apprentices, Kickstart scheme, staff and volunteers, RSPCA

By Chantelle, Fundraising and Comms Kickstarter Apprentice 

This past year has understandably been quite difficult for many. So exciting news or a positive change is always welcome. On the 21st June, I, along with six other apprentices were welcomed by the RSPCA Canterbury & District team. We joined the charity as part of the government Kickstart Scheme for the next six months. Each of us will be trained and taught many new skills by the team. This will be a huge boost,  helping us go forward. It is a great opportunity in order to not only see how the charity operates, but to assist in helping the RSPCA branch and gain valuable life and work experience.

RSPCA Values

During the induction week, the team organised a range of activities and icebreakers for the apprentices and staff to get to know each other. We learnt about the RSPCA’s history and about the financial side of the charity.  It was interesting to get an insight into how the charity is structured, their place in society and of course what happens behind the scenes.

Every workplace has expectations and the RSPCA Canterbury & District is no exception. Especially as the team works with people and animals daily, it is important to understand the RSPCA values. This ensure everyone meets behavioural standards in order to give the best care and customer service.

Retail and Inspectors 

Of course, the branch is not complete without the retail staff, trustees and volunteers who work so hard to keep the charity running. RSPCA Inspectorate team member, Emma spoke to all of us during the week going into detail about their roles and what they do. Emma kindly spoke about what an RSPCA Inspector might have to do on a daily basis. She explained that no two days are be the same and shared insight into how welfare situations are handled. Some of the apprentices will work at the rehoming centre and others in the charity shops.  The rehoming centre volunteers and retail staff therefore also introduced themselves throughout the week, This has left the apprentices feeling even more welcome! 

Interviews

I interviewed a few fellow apprentices to get their thoughts on how the week went.

What is your role?

Mark: “My job role is retail assistant.”

Arthur: “Animal care apprentice.”

Jake:  “Retail assistant.”

What was your favourite part of the week and why?

Jake: “Meeting all of the lovely staff and seeing the interesting items that get brought into the store.”

Arthur: “I enjoyed meeting new people and feeling like I’m actually doing something. It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything because of COVID so it was just nice to finally return to some sort of normality.”

Mark: “My favourite part of the week was getting my head around the till because where I previously volunteered at is where I adapted this skill.”

Did you have any worries before starting your week and did you manage to settle those worries?

Jake: “The pressure from using the till but being able to ask for help at any point was good.”

Arthur: “I was a bit worried I wouldn’t enjoy it but deep down I knew it’d all be okay so in reality it was all good.”

What are you most excited about going forward?

Jake: “I’m excited for the future. In time, I will become more comfortable and confident with what I am doing which will make it all much easier.”

Arthur: “I’m excited to properly get into the swing of working and to feel comfortable knowing what I’m doing.”

Mark: “In regards to what to look forward to in the future is seeing this experience on my CV.”

                     

The first week was a great experience and there’s so many more weeks to go for us to show off our hard work. The team was very positive and I’m sure we will all have an enjoyable time working together.

Look forward to keeping you all updated on our progress!

Chantelle