Ben Keywood - Reception and Events Co-ordination

Ben on receptionBen on reception

Ben Keywood - Reception and Events Co-ordination

What does your job involve?

My role at the Trust is divided into 2 parts. The first is looking after Reception and all that brings such as dealing with membership and general enquiries by telephone and email and all the weird and wonderful wildlife enquiries that come through. I’m also responsible for making sure our HQ never runs out of stationery or tea or coffee, so it’s quite a wide range of responsibilities. The second part of my role is Events Coordinator, finding and booking venues for our publicity team to visit. So next time you are at B&Q shopping or having a day out at Sheffield Fayre and see The Wildlife Trust there – that’s down to me. I also arrange Members Evenings at our HQ and do guided walks and talks to local interest groups.

In your opinion, what are the most important aspects of the work you do? And what are your main priorities?

There are so many important aspects. When I’m on Reception my team and I are the face of the Trust to any callers or visitors so it’s incredibly important to be welcoming and as helpful as possible. I am passionate about wildlife and so when we get enquiries about problems on our nature reserves or an injured hedgehog in someone’s garden I am determined to do my best to resolve the problem and give the right advice- and if I can’t solve it myself it’s vital I contact the right person or people as quickly as possible to resolve the issue. Our members are also very important to us so a big priority to me is ensuring that both on Reception or out at an event or venue that we are always there to give the right advice in the most helpful way possible.

Has the current financial climate had any effect on your work?

Yes, because now with so many cuts in this sector the Reception and Events team is handling more of what used to be handled by other departments within the Trust and externally by Sheffield City Council.

When did the natural environment first become important to you?

I have been passionate about wildlife and the environment as far back as I can remember. I used to be the one in the playground at infant school rescuing drowning worms from puddles and stopping the boys who were pulling the legs of crane flies (daddy long legs)

Do you have a favourite species of wildlife? What is it, and why?

The invertebrates are so important as they are at the bottom of the food chain and so much further up depends on them. Butterflies and moths in particular are my passion because as well as being beautiful, they are major environmental indicators and we can learn so much from them.

Finally, what do you find most rewarding about your work... and why?

Knowing that I am playing a part no matter how small in helping to protect our living landscape of wildlife and habitat. I love seeing people of all ages engaged with the natural world and the look of wonder on a child’s face on seeing their first butterfly close up. I am immensely proud of the work of The Trust both here in Sheffield and Rotherham and nationally.