Earlier this month, Bristol WORKS worked with very enthusiastic students at BANES HER who participated in an exciting workshop with Bath Cat’s and Dog’s Home. The session was pitched perfectly to our class who collectively had over 20 animals at home! Although no one could beat Jane, the Home’s wonderful Outreach Lead, who provides a home to an impressive 12 pets. The session was particularly useful for students to learn more about working within animal care and to understand what volunteering is and why it can be such a valuable experience.
Based in Bath, the Cat’s and Dog’s home supports hundreds of furry friends every day of the year. Students learnt about the variety of volunteering roles available at the Home, including Dog Walkers, Cat Cuddlers, Office staff and Fundraising staff- although we learnt there was more to Cat Cuddling than we first thought. Students considered the skills that volunteers would need to be successful in these roles, such as being confident in meeting new people, being patient to work alongside nervous animals and being able to maintain a positive attitude! We also helped students think about why volunteering is so beneficial and how this could be a great way for them to start building their skillsets before they enter the world of work. Jane explained that those interested in pursuing a career in animal care would find a volunteering placement particularly useful and that it is often useful to include on an application for further studies or a job.
Following the talk from Jane, students were able to engage in a series of carousel activities that enabled learners to understand different aspects of working within animal care. One group were set with the task of physically looking after a (toy) dog by learning how to bandage up his legs and apply his harness. Other activities encouraged students to think about how we can best provide our pets with shelter, love, safety and stimulation before finally, exploring what foods are appropriate and not appropriate for our pets. We all left the session feeling much more confident in how to be the best animal lover in Bath! One student said, ‘It was fun to learn about different foods and now I can help my dog stay safe’.
We had a wonderful time with Bath Cat’s and Dog’s Home. Thank you to the lovely team Jane and Holly for providing such a valuable insight into their work within the charity and animal care sector and for supporting students to consider how many options they have once they leave school. Finally, a huge well done to the brilliant students and staff at BANES HER who were so enthusiastic throughout the session!