Louise Roe - Fundraising Officer

Hi I’m Lou and at the beginning of 2024 I started working at Nene Park Trust as one of its Fundraising Officers. I come from a mixed working background, from insurance and banking, to teaching, to charity management. All of these have involved me working closely with members of the local and wider community, so when an opportunity arose to work at one of my favourite community spaces, I had to take it!

During my first month I got to take part in a wealth of experiences to help me better understand what Nene Park Trust does – and boy, do they do a lot! I joined our apprentice ranger Alex (see his blog from last month here) on his Duty Ranger day. This was a great experience, because not only did Alex show me just how vast Nene Park’s land was, but also told me about the history of the sites, as well as sharing his knowledge of plants and wildlife; did you know some of the cedar trees round the back of Orton Wistow are over 400 years old? 

I also had opportunities to help out at the Visitor Centre, getting excited by all the local produce they sell, before joining the Education Department, both on one of their home-schooling sessions and an early years one. As someone who spends a lot of time at a desk, I quickly learned to wrap up warm and get dirty – very useful when I later joined one of our conservation volunteer groups!

Through all this I’ve learned that Nene Park Trust’s aim is to benefit all aspects of Peterborough; whether through strengthening community connections and increasing health and wellbeing for the city’s residents; improving and celebrating our heritage of the area, or developing biodiversity in our green spaces and waterways.

The way we can do this is through fundraising. That might look like someone doing a sponsored activity for us, or making a donation in their will, but mostly it will be through the fundraising team applying for grants from trusts and foundations; and that’s where I can help! I spend my days doing research to increase our chances of writing successful bids. I have a list of items we need, events we want to put on or projects we want to start, and I then try to find a charitable trust that likes to give money for that very thing! I might have to write them a letter, or complete an application form, and I’ll need to know my stuff to do it. I have to not only be a salesperson for Nene Park Trust, but also for Peterborough. Why does our city deserve this lovely new community garden, and why is our charity the one to provide it? Well, I think the people of Peterborough are a fantastic multicultural and friendly group of people, and I think Nene Park Trust is a wonderful charity that wants to make our small corner of the world a more beautiful and welcoming place to be and if I can convince others of this too, we will still be growing, protecting, and supporting this amazing green space in fifty years’ time.