Rochdale’s teenagers are set to get hands-on experience with some of the world’s most rare and wonderful wildlife.
Hopwood Hall College and University Centre is launching its Animal Academy, an exciting summer programme taking place at its campus in Middleton.
It’s designed for animal-lovers aged 13-16 and will give participants the incredible opportunity to care for and learn about exotic creatures such as wallabies, meerkats, potoroos and flamingos.
The area’s most disadvantaged young people are set to benefit – with over 30 spots being fully-funded for those who otherwise would not be able to take part.
This is all thanks to a number of generous partners who have sponsored the course, including headline sponsor Crystal Doors.
The company’s managing director, Richard Hagan, got to see first-hand what’s in store for the teens when he visited the college this week.
Richard – whose company was recently presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development – spent the morning meeting some of the 700 animals homed on the campus.
He was also given the chance to feed the wallabies and step into the college’s eco-friendly Tropical House.
The scholarship places have been awarded to pupils who have been chosen by teachers from key schools in North Manchester.
Each individual has been hand-picked for their strong interest in animals and desire to work in the much sought-after sector.
Meanwhile, a strictly limited number of places will be offered on general sale for the price of £150 per head.
The Animal Academy will run for five days from Monday to Friday, with start dates on July 26th, August 2nd and August 9th.
Planned activities include developing the meerkat enclosure, grooming ponies, learning to handle the armadillos, and completing a masterclass in how to perform CPR on animals.
The pupils can look forward to gaining this valuable skillset in the sprawling woodland setting that characterises the Middleton Campus.
The other sponsors who made the scholarships possible are Yelloway, Sign UK, Reed, DDA Projects, XMA and Tenet Education Services.
Julia Heap, Principal and CEO of Hopwood Hall College and University Centre, said:
“The Animal Academy promises to be an incredible week-long adventure for young people from Rochdale, Middleton and across Greater Manchester.
“We are so pleased to have brought this ambitious idea to life with the help of our equally ambitious partners.
‘Their sponsorship has ensured that the most disadvantaged young people in our community will be able to enjoy this unique experience and build the perfect foundation for a career working with animals!”
Richard Hagan, Managing Director at Crystal Doors, said:
“The impact offered by Hopwood Hall College is of exceptional value and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help fund Animal Academy scholarships.
“Everything I’ve done to achieve sustainability and respect for people, animals and the environment in business and in my own life has been through discovering and learning.
“It runs through everything we do at Crystal Doors, so I want to extend that opportunity to pupils so they can do their own discovery and learning about all the local, wild and farmed animals, exotic and strange creatures we share our planet with.”