary, yes, we have more tea bags, we’ve run out of milk, you’ve lost your car keys, we have 20 visitors today, you need a hire car, you’ve forgotten your door pass, we have a new start today, the food waste bin is overflowing, we need more mail bags, catch the Postie! Office life can be hectic, but I enjoy the ‘buzz’.
Away from the hive of general office activity I support our Media and Events subgroup, Finance, ICT, Facilities and HR core functions and I am the administrator for our Management Information System which we use to manage our workstreams and deliver our projects and trading work. Amongst other things I train staff to use the system, help resolve user issues, process requests for new jobs and produce project reports for our management team.
Since lockdown I have continued to support the entire team, but differently. One of benefits of working from home has been being able to learn more about new technology and to have had the time to better understand the tasks I am often asked to do. Like for many of us, it has, at times, been a steep learning curve adapting to the technology and new ways of working but there have been many positives to take from the experience, not least the new office ‘buzz’ - the dog peacefully sleeping by my feet, the birds song from the garden, the chatter coming from my husband’s office upstairs, the moderate hum of the washing machine as I work from the kitchen table, the pant of a dog eagerly awaiting her lunchtime walk and the children playing happily in the garden next door.
What are you working on right now?
The pandemic, and working remotely, has given me uninterrupted time to look deeper into the systems and process we use and learn more about them, to attend webinars, and learn how we could potentially do more to support our activities going forward.
One of the projects I am currently working on is looking at how we might move our Information Management System to a cloud hosted service. I love to take a project, break it down and then put it back together again in a way that we can deliver and that will support the organisation to be more effective.
Although we are all working differently for the moment a large part of my role remains unchanged and I continue to support the core service functions and to assist colleagues with their requests and enquiries with process and systems, helping them to do their jobs better.
What are your hopes for Scotland’s environment?
I see the level of engagement with our activities increasing as I monitor our info @ emails. There is a real appetite and desire from people to take action to combat climate change, tackle litter and improve and enhance the places they love. Through our recruitment process I see the number of people, many of them very well qualified, who apply to work with us, it’s amazing, reiterating that we are a good employer and that we are doing many things right.
I would love for us to be able to build the capacity and infrastructure to support more people to take the action our environment needs – to broaden our reach and impact through communities and businesses.
Personally, I’d love more people to take time out from the noise of life, to take a step back, slow down, stop and question, and to really listen, hear and see all that is around them. To rediscover nature. And to act to protect Scotland’s environment. My lockdown was made harder by not being able to get to the beach – the place I find space for reconnecting most.
If you think working with us might be for you, keep an eye on our Join Us pages, where we advertise all new vacancies and volunteering opportunities.