Before Christmas was a busy period in the Alldays community, and we have been substantially involved in many events, with many more to come this year. This has been in no small part down to our collaborative relationship with Vision Africa Community.
Vision Africa Community is run by Emma Peniston and is a driving force in Alldays. Our working relationship with them has facilitated our increased involvement in this aspect of our work. Given we are a wildlife and communities research centre, this is key to what we want to achieve here, and is fundamental to our continued work in the Alldays area.
This increased involvement has not only helped us achieve more of our community goals, but it also serves to spread our name and all areas of the work we do into the local community.
Our partnership started in November 2017 when we worked with VAC to raise money for, and support the event of, providing presents for disadvantaged children of Alldays and World HIV Awareness Day. We raised over £1000 and could provide for over 140 children in 2017. It has since gone from strength to strength with us providing funds and support for the same annual event last year, with volunteers helping to put together a really engaging quiz and blood safety demonstration as part of the HIV Awareness constituent. As well as this we also got stuck in to a community litter pick earlier in December, as well as the ‘We Care Project’ community lunch, while maintaining a long term relationship with Briershof school.
Every week and often twice a week this and last year, we have been visiting Briershof school providing a mixture of eco/environmental education sessions, as well as sports time to ensure the children are getting some good time in their week for exercise and activity. We have greatly enjoyed becoming part of their weekly lives and have forged great relationships with both staff and children at the school.
As our presence in Alldays has grown, it has also opened up further opportunities for us to serve the community, for example assisting with an SPCA vet day where owners could bring their dogs and cats for spays, rabies jabs and general health checks free of charge.
As we continue to grow as a centre and name within the area, VAC has been really important in pushing our community goals further, while we have contributed to their goals with our man power, providing crucial support and assistance to these events. I think this collaborative approach to community work will really help benefit Alldays and the local people here, and with many things in the pipeline for 2019, be sure to watch this space and support VAC too!