Millfield Housekeeping Manager Celebrates Getting Degree After Six Years of Study

Millfield School’s Housekeeping Manager, Trish Jansons, has just completed her BSc Hons Environment and Earth Science degree with the Open University after six and a half years of studying.

Trish, who has worked at Millfield for the last 14 years, had the support of her Manager at Millfield and the school’s Grounds and Gardens team, who helped her to analyse trees on campus for her coursework.

Trish initially intended to study Chemistry, but her passion for the environment lead her to choose a subject that has allowed her to gain valuable knowledge of the local landscape.

“Even though completing the degree has been tough at times, it’s been a really enjoyable thing to do. I have had amazing support within Millfield, including from my manager and the Grounds team, who helped me sample the trees on campus. Natural England and Somerset Wildlife trust have really backed me as well. If I can just help one person to make cleaner, more environmentally friendly changes, it will be worth it.”

“For my final project, I studied climate change’s effect on the soils of the Somerset Levels”, says Trish. “What a lot of people don’t know is that peat removes more carbon from the atmosphere than a standing forest: Somerset peat moors are the equivalent to the Amazon Rainforest! We really have to start looking after our British peat moors.”

In her spare time, Trish volunteers with Somerset Wildlife, as well as working with the Bristol Green City Partnership and taking part in butterfly and bird counts. Trish has also been collaborating with Brown University in America and Boston-based professors to develop a new process to make sea water drinkable. “We only have one place that does this in the UK”, says Trish “And I would love to make it easier for the world to gain access to clean, safe water.”

Although Trish’s passion for her studies has led her to work on many environmental projects, she also intends to stay in her role at Millfield. “I’m not going anywhere, I love my job too much. I love where I work.”

Millfield’s Deputy Head Groundsman, Colin Ashman from Street also achieved an A* grade in his A level English Literature course earlier this year, 25 years after leaving school, with the help of teachers, learning support staff and pupils from the school.