The last 6 months has varied massively. Every Tuesday, the hectic full-time job gets paused for a peaceful day out in the Buckinghamshire countryside. In March 2016, I started a volunteering role with the National Trust in their Stowe property. Here’re a couple of time lapses of my normal lunchtime view…

View across to the Temple of Venus
View across to the Temple of Venus

View up to Stowe House from the West Lake Pavilion
View up to Stowe House from the West Lake Pavilion

As a family, we’ve visited Stowe for as long as we’ve lived in the area and been National Trust members FOREVER so the chance to see the other side of the organisation has been interesting. Even the family photo archive shows how long we’ve been visiting…

Walking across the Shell Bridge with my brother in the late 90's
Walking across the Shell Bridge with my brother in the late 90’s

As Marketing Assistant, I support the marketing officer with pretty much anything she needs help with. All this whilst learning what it takes to plan and maintain the website, social media and print advertising.

Coldest job: Helping to serve tea in a 250-year-old temple without heating in the middle of April
Laziest job: Laminating 120 Halloween posters
Most unexpected job: Putting up 2 gazebos


Website work

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Links to the two articles on the Stowe homepage

Work on an extensive history section of the property’s website has been the bulk of my time so far. Something that seems to be a simple task becomes quite time-consuming when you bring in research on 75 different monuments, countless landscape gardeners, various audiences for the content and sometimes complex National Trust tone of voice guidelines. Who’d have thought that an ampersand would be such a difficult subject!

 

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-19-32-31So far two main feature articles have been created detailing the history of the Stowe estate and owners and profiling the main gardeners that created the world-famous gardens. The main audience for the pages is an older member with an interest in the history of the property. The theme is still broad enough to attract others who may be interested in a particular gardener, style or just reading up after a visit. The early links to ‘Capability’ Brown also help!

The two pages so far are…

The History of Stowe  and The Gardeners That Made Stowe. Each of the gardener’s profile pages follow on from this.


UPDATE: Here’s two video’s I’ve edited for the property (footage was taken by someone else). As ever, brand guidelines needed following, correct fonts used and a consistent tone of voice


FINAL UPDATE:

A new position in Ralph Lauren has meant I’ve had to stop volunteering at Stowe. It’s been a great year, developing and learning skills in a ‘real’ environment. Learning how a large organisation manages their websites and create and distributes their content has revealed some of the constraints but also the opportunities that arise. My final few pieces of work included a continuation of the ‘wildlife’ sections on the website and another short video showing the night wildlife in the gardens:

(Alot of well spent time went into getting the video to match the music!)


The National Trust do great work across the country and volunteering with them reveals that from the inside. Everyone involved has the success of the Trust and the properties as the ultimate aim. The last year has kept my membership direct debit solidly intact!!

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