The Animal Encounters Virtual Workshop
Animal Encounters is a new virtual workshop that we delivered to our attendees over Zoom and it proved to be a fun, informative, and engaging workshop. Over the six weeks we visited different organisations from around the country listening to the wonderful work they do and capturing many of the animals live in their enclosures.
On week one we were at Paignton Zoo in Devon where we got to see the giraffes. We were fortunate the giraffes were out feeding from the trees at the time so we had a great view of them close up while Matt the zoo’s Education Development Coordinator gave an informative talk with the opportunity to ask questions throughout the session.
On our second week we visited the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover. Tom who is the Fundraising Events Manager prepared a fantastic presentation for us which included history of the trust, information about all the different birds of prey and showed us some fabulous videos of birds in action. He went on to say, “It’s been a pleasure to work with the group at Younger People With Dementia and speak to everyone about the work we do at the Hawk Conservancy Trust. It’s been great to hear how engaged many members of the group are with their local wildlife and to share stories about seeing birds of prey – excellent!”
We found ourselves in Dorset on week three visiting Monkey World. Annie the Education and Volunteering Team Leader did a virtual tour of the park showing us all the different primates at the rescue centre, we even got to see a Chimpanzee going down a slide which was very entertaining! It was incredible how Annie was able to tell all the primates apart and named them all. Annie goes on to say, “It was a pleasure to speak to the group and to show them around our primate rescue centre. The atmosphere was fun and friendly from start to finish, and it was clear that the attendees and staff alike enjoy their time together.”
In week four we had a virtual visit to the Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) in Maidenhead. Emily the Education Officer gave us a full tour of the zoo and exotic house. It was a great tour with many different species we hadn’t seen before like miniature crocodiles. As BCA is local, we are hoping, when it is safe to do so, to organise a group visit to the zoo and see the animals in person.
We visited Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Somerset on the fifth week. Paula the Education Co-ordinator did another fantastic virtual tour. They had over 100 animal species, from Chickens to Elephants and everything in between! Paula covered a significant amount of ground within the hour session, and we learned a great deal.
Our final week found us visiting Waltham Place, which is another local organisation located in White Waltham. Niki who is the Education Officer at Waltham Place prepared a presentation for us all about ‘New Life on the Farm’. It was really interesting listening to how they run the farm in a biodynamic way. Niki had so much to tell us and kept the group engaged throughout. We have worked with Waltham Place for many years now and we are excited to get back there running our workshops as soon as we can.