I have been visiting the Lakes for many, many years but today the holiday came to an end and I joined the Cumbrian workforce as an Environmental Protection Officer for Barrow District Council. I am based in the town hall – an impressive building with a distinct clock tower that is an easy landmark to spot from the outskirts of town.
Access to the building is gained via large formidable doors that remain bolted when the office is closed. Once through the doors I was greeted by the head of Service, the team leader and a room full of friendly environmental health colleagues. By the end of day 1 I was up and running and had a week of inductions, training, policies and procedures, and site visits lined up. I had however failed to realise the public entrance was bolted prior to the staff exit on the opposite side of the building to our office so had to rely on instinct to find my way to another exit point at the end of the day. Thankfully I passed that initiation test!!
Any apprehension about the urban nature of the borough were dispelled as I was shown the rural area and lovely bathing beaches. I was pleasantly surprised that there were such beautiful beaches with perfect body boarding waves in the district that have the added bonus of mountain views. The beach at Walney is so vast it hosts an annual kite surfing championship.
I couldn’t have wished for a better start to my Cumbrian career. I work with a very friendly and welcoming group of people, in a wonderful historic building located in the city centre and surrounded by beautiful beaches, countryside and amazing views. Whilst I have yet to be exposed to my full case load, I am confident the job will give me the exposure to the raw face of environmental health that I crave, with an opportunity to develop new skills along the way.