Our Keeping it Wild Programme is run in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust, London Youth and the John Muir Trust. The aim of the project is to open up opportunities for underrepresented groups of young people to explore the many wildlife spaces that London holds.

The programme hosts a variety of different ways of engaging with nature. One of them is through a 3 month traineeship during which time they learn practical conservation skills, support the London Wildlife Trust in its work, the delivery of other KIW projects and they also receive media training and a Level 2 Award from Headliners. Bobbi Banjamin was one of the Keeping It Wild trainees that we worked with between January and April 2020.

She started the media training with an open mind: “I had just graduated and was looking for my next steps in getting some real experience in the conservation sector.”

She had been honest from the start of the first session in saying that she had neither much experience with media before nor any ideas of what the training might look like or have benefit to her directly. Despite this she worked well in the group and was committed to each part of the training done.

There were a couple of points during the media side of the traineeship that really impacted on her, in particular, “I really enjoyed the interview parts and the brainstorming of ideas and seeing them turn into media”.  

The brainstorming is something that we do throughout the sessions and we did quite a few on different ideas for story ideas(!) and these really had an impact on Bobbi, changing her way of thinking. She realised that there is "no 'right' way to do something” which was a huge point of learning for her. Coupled with this she felt that group discussions that we had in each session gave her a new perspective; “Hearing the different opinions of people during all of our sessions” was one of the favourite parts of the sessions.

A key part of the training was based around the trainees working together to as a group to create a video product to help raise awareness about issues in the sector that aren't much heard about. Bobbi really got into the project and you see her confidence growing as the video came together.

On one part of the project we took the trainees out on the streets around Peckham Rye station to record Vox pops, asking the public about their thoughts around money and the environment. Bobbi took the role of interviewer and did an incredible job. While both trainees started off being very nervous about approaching people (lots of rejections didn’t help), Bobbi was keen to keep trying and eventually we had got two positive vox-pops from members of the public. This was quite a turning point for her and after this, Bobbi was really keen to keep going. You could see her confidence in approaching people had grown, and she knew exactly who she wanted to ask without hesitation!

When asked about it in a later reflection exercise she said “The vox pops (were the most memorable part of the training), as it was the first time I'd ever done them and we got amazing opinions from the public”

By the end of the traineeship, Bobbi had developed some great ideas in creating environmental journalism and had even put some of them into practice. “(I learnt) How useful media is at getting information across whilst being engaging.”

Going forwards Bobbi’s plans for the future have started to crystalize a little more. Once the Coronavirus situation clears she is keen to 

“Try and get a job in urban conservation with a focus on community engagement or education”. We wish her the best of luck!

To see some of the media content that Bobbi and her fellow trainees created click here