Local children have been enjoying an Animal Encounters Summer School at Solihull College & University Centre. The group of 14 students took part in a range of activities over the week. They had a tour of the College’s animal centre, enjoyed handling sessions with mammals and exotics and even bathed baby tortoises! The week long experience offered the youngsters an animal packed escape from home.
Animal Management Technicians Karen Richards and Amanda McGill, along with volunteer animal management students Christopher Cotes and Sophie Greenhouse shared their experience with the children who ranged in age from 8 to 14. The children walked ferrets, fed meerkats, handled lizards and snakes, decorated egg boxes, rode the College donkeys and more.
There was great feedback from children in attendance. Lauren stated ‘I loved handling the animals. It was a really fun experience!’ Another child, Eve, said ‘You have inspired me to do more for animals’. Lucy stated ‘I love all the animals and I want all of them!’.
Technician Amanda McGill added ‘staff and students alike enjoyed the week; it was great to see the young attendees so engaged and enthusiastic. Summer school really helped them grow in confidence as the week went on. They all blossomed’.
Current students Sophie and Chris volunteered their time to assist with the summer school. Amanda was impressed. She stated ‘They were fantastic. They offered the young students a unique perspective and supported them throughout.’
Karen, a former student herself, used to attend the summer school in the past and is now helping run it. She commented ‘It’s such a great opportunity to see children working with animals they wouldn’t normally get to work with. We had many that wanted careers working with animals by the end of the week’.
Parents were similarly happy to see their children thriving after the week. One parent mentioned ‘When I asked my daughter if there was any way the summer school could be improved, she answered ‘they could make the days longer’, so that’s obviously a good sign.’
The Animal Encounters Summer School will be held again next summer where more animal adventures await. The College also offers a range of Animal Management & Veterinary Nursing courses for school leavers, university level and adult learners in the award-winning Animal & Land Management Centre at Blossomfield Campus.
Find out more about Solihull College & University Centre’s Animal Management & Veterinary Nursing courses.