Over the coming weeks we will be interviewing all of our newly re-structured Modeshift Staff Team to find out more about who they are, their roles and how they are involved in sustainable travel.  Our First interview is with Modeshift Business Director, Nick Butler who heads up the Team.

How long have you been involved in Sustainable Travel? 

My first sustainable travel role was in 2003 when I joined Barnsley MBC on work experience as a Safer Routes to School Officer. From there I become a Travel Awareness Trainer for Wakefield MDC and 18-years later, here I am!!

When did you join Modeshift?

I joined the Modeshift Management Board in 2007 and became Vice Chair in 2011. In 2015 I stepped down from the Management Board so that I could take up the role of Modeshift STARS Accreditation Manager (our Constitution sets out that only local authority members of staff can be on the Management Board).

What do you like most about being part of Team Modeshift?

Team Modeshift is so diverse! We have people from all walks of life, with all sorts of backgrounds and specialisms, all working together to increase levels of active and sustainable travel. It is inspiring to work alongside colleagues from across the country, and even internationally, who are all working towards the same goals and objectives. With so much experience, passion, and commitment across Team Modeshift, I truly believe we can and will reach our aims if we all work together as one.

What are you working on now and what’s coming up?

The key focus for now is Modeshift’s ‘Project Evolve’. We’ve gone through huge changes as an organisation throughout 2020/21 which have put us in a position to become stronger than ever. The Modeshift STARS Business, Education and Community Accreditation schemes are a huge part of that and we’re now in a position with our new STARS system to expand across the country. We already have thousands of schools, businesses and other organisations using the STARS scheme and the steps that have been put in place have potential to see significant growth over the next year.

What are the main strengths of your team?

We have a highly skilled and extremely passionate Modeshift staff team who are perfectly placed to drive the organisation forward in the coming years. We have specialists in key areas including system development, customer engagement and providing mentoring, coaching and support services. This combination of skills and experience is enabling Modeshift to expand at a rate that we’ve never been able to before. Each member of the team is fully bought into the Modeshift ethos and cares passionately about supporting our Members, Partners and other organisations to achieve their objectives, and as I mentioned above, when we work together as one, we will achieve everything that we set out to achieve.

What’s been your proudest moment at Modeshift?

There are so many to choose from, from securing funding from the Department for Transport to establish STARS as the National STARS School Travel Awards scheme, to presenting our National STARS School of the Year Awards at our annual events, and seeing the big household names starting to achieve STARS Business accreditation. However, I think my proudest moment was during the 2012 Annual Modeshift Convention when I stood up as Vice-Chair alongside the Chair, Ross Butcher, and was able to thank our local authority Members for backing us and sticking with Modeshift. 12-months earlier we asked the same audience at the same venue to trust us after a particularly tricky year with Membership numbers falling and central Government funding being reduced. We asked them to back us and promised that we would listen and deliver the Membership organisation that they desired. A year later we had more than doubled Membership numbers and the number of organisations that are involved in Modeshift has been on an upwards trajectory ever since. That was the birth of ‘Team Modeshift’ and without the backing and support provided by that core group of Members in 2011/12 we would not be where we are today.

Tell us a fun fact about you

In my spare time I like to punish myself by following Bradford Bulls and Tottenham Hotspur. On one rare occasion in the space of 4-days, Spurs reached the Champions League Final and the Bulls knocked Leeds Rhinos out of the Rugby League Challenge Cup despite being 2 leagues below them. However, within the space of a couple of weeks normal service was resumed with Spurs losing a dire Champions League final and the Bulls knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Halifax!! Sports fans out there will know that the fortunes of both teams have not improved much since!


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