Hello and welcome to another edition of the Creekside Discovery Centre blog!

My name is Kelvin and I am delighted to be the newest member of the Creekside team. In November last year, I started my role as manager of Creekside Education Trust (CET). This means that I'm responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the charity, based out of our Discovery Centre in Deptford, as well as working with our Trustees to set and deliver the long-term strategy of the charity.

Prior to joining the Creekside team I have worked in nature conservation across South London. Through varied roles, I've played my part in improving our green and blue surroundings in a number of ways, including delivery of a landscape-scale programme of river-based projects, local authority greenspace development and, most recently, project development for a national conservation charity. All of this local experience, plus a diverse range of career experience from further afield, is what I'll be bringing with me to this exciting role at Creekside.

And it's been a great start to my first four and a half months in post, beginning with an induction into daily Creekside activities. Our outdoor education programme is foundational to what we do and who we are as a charity, and spending time in sessions - in the river and in the classroom - helped me understand the value of the experience we are providing to thousands of children from across London throughout the academic year. Meanwhile, our conservation work runs to its own natural rhythm and calendar, and it has been fun learning about how and why we manage a variety of habitats for the benefit of a wide diversity of species.

I've also seen how our foundational activities are underpinned by a lot of activity behind the scenes. You may well have seen brilliant photos and videos celebrating and promoting our activities through our social media and communications, all of which wouldn't be possible without the crucial work of Patty, our admin and comms officer. Likewise, all of our workstreams are supported by wonderful and committed volunteers, for which we are all very grateful and whom I've also enjoyed getting to know these past few months. (If you're interested in joining the team, please let us know!

As well as the day-to-day, I've begun progressing the longer-term ambitions of CET, which has included working with our Board of Trustees, influencing local development projects (such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel) and important financial planning. Part of our financial stability comes from developing and applying for creative projects to support the delivery of conservation, education and broader engagement of the local community. So I'm delighted to say we can now announce our successful application for the Rewild London fund, for our Deptford Creek SINC Link project!

Looking ahead towards the next 6 months, all of the Creekside team are excited about the forthcoming delights of Spring and Summer. (I'm particularly happy that our wildlife pond is already awash with newts, toads and frogs.) So I'd encourage you to check out what's on and book onto events or activities to see our sites and the Creek first-hand! Our conservationists, Nick and Andy, have planned some wonderful 'whole wild world' walks to explore the area, plus wildlife surveys and 'Slimewatch' activities that will submerge you into the fascinating and microscopic world of algae. Meanwhile, after the Easter break our education team (led by Paddy and Julia) will be straight into the busy season when we can host double school sessions in one day thanks to the fairer weather and with favourable tide times.

I'm really looking forward to the rest of what 2024 has in store for Creekside and our community, and I hope that I can meet many regular and new visitors during that time. Please do feel free to say hello when you're visiting the site, or drop me an email if you'd prefer.


Email: kelvin@creeksidecentre.org.uk

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