May 22 2013 Latest news:
Joshua Fowler, Reporter
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Ruth Taylor is Dagenham born and bred. After leaving a string of office jobs behind, Ruth, 34, of Markyate Road, took to the outdoors to become a ranger for Valence Park and, more recently, Mayesbrook Park
I was born at Upney Hospital, went to Dorothy Barley Primary School and then on to Sydney Russell School.
As a kid I lived in Lillechurch Road, Dagenham, and spent a lot of my childhood in Mayesbrook Park with my family.
I’ve only been working at the park for four months, but I was at Valence Park before that for two years and it’s fair to say that a lot has changed since I was a little girl.
The view is totally different, with all the development that has gone on. It was just flat grass when I would go there to play.
I would say 90 per cent of my job is working with the community and encouraging people to come outside.
I work a lot with the elderly and those with learning difficulties, putting on free nature trails in order for people see the park is for everyone.
A lot of people find the word “nature” boring, so I try to think of ways around that. I try to theme our trails, so for example our Halloween nature trail became the “scary trail”.
We had all sorts of people out to give the kids involved a good time and make them jump!
The other part of my job is patrolling the park, picking up litter and helping with any injured animals I find.
We do find people fishing quite a lot and so obviously have to stop that, but the major part of my work is helping the community.
I always loved being outside, but I’d previously been cooped up in office jobs all over the borough. When I saw this job advertised I just went for it. I didn’t have a degree, but I had the community aspect.
Getting outside is great for your health and helps you relax. A lot of people don’t really get outside as they’re rushing to and from work, or in an office all day.
I couldn’t be happier. I’m very lucky. Not many people can say they love their job.