We are thrilled to welcome Bic Jones as our Finance Manager at River Action! In our latest blog, we get to know more about Bic and the role that she will play to help rescue Britain’s rivers.
Tell us about yourself…
I am originally from Vietnam and I have been living in North Wales just over 10 years now. I feel incredibly lucky to live in North Wales as it is such amazing place with beautiful mountains and beaches. I love gardening, growing flowers and vegetables. I get such joy and satisfaction when seeing their blossoms, fruits and the insects enjoying the flowers.
My life has changed a lot since coming here. Previously I lived in the capital of Vietnam where it’s very busy, noisy, and crowded. But I was very lucky to spend my childhood in the rural countryside where I was able to explore nature, spending time in the rice paddies, sweetcorn fields, building dens in the jungles and even seeing a snake in my house after a flood (that bit I don’t miss at all). You don’t see the children in the big cities doing that anymore and where agricultural land is rapidly turning into commercial buildings and more houses.
Coming to North Wales has given me the opportunity to be close to nature again, to be able to see the colour changes of the season, smelling the wildflowers and hearing the buzz noises form the bees.
What inspired you to join the River Action team and mission?
I have always had a close relationship with nature. I remember spending hours and hours playing in the rivers, watching the small fish swimming, playing water boat races until slowly I notice the rivers where I lived were no longer clear. The water was duller and duller, and I want my clean and clear rivers back. The pollution in the river is not just an UK issue but it is a global issue. I want to be a part of protecting and restoring our clean freshwater rivers.
You have worked for the North Wales Wildlife Trusts. Tell us about your work in the conservation sector – what experience will you be bringing to River Action?
Spending 5 years working at the North Wales Wildlife Trust has really shaped who I am, and where I want to be. I was incredibly lucky to work with amazing colleagues who are so passionate about wildlife and conversation work. Back then, I managed the finances for over 30 ongoing conversation and education projects at the Trust. I believe I can transfer my knowledge and skills from a well establish wildlife charity to River Action, a newly established charity, helping to shape and grow.
You spend some of your time at Kick It Out. Can you tell us about that. What have you learned about ethics, equality and diversity in the workplace?
My work at Kick It Out has helped me gain a greater understanding of discrimination issues, not only in football but in society in large. I have learnt a great deal about ethics, equality and diversity in the workplace. At Kick It Out we work with and recruit people from different backgrounds, genders and religion and treat all our staff equally regardless of their age, gender etc. We regularly discuss and organise staff training seminars on different diversity issues (sexism, antisemitism etc) to help raise our awareness and understanding of them better and how to tackle and address them. I can bring this understanding to River Action to help raise awareness of diversity and equality in the workplace.
Tell us about your new role as River Actions Finance Manager… What do you hope to achieve?
I am responsible for managing finance and operations at River Action. It is a very varied and dynamic role as my work will help to support to all staff at River Action, ensuring our financial systems and finances are in good shape and all internal policies are up to date.
You live in Wales which is where River Action ran its first campaign along the River Wye! Do you have a personal connection with rivers and wildlife and do you have a favourite Welsh River?
Spending my childhood near a river had built a strong connection between me and rivers. I am so lucky to live in North Wales where there are so many beautiful rivers nearby. We often spend our weekend family trip to go for a walk or cycle ride along the river. My favourite is Afon Goch, the one where it goes over the beautiful Aber Falls. However, there are so many to choose from in Snowdonia! and preserving them and other rivers is of great importance