Hello all, Jamie here working from home. Seeing how it’s #Wednesdaywisdom, I thought I would share my experience of one of our Branch Education Visits that took place in February. These sessions truly are fun and interesting, I would encourage any locals or communities after our current lockdown to schedule a talk with us to learn more about us!
I had the privilege of attending an Educational session with our Education and Events Officer Leanne. The Advanced Motorists Society agreed to have us along for a talk at the Wensum Community Centre in Norwich, a spot where they meet on a regular basis. They started off by having a meeting of their own, demonstrating a lovely sense of community. The group were primarily of an older generation, which was a nice change of pace for Leanne who mainly visits Schools. This demonstrates the diversity in people Leanne is able to reach and educate: as she adapts well to different audiences and different types of people naturally. I was there to help out and socialise, whilst taking notes of how the evening was going (and even some factual notes as I was learning on the job).
We started the session off with some technical issues unfortunately. Leanne’s laptop, for some reason or another, would not connect to the centre’s projector. The centre’s projector was an older model, so after many attempts to get the visual aids on the big screen, Leanne encouraged everyone to make a semi-circle around her laptop, pulling their chairs forward creating a much more personal and up close style of presentation. Through no fault of her own, she made the best of the situation by adapting and the audience appreciated this also
The content of the presentation was of course tailored to Leanne’s audience, so it focused more heavily on the history of the RSPCA to start with. The thing that most people reacted to, was the fact that it was because of the birth of the SPCA, which then later became the RSPCA, which inspired the creation of the children’s charity, the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). The audience also liked the detailed history of how the RSPCA assisted in the 1st World War. The reception was great and I learnt some more things about the RSPCA myself. Throughout the talk Leanne was clear and informative and maintained her friendly attitude which kept the group engaged from start to finish. After briefing the group on the 200 years of history, she then talked through the important work we do in modern times, busting any myths about the RSPCA they perhaps once thought. Here are some of the interesting facts of the night:
KEY FACTS LEARNED
The RSPCA was founded in a London coffee shop in 1824. The men present knew they were creating the world’s first animal welfare charity, but they couldn’t have imagined the size and shape that the charity would become today. Back then we were the SPCA – Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Royal patronage followed in 1837 and Queen Victoria gave permission to add the royal R in 1840, making us the RSPCA as we are known worldwide today.
We’ve always been influential in forming and improving animal welfare law. In 1822, two years before we were founded, ‘Martin’s Act’ was passed. It was the very first animal welfare law and it forbade ‘the cruel and improper treatment of cattle’. Thirteen years on, in 1835, and ‘Pease’s Act’ consolidated this law. The prohibition of cruelty was extended to dogs and other domestic animals, bear-baiting and cock-fighting was forbidden, and it insisted on better standards for slaughter houses. Other successes along the way have included laws for lab animals, the abolition of fur farming in the UK, the ban of fox hunting with dogs and the animal welfare act. Today we are still changing the law
It must be mentioned that the most favoured part of the evening was the numbers game which Leanne created inspired by the famous television show, ‘The Price Is Right’. She showed the audience a number and asked a question about an RSPCA statistic such as “How many animals did we help rehome in a year? The audience would then raise their hand if they thought the answer to this question was higher or lower than the proposed number. This went down very well and every single person got involved, which enjoying some nostalgia and familiarities to the popular game show
As her presentation ended, she received a healthy round of applause and an additional round of applause when the audience learned that Leanne is fact the only person in the Education team – this impressed them very much!
The words back from the group was warming and complimentary and to conclude the evening, we all enjoyed a cup of tea and had a good talk about what we love about animals; the perfect way to wrap up the gathering. If you have not had the chance to see Leanne in action, I would strongly recommend getting in touch with us. You never know, you might learn something new.