furry friends

Barnsley College (@BarnsleyCollege) Animal Care students have had the chance to hear from a range of virtual guest speakers as part of Animal Care Industry Week.

The online talks allowed students to explore potential careers within the sector, whilst developing the skills they need for Higher Education or employment.

Abigail Christie and Jonathan Ramsden from Cats Protection were the first guest speakers of the week. Students were taken through the various aspects of cat welfare including homing, neutering and education. The speakers also shared with the students the various job roles available at Cat Protection and how to work in the animal welfare industry.

Helen Spicer, Education Officer at Blue Cross, delivered an informative workshop around dog law. The talk covered issues surrounding dog ownership, responsible care for dogs and the law surrounding out of control pets, by using video clips, quizzes and exercises to bring the topic to life.

Students also heard from Faye Durkin, Head of Ecology and Regional Manager at Ecus, a multi-disciplinary environmental services company. Faye shared with the students the legal obligations and corporate commitments to protecting the wildlife and shared an insight into what she does on a day-to-day basis.

Veterinary nurse and former Barnsley College student, Loren Mulligan, drew on her own experiences and helped students see how the tools, techniques and methodologies provided by the College has given her the opportunity to become a successful veterinary nurse.

Another former Barnsley College student, Danielle Aspinall, talked to students about her time volunteering in a bear refuge in Croatia with an organisation called Everything is Possible. Danielle encouraged the students to participate in volunteering and said: “Volunteer as soon as possible in the industry you are interested in, as you will gain enough valuable experience and be more desirable to employers.”

Students also had the opportunity to listen to Hannah Smith talking about her life after Wigfield Farm, volunteering at CARE for WILD, a rhino sanctuary in South Africa, before studying at Writtle University College. Hannah commented: “As a former student I believe listening to guest speakers is greatly beneficial to inspire others and offer new perspectives while sharing personal experiences. If you believe it, you can achieve it!”

Over the course of the week, students heard from other speakers from a range of professional backgrounds. This included Jane Barden, owner and dog groomer at The Whole Groom; Jason White, Community Engagement Officer at Barnsley Civic; Cath Mitchell, Senior Coach at Barnsley Riding for The Disabled Association; and Adrian Ashworth, who introduced the students to his Therapy Husky, Thunder.

Kayleigh Booth, a Level 3 Animal Care student, said:

“The Industry Week talks were fantastic! They were full of specialist knowledge, really interactive and so useful. I'd urge everyone to take advantage of the opportunity and sign up to as many courses as possible - you never know where they might lead you!”

The sessions were organised by Beverley Jones, Senior Tutorial Team Leader at Barnsley College. Beverley added:

“We enjoyed welcoming speakers from across the UK, giving students some genuine insight into a variety of careers within the sector. We are working with businesses to lead the economic recovery and meet employers’ needs, both now and for future roles, by providing students and adults with the skills to succeed. I would like to personally thank all of our guest speakers and already look forward to next year’s event."

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