Charity Insights Visits #2

The Charity Insights tour bus was back on the road once again, with a couple more students to be visited on location. Unfortunately, this bus is entirely metaphorical, so means of less imagined transport included the very literal London underground and South West Trains.

On one of the rainiest days of the year, myself and Jess set out to visit Chris at Sense about Science, a charity attempting to equip people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in the press and public discussion. Working with over 6,000 scientists, they run campaigns such as Ask for Evidence and host panels on subjects such as plant science and energy. Chris had been doing a lot of work around the latter energy panel, as well as sharpening his social media acumen dealing with the charity’s Twitter account. When we met at their north London office, Chris’ supervisor, Chris Peters, had only positive things to say, noting that ‘we’d do well to have more volunteers of [Chris’] calibre’. High praise indeed! We also got to take away a couple of Sense about Sciences Making Sense Of… publications as a parting gift.

Reading the 'Making Sense of Allergies' booklet back at my desk
Reading the ‘Making Sense of Allergies’ booklet back at my desk

I then had the chance to visit Mollie in the great outdoors at Bedfont Lakes Country Park. In addition to the nature reserve, the visitor centre is home to a whole host of animals, including a barn owl, some raccoon dogs, and a jumpy little critter called Toto, a genet.

Mollie with Toto the genet - who was too quick for the camera!
Mollie with Toto the genet – who was too quick for the camera!

The project presented Mollie with a great opportunity to work with a whole host of different animals and learn more about the diversity within the several acres of the reserve. It wasn’t all about learning, however, as Mollie also ran sessions with young visitors to the park, including showing off spiders and exploring nature trails. Again, feedback from both staff and Mollie was overwhelmingly positive – and I got see my first ever genet!

One of the titular lakes of Bedfont Lakes Country Park
One of the titular lakes of Bedfont Lakes Country Park

As the final Charity Insights projects are coming to a close, I’d like to thank all the host organisations for providing great opportunities for all of this year’s participants to really get involved and contribute during their 4 weeks, and of course a big hand to all the students for blogging over the summer!

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