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David Beuzeval

Vice Chair

About me
As a teenager …
I was born in Leicester and then moved to Cullercoats (Tyneside) when I was eleven. My lack of self-confidence made moving to a secondary school where I did not know anyone quite difficult. I never really fitted in and only had a small number of close friends, as I was always more comfortable being outdoors than going out partying, as well as not being particularly good at sport or successful in exams.   Luckily my family were always very supportive and, along with my A level Geology and Geography teachers, nurtured my interested in the environment and encouraged me to go to University to study Geography. Although I still struggled with self-confidence at University, I did make many life-long friends and left determined to follow an environmental career.
After school …
I initially worked in Landscape and Forestry Management maintaining parks and open spaces for local authorities and creating new woodland around housing estates, reservoirs and quarries.    My second role, in the early 90s, was with a charity pioneering the delivery of environmental projects in disadvantaged communities within Leicester.  I quickly realised this was more rewarding than delivering commercial contracts and moved into delivering community engagement, environmental education and volunteering programmes with a local authority and then a national charity.  Through this I became more involved in securing funding and partners for new projects and programmes and eventually moved to the Environment Agency where I found myself setting up and running their National External Funding Team. I was then seconded to support the creation of the Land Restoration Trust, developing  new approaches to owning, managing and funding greenspace, before being made redundant by the Agency and joining Groundwork in Lancashire to lead their landscape team.
Now I’m…
I have always been happiest when working with others who want to make a difference and now run my own consultancy for charities and social enterprises as well as being a director or trustee for organisations including Escape 2 Make.    I focus on smaller organisations having learned they can have significant impact on limited resources and particularly welcome opportunities to help them create new ideas, opportunities and networks by acting as a ‘critical friend’.
I live in South Cumbria, having moved here nearly 20 years ago with a young family, and still enjoy being outdoors, particularly walking and running in the Lake District.

5 bits of advice to my teenage self…

  • Be comfortable with who you are and do not worry what others think about you – the people that matter don’t mind and the people that mind don’t matter.
  • Take time for yourself and do not feel guilty doing things you enjoy – for me, that’s long walks in the Lakes District with Bailey our rescue lurcher
  • Value your friends and family – even at my age, I still have to remind myself to prioritise time with loved ones, especially when work is at its busiest
  • Seek advice from those you trust but ultimately do what you think is right – do not be afraid to ask but always trust your instinct
  • Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself – it’s simple advice, but no less true

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