Third sector? More like first!
I work in charity comms, whilst my wife Laura works in outdoor education for a national conservation charity. We’re basically the Brangelina of the Scottish charity sector: pre break up, of course.
Recently, I was invited to Edinburgh Zoo for their ‘Wild About Scotland’ day. ‘Wild about Scotland’ is an initiative which enables young people from all across Scotland to learn about their native wildlife, and some of the exciting conservation projects that the Zoo is involved in. Thanks to funding from Clydesdale Bank, the Zoo was able to offer hundreds of tickets to young people and their families, which were distributed in partnership with local charities, including Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland, Circle, Children 1st, Aberlour, and Children in Scotland. Disadvantaged families from all over Scotland came to the day, where they could learn about native Scottish wildlife, whilst enjoying a rare day out together.
Between the incredible educational work this programme conducts and the partnership working it benefits from, Laura and I decided to do have a crack at writing a joint blog. This week, we replaced ‘date night’ with ‘blog night’. Who says romance is dead?
So, let’s start with the programme itself.
Wild About Scotland is free of charge, and offers the same high standard of curriculum linked education sessions that you would expect from RZSS for remote communities, who might not have the opportunity to visit Edinburgh Zoo. At a time when school budgets are pinched, and transport costs are increasing, this project provides children with locally relevant learning for sustainability in their school grounds.
The project, though, is only half the story. Wild about Scotland also highlights something both wonderful and arguably unique in our sector: true partnership working.
I spoke with Fiona, a Family Support Worker from Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland, who told me:
‘When I saw tickets for the Zoo being advertised, I jumped at the chance to apply. Bringing up a child with an additional need isn’t easy – it can be a really isolating experience. Things that other families take for granted, like day trips out, can be extremely difficult – issues include things like accessibility, financial constraints, and anxieties that go hand in hand with having a disabled child. Here, our families feel more at ease: they can spend the day with others in a similar position to them, which can help greatly. We were offered one hundred tickets, and have twenty families here today, from all over Scotland It’s been brilliant! We’re so glad that we’ve been able to offer this unique opportunity to those living with Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus’.
For me, the ‘Wild about Scotland’ day was a great reminder as to why I work in the third sector. Organisations working together for the common good, with no agenda other than to make the world a better place, is truly humbling.
Why are you proud to work in the charity sector? Have your say below.