New Skills and a Milestone Birthday for Seal Trust

By Skills Hub - 01st July 2020

Celebrating birthdays via Zoom or Skype has been a common occurrence throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period. The celebrations for the 20th year of the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust looked as though they may have to be put on ice for the time being until Trust founder, Sue Sayer, took matters into her own hands.

“We tried to take the Darwin advice in that it’s not the strongest or the fittest who survive but it’s the ones who can adapt to change who thrive,” said Sue.

With this as their mantra the Trust have soldiered on and have turned to the virtual world to celebrate their milestone birthday.

“We thought that a lot of our volunteers might be classed as being vulnerable, so we took an early decision and went down the virtual route and it has worked so much better than anticipated,” she said.

The Sharing our Seas: Seals and People Virtual Conference culminates on Saturday, 4 July with a day full of talks, Q&A sessions and networking celebrating Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust's 20 years of work, while also providing the opportunity to learn about the dedicated community involved in seal conservation across the UK.

With more than 35,000 surveys having been carried out, over 1 million photos to identify 72,000 seals taken and a volunteer group of approximately 450 people across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the stress and pressure of creating a conference program to be rolled out via Zoom is just another milestone achievement for the Trust.

“I wouldn’t underestimate how difficult it has been in having our volunteers learn to use Zoom and to record their own video talks but now we have 18 talks online which will be our birthday legacy online forever,” said Sue.

Along the way Sue has connected with the Skills Hub and Skills Connector Clair Murray to help in finding training opportunities for both her and her team.

“Clair has been invaluable, and I am hoping that we will be able to access more training for our rangers. Excitingly I am doing my first training tomorrow and I have the mindset that you can always get better at stuff as every day is a school day,” she said.

Sue believes that with lessons learned over the past few months and in looking ahead, the Trust will be yet another organisation looking to do businesses differently.

“We’ve learnt new skills, we’ve adapted and changed phenomenally. The silver lining from COVID-19 will be a fundamental change to how we operate, just like it has done with everybody else,” Sue said.

Does your business need help in adapting and pivoting to a new way of working? Call Claire on 01209 708 660 to find out more about how the Skills Hub can help, or drop us a line via the Get In Touch tab at the top of our website.

Clair has been invaluable, and I am hoping that we will be able to access more training for our rangers. Excitingly I am doing my first training tomorrow and I have the mindset that you can always get better at stuff as every day is a school day.

Sue Sayer - Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust
Woman on a tablet illustration