Thursday, 20 February 2014

Rolls-Royce is on our case

As many of you will know, Rolls-Royce is based in Derby and has some 15,000 employees working there. Each year, new apprentices and graduates have the opportunity to carry out a project in their work time which will help one or more local communities or charities.
Last summer, along with other local community groups and charities, we were invited to suggest how a small team of young professionals, each contributing three hours per week between January and September 2014, could assist us.
Any final ideas agreed upon would be mutually beneficial for both parties: the Peregrine Project gains an enthusiastic and motivated team for nine months and  the company has a chance to help the local community with their team experiencing challenges they would not otherwise come across during their professional careers (and meeting some very different people too - starting with Nick M, Ian L and me!).
While we knew that the Community Investment team at Rolls-Royce really liked our proposals, we also heard that they attracted a great deal of interest among the apprentices and graduates (who are allowed to choose which project they want to work on).
Finally, in January, everything fell into place and we had a very successful first meeting with our team of  thirteen young professionals.  We discussed the general background to the Peregrine Project, what we have already achieved since 2005/6 and what we plan to achieve during and after the team’s nine months with us. We followed this by taking the team up the tower and onto Cathedral Green to look at the nest platform from below. Unfortunately the falcons chose to absent themselves, so our new colleagues had to imagine what a peregrine would look like were it perching on the edge of the nest platform! They did however enjoy the views from the top of the tower, including a splendid rainbow!
A tower-top view down St Mary's Gate (albeit in autumn!)
There are four tasks that the team will tackle:
The first is to think about how they can embed the peregrines and the project more deeply into the life of the city. Initial ideas have included opening an exhibition, setting up interpretation panels near the Cathedral to catch the eye of the passing public, putting peregrine logos on local buses or even creating a structure or sculpture that would make passers-by think of the birds that live way up above their heads.  There is a huge opportunity to expand the ways the team can raise awareness of the peregrines, rather than relying solely on the display that will be set up again in the cathedral shop window in the summer. The team will focus on generating ideas and then researching, developing and evaluating potential options – which they will present to us along with their recommendations later on.
Stylish interpretation on Cathedral green - but no mention of our birds (yet!)
The second task is for the team to help Ian Layton, our seasonal Engagement Officer, with his work of engaging people with disabilities and those from minorities and other ‘hard to reach’ communities - using links that must exist within the Rolls-Royce workforce.
Their third task is based around bird aerodynamics and devising ways to teach children about how birds and planes fly – which seemed very appropriate to them and to us (they are already researching how the baffles in the falcon’s nostrils might work!) The team will develop work sheets for schools and even for higher education as well.
Bird with an extra pay load.....Photo: Jon Salloway
The final task for the team to look at is how they might evaluate and increase the economic value of the Peregrine Project to the city.
So this new Rolls-Royce team has plenty to do and we are really looking forward to working with them throughout the coming season.
We’ll keep you informed from time to time as things progress....and we might even allow them to post to the blog too!
Nick B (DWT)


Sue Peregrino said...

What great news about Rolls-Royce! I don't know who actually owns Cathedral Green but I'm wondering if there's any way that RR could build something there as a sort of "peregrine visitor centre" for when the watchpoints occur. As an occasional volunteer, we do have fairly basic facilities for storing the kit and only have the big tree to huddle under if the weather turns wet!

Sue Peregrino said...

09:30 Sun 23/2/14 Nobody home on camera 1 view but some very fresh prey remains on the scrape.

Sue Peregrino said...

An advance apology for an off-topic. Having just gone back to the previous topic and seen a discussion about whales, FYI, Brighton is having another "Whalefest" on 15th and 16th March, small extract frm the website below ...... Just thought one or two of you peregrinos out there might like to know :) I'll shut up now.

Brighton will be taken over by life-sized whales and dolphins this March as the world’s largest whale festival ‘WhaleFest’ visits the city for the third time. And there is no better opportunity to rub shoulders with giants than at this family-friendly event.

WhaleFest takes place on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March in the exhibition rooms of the Hilton Brighton Metropole. Here, thousands of people will come face to face with replica whales and dolphins, take virtual whale watching trips indoors, and immerse themselves in 360° submarine adventures.

Guest speakers at the event include celebrity presenter Gok Wan, BBC Deadly 60’s Steve Backshall, BBC Coast’s Miranda Krestovnikoff, and the makers of TV’s ‘Spy in the Pod’. The event also features some of the world’s leading experts on whales and dolphins, including ‘The Woman Who Swims With Killer Whales’ Ingrid Visser, Sam Berg from the movie BlackFish, and actress Virginia McKenna OBE.

kate said...

Thank you Nick for such indepth information, on forthcoming joint venture,I noted you mentioned that "several apprentices showed interest", how wonderful that we will hopefully have more young people become aware of the wildlife in their midst.
Look forward to future comments, and really hope they will be a valuable asset in the coming months to Both Nick's and volunteers.

Mo Cole said...

Hi.... Are stream 3and 4 not up and working yet..... I can get 1 and 2 but I am on Puffin....x

Helen said...

Mo, Streams 3 and 4 aren't running at the moment, but no doubt they will be soon as hopefully another breeding season gets under way. Fingers crossed!! The birds have been showing well on the other cameras.

Hilary Birmingham said...

I have just logged on and seen a very nice "des res" where our Peregrines nest. Have I missed something? Looks very nice, will wait for the postings. I suppose the High Court matters in london have taken up everyone's spare time. Thanks on behalf of the resident Peregrines at Derby Cathedral.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Hilary - yes Nick M abseiled down today and cleaned the cameras and platform. All looking spic and span I think you'll agree.
A new block post with photos will follow.
Nick B (in gopher mode)

Lorraine said...

I see the scrape has scrubbed up well - with a nice pebble effect in the kids play area !
Can't wait to see if it prompts any different behaviour in the birds(I've never viewed this stage before) and also read/see the teams next update.