Ever since an early age animals have played a big part in my life, from cats always being in our family, to catching creepy crawlies from the garden and studying them, to owning my first tarantula at the age of eleven. Animals have always fascinated me, I love learning about the different characteristics and behaviours they need to survive.
Over the last 17 years I have cared for a variety of weird and wonderful animals including several different species of tarantula, chameleons, bearded dragons, scorpions, snakes, geckos and cats. I enjoyed telling friends, family and friends children everything I know about these awesome animals.
Apart from animals, my other love is the outdoors. As a child I was in the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Ventures and completed all three parts of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
My hobbies include surfing, walking, climbing, diving, camping and exploring.
After studying at a college in the Midlands my family decided to move to Devon, unlike a lot of young people I decided against university as I didn’t want to waste a lot of money when I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do.
Instead, in Devon, I worked in management for 10 years, working my way up the ranks, until eventually I was helping to manage a team of around twenty people in a surf shop next to the beach in Woolacombe. This was a perfect place for me and couldn’t have been happier.
I knew of the amazing things the AWF were doing around the world as my partner Halina had volunteered with them twice before, as part of her university placement, so when we were asked to be part of the 2012 team and to coordinate the Sri Lankan elephant project we jumped at the chance. We gave up our jobs, our house and our cars and flew out to Tenerife.
It is exciting to know that the project will be my job, as well as my hobby. The fact that whilst I’m hard at work, I will not only be helping the elephants, but I may see leopards, blue whales, turtles and so many more amazing creatures, along with experiencing the beautiful scenery, food and culture of Sri Lanka.
Not many people can say they love their job… I can!