A career path with a differenceOctober 11, 2016 From HQ
Our recent recruit, Rob Parkin, on conservation, charity and why his job role is so special
I’ve always held charities close to my heart. Growing up, my brother had Muscular Dystrophy and so from a young age I have understood the importance of care for the critically ill. I have always been active in raising money for M.D. charities, even after my brother passed away. However, my life hasn’t always revolved around charity, and neither have I always been based in the UK…
I studied wildlife conservation at university and lived in South Africa during this time, where I was lucky enough to work with some truly amazing animals, like elephants and buffalo.
From there, I moved into field research in Costa Rica and the jungle became my home. We only had electricity for two hours a day, which didn’t matter as I had the incredible job of taking care of jaguars, birds and even turtles that washed up on the beach. Because of my location, I was lucky enough to do lots of travelling around Central America, and take part in some pretty wild experiences, like bungee jumping in the middle of a valley.
Afterwards, I decided to move to the mountains, where I worked in a local reptile zoo. This was no plain sailing, as I was bitten several times by snakes during demonstrations, but it all added to the thrill of the job!
My next move took me to India, where I worked in crocodile conservation, looking after around 2,000 – 4,000 crocs at one time! Once I was even attacked by a baby crocodile, but I am just thankful it wasn’t adult…”
I finally returned to Liverpool to join my other half, which is when I discovered the North West Air Ambulance Charity. I still have that strong charity connection and really enjoy working in a worthwhile job that makes a difference. There is also a really friendly atmosphere in the office, which makes me feel completely at home.
My job involves speaking to supporters on a day-to-day basis, and hearing about all the incredible things people do to raise funds for our charity – from local bake sales to extreme sporting achievements. I feel so privileged to hear from our supporters, particularly those who are thanking us for the care we gave them or their loved ones during their time of need, as it really drives home the purpose of the charity and what we’re working towards. I always try to respond to this correspondence in a way that I would like to be spoken to, as having done so much to raise money for other charities in the past, I know how important it is for your hard work and generosity to be recognised. It’s so rewarding that I can help make a difference by doing a job I love, and I look forward to many more years here!