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15/12/2020

Gareth Giles: My view on volunteering

New RTPI Fellow Gareth Giles says that volunteering for the RTPI has been the most rewarding experience of his career to date

I was immensely proud earlier this year to be elected to Fellowship of the Institute – it has real significance for me personally and professionally. I am so grateful to those in the industry who have supported me throughout my career.

I started work as a local authority planning officer and after 12 years of public sector service founded a small planning consultancy business with a former colleague. I now have the privilege of employing four town planners, including two Young Planners at the start of their careers.

"It has enabled me to travel around the UK, gain invaluable learning opportunities and meet many other planning professionals"

My most rewarding experience has been volunteering for the RTPI, which I have done for over 10 years. It has enabled me to travel around the UK, gain invaluable learning opportunities and meet many other planning professionals. I would thoroughly recommend volunteering on an RTPI Regional Activities Committee to anyone that may be interested – they are a cornerstone of learning and help steer the direction of the profession.

I hope through my Fellowship I can be of further service as an ambassador for the Institute, and continue to focus on promoting the essential role of a thriving planning profession in shaping our natural and built environments.

I will also maintain my objective of ensuring that the next generation of planners have the same opportunities that I was afforded when I started out.

Gareth Giles FRTPI is a founding partner at planning consultancy Whaleback, based in Sussex

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