Ash Denham MSP has praised the Scotland’s animal welfare charity, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA), for delivering animal welfare education lessons to over half of the capital’s children in 2019.
Over last year, the charity reached 210,727 children across Scotland and 52% of of kids across the city of Edinburgh (61% across Edinburgh and the Lothians as a whole).
The Edinburgh Eastern MSP, who in her Ministerial role recently invited the charity to take part in her Fireworks Review Group to address firework misuse on Bonfire Night, learned about the animal welfare school education programme whilst visiting their Edinburgh & Lothians Rescue Centre in Balerno. At the rescue centre she met with the Scottish SCPA’s Chief Executive, Kirsteen Campbell, and the charity’s Head of Education & Policy, Gilly Mendes Ferreira.
Ms. Denham said:
“I’m delighted to congratulate the Scottish SPCA for their school education programme which has seen the charity reach almost a quarter of a million children across Scotland in pre-school, primary and high school age groups in 2019 alone.
“This child-focussed education programme includes workshops on how to care for your pet properly as well as holding mock court room sessions where children use real life investigation examples to generate discussion and debate.
“In particular I was interested to hear about their exciting new programme using ‘animaltronics’ which has helped pupils, including many in my constituency, to understand the importance of treating animals with kindness and compassion.
“It goes without saying the SNP in Government recognises the incredible work of animal welfare charities such as the Scottish SPCA, and that is being demonstrated by our commitment in our Programme for Government to take forward legislation in a number of areas relating to animal welfare, including the Animal Health and Welfare (Amendment) Bill which will increase penalties for the most serious animal welfare offences.”
Gilly Mendes Ferreira, Head of Education & Policy, added:
“Our unique partnership with Robo Wunderkind has allowed us to use robotics as a great tool that captures seven to 13 year old children’s imagination, encourages them to have fun and be creative, links with the STEM curriculum and brings home how amazing animals really are.
“Giving children the opportunity to build and code their own robot enables them to recognise that animals are actually born with these ‘in-built’ sensors and how important it is that we are aware of these senses when interacting with animals.”