May 19 2013 Latest news:
by Sara Odeen-Isbister , Reporter
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
A teenager recognised for his efforts to make Barking and Dagenham a greener place to live has spoken of his passion for the outdoors and his hopes for the future.
Cameron Dorbin-Barnett picked up the Cleaner Greener Borough award at last month’s Peace Awards, which saw volunteers from across the borough celebrated at Eastbury Manor House.
The 18-year-old recently completed a two-year volunteering placement with the Barking and Dagenham ranger service as part of his land-management course at Writtle Agricultural College, in Chelmsford.
He is now working three part-time voluntary and paid jobs, including as an assistant tree surgeon, while he considers his career options.
Cameron, of Jasmine Road, Rush Green, says he “loved” working with the ranger service: “It was great, I got to do so many different things, like planting a World War II garden at Valence House, monitoring wildlife at Eastbrookend Park, helping to organise events and keeping the parks clean.
“One of the highlights was a survival skills trip to Scotland, where we got to have a go at Ray Mears-type activities.”
The teenager described working outdoors as his passion: “I’ve never wanted to work in an office. As a child I loved being outside, going to the woods with my grandad, helping out on the farm, going on hunts with my family, so I knew I’d want a job where I’m not cooped up inside.
“Working outside makes you feel good and every day is different. I don’t even mind if the weather is bad – in fact its actually easier to work when it’s cold than when the sun is beating down.”
Knowing he is helping the environment is also satisfying, he adds. “It’s good to know I’m doing my bit.”
Cameron completed his college course in the summer and is currently volunteering at Hainault Forest, assisting a tree surgeon, and also working a few hours a week at McDonald’s.
He is yet to decide on a career but has considered becoming a ranger: “I’ve met a lot through my volunteering and it seems like an interesting job.
“It would be great to be a ranger somewhere like Canada or New Zealand. But as long as I’m working outdoors I’m happy.”
This article features as part of the Post campaign Choose Your Future.