I am Jen Blaxall, Front of House Supervisor and I’ve worked at the Centre for three years.
When I started with back problems through the many years of working as a riding instructor and freelance equine groom, I begrudgingly gave it up but replaced it with another love of taking guided walks and writing a blog about the wildlife and my time spent amongst nature in the New Forest: https://www.newforestnatureandnurture.com/ along with studying a degree in environmental studies and creative writing, but this didn’t pay the bills! So when the job vacancy for a Front of House Supervisor became available I jumped at it!
As a Front of House Supervisor, I am not just a shop assistant; I spend a lot of my day talking to tourists and locals about different aspects of the forest. Whether it is someone inspired by something they saw in the museum, or trying to find a specific area on one of our new forest maps to re-live a happy childhood memory, or to give advice on the ideal book that gives them a better understanding of the working forest. The beauty of this job is it encompasses all my passions of donning on my wellies and sharing the beauty of the sights, smells and sounds of the different seasons of the working forest with people who want to learn more.
As Front of House Supervisor, I am the first point of contact when visiting the Centre where enthusiasm and passion for where I live coincides with the love of my job at the centre and is shared with the customer. The shop provides beautiful forest related and locally produced gifts and cards, as well as maps, books and postcards for the New Forest visitor.
As a lover of the forest, it is fantastic to work with a team of like-minded people as we all have that shared passion and I for one am proud to be part of the Heritage Centre as it is a wonderful resource of knowledge, education and history with a selection of beautiful gifts.