A pioneering RSPCA scheme which uses wildlife and the great outdoors to improve the lives of disadvantaged young parents has won an award.
The ‘Hastings Wild Things’ project is based at the charity’s Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in Fairlight, Hastings, and uses the woodland nature reserve at the premises to introduce local groups to nature.
Last week the scheme won the Senior Section Play Achievement Award at the SPARK awards . The award was given for their work creating natural play opportunities for families and children to engage with both nature and animal welfare.
Mallydams manager Bel Deering said: “We are delighted that this project has won this award and the innovative work done by our youth group has been recognised.
“They work so hard and make such a difference to the groups which come here. People who may not have had much opportunity to explore and experience nature really get the chance to have their eyes opened to the wonders it can bring.
“At the same time we get the chance to share animal welfare messages with groups which can be hard to reach normally, preventing cruelty and promoting kindness to animals in an unparalleled way.”
The project involves organised activities and games for groups of young parents and their pre-school children and hopes to inspire them through the natural world and boost their self-esteem through practical outdoor activities and education.
Bel added: “RSPCA staff members spend time with the young disadvantaged groups and teach them to enjoy and respect wildlife.
“The RSPCA is only able to carry out projects like these with your help. For more informations about Malydams and its projects please visit www.rspca.org.uk/local/education/-/rspca/mallydams-wood/.
Mallydams Wood was set up in 1961 after the woodland was given to the RSPCA by benefactor Horace Quick.
It now deals with 2,500 wildlife casualties a year.