Work experience at Cross River Partnership

13th August 2019 / Posted by CRP Team

Last week I spent my time working on the Clean Air Villages (CAV) project at Cross River Partnership. My name is Rachael Aldridge and I’m a recent graduate from Cardiff University, where I studied Human Geography. From my course I have taken away a passion for sustainability, hence I was happy to be placed in a project which aims to make a difference in highly polluted areas throughout London. Over the week I’ve been reporting to Laura, the Business Engagement Officer for CAV.

A typical day within my week of work experience has started with meetings with various members of the team, to discover what everyone’s individual role is. This has enabled me to figure out how everyone at CRP works together towards a common goal, whilst all having different responsibilities and agendas. I was able to introduce myself to most of the team and gain a valuable insight into the workings of CRP.

Over the week, I have also taken part in business engagement for the CAV project. I’ve found this particularly interesting, as I was able to talk to different business representatives whilst thinking about potential sustainability solutions they could utilise. The areas I’ve engaged with this week are Lewisham, Shepherd’s Bush and Tooting. Here we spoke to different types of businesses, from cafes to hotels, asking them to complete a survey on the transport they’re currently using for services and deliveries. Typical questions directed at business owners include how many suppliers they have, as well as asking if they have a van or car of their own. There are definitely certain challenges to overcome in terms of business engagement. One challenge was the timings of asking questions to businesses. I’ve learnt that it’s better to catch businesses in the mornings, when they are less busy and more able to engage with the survey, meaning more reliable results can be established.

CRP then analyse this data to make suggestions to business owners, for example in the form of sharing suppliers or using cargo bikes. Throughout the week I have also attended the Hammersmith transport meeting, as well as the KCCC London networking event. Here I had the opportunity to talk to the board of the Kensington and Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, who’s members were interested in how a sustainable approach could apply to their independent businesses.

I’ve learnt a lot during my time at CRP, especially about electric vehicles and cargo bikes within London and the challenges the city faces with sustainable transport initiatives. I’d like to thank Cross River Partnership for a great week and for being so welcoming towards me. I’ve gained some valuable office experience whilst learning a lot about London’s air pollution and beyond.