2019 saw the opening of our Dolphin Hub (Education Centre) this past weekend. As Sea Watch continues to grow as a charity, we will be hosting educational events through to the end of Summer. Stay tuned to find out more.
This week our Education Assistant, Ellie Richardson, spoke with Research Intern Chantelle Green who was involved in the planning and organisation of our Easter Weekends. Chantelle is from the East Midlands of the UK, with a degree in both FdSc Animal Science and BSc Animal Biology, and is about to complete her Masters degree in Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation. This is her experience so far…
The week started with me helping out our Education and Outreach Assistant Ellie. Public Awareness was my job role for the week which basically involved helping Ellie where she needed me, and could have been ranging from handing out leaflets and giving talks to the public to talking about our Adopt a Dolphin scheme. This week however, since the start of the week has such bad weather and crazy high wind speeds meaning my initial boat survey was cancelled, we had plenty of time to get stuck in getting ready for the GRAND OPENING of our Education Centre ‘Dolphin Hub’ which has never before been open to the public.
This involved tidying, decorating and re-organising, but also included planning the activities for the Easter weekend such as a Bake Sale, Treasure Hunt and up-cycling Arts and crafts to create a ‘Children Of New Quay’ mural that could be used to educate children and the public on the difference between a ‘happy’ ocean and a ‘sad’ ocean, while also brightening up the room to make it friendly and inviting. We had such a blast, brainstorming, finding old and interesting bits of Sea Watch history and getting in touch with our inner youngsters while crafting bright displays for the education centre.
The weekend itself turned out to be brilliant, which we were all happy about having been rushing around all week, up baking until the early hours and putting in lots of time to get the centre ready. The sun was shining, the people of New Quay were out and we sold lots of cakes to raise donations to make our centre even better, as well as managing to hand out leaflets, raise awareness and get some children involved in crafting to complete our mural! We learnt a lot from our first big event with the New Quay community, and are already planning for next weekend to have yet another fun and exciting outreach day!
During our internship, each individual has a different ‘office’ role each week, rotating through the important tasks that occur behind the scenes, such as inputting sightings from our boat and land surveys or attempting to Photo I.D pictures of dolphins taken on surveys with our database. This week, I was down to help with Public Awareness,which is something I really enjoy and also meant I got to work with our great Education team Chiara Bertulli (SWF Sightings Officer) and Ellie Richardson (SWF Education Assistant).
Public Awareness is perhaps one of the most important aspects of charities such as Sea Watch, because it involves working with communities to educate the public, raise awareness of the issue, and increase donations to help keep the charities open year to year.
This year is particularly exciting for Sea Watch Public Awareness. As Sea Watch Foundation is a National charity, and depends on donations to help keep it running, our education team have been putting their heads together to really make our offices a more welcoming and community friendly space.
That’s where my role came in this week! Public Awareness and outreach covers a range of things, and can involve speaking directly to the public, holding educational workshops, and organising community events along with so much more. This week, as a team we decided to tackle the office decor as it has been needing a bit of updating for a while. So, I spent last week helping to get it education and fun ready, in anticipation of our Easter Weekend GRAND OPENING event of 2019!
We ran our first Easter event last weekend, and are preparing for another this coming Saturday and Sunday. Following this, the Sea Watch office and Dolphin Hub will be open to the public full-time 10 AM – 4 PM as long as there is volunteer help and funding. [edit:] If you are around New Quay in the near future, do pop in! The space is really interactive, we are using the events to make a community ‘Children of New Quay’ mural to make the space more bright and inviting, and will be crafting with our ‘rubbish’, up-cycling it into art pieces that will be on display within the centre to make it pop.
To kick off the event, there will be cake sales, treasure-hunts, educational Sea Watch Movies and some of our artefacts on show, such as in the picture of the display I set up last week. This is a really exciting move for the Sea-Watch Foundation, and I look forward to being a part of future events and outreach that are currently being planned. Watch this space to find out more!
To read more of Chan’s posts and follow her Sea Watch journey, you can find her personal blog here.