Spalding student receives award from Banham Zoo for work with animals
An animal lover from Spalding has been recognised for her work with creatures great and small.
Student Molly Smith (18), has been given an award by the charity which runs Banham Zoo in Norfolk as a nod to her incredible efforts in working with animals.
Molly is currently juggling her studies with volunteering at the Exotic Pet Refuge in Deeping St James, while also providing care for her two disabled brothers.
Recognising Molly’s dedication, The Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), which runs Banham Zoo as well as Africa Alive in Suffolk, has given her an Animal and Wildlife Champion award.
Molly, who is studying Animal Management (Behaviour and Welfare) at University Centre Stamford, says that her love of animals began at a young age.
She said: “My parents say I got my passion from Steve Irwin as when I was younger I used to sit in front of the television to watch his documentaries.
“I have been brought up around animals and have always loved visiting zoological collections.”
Molly says that she is enjoying her studies and that although she misses the social side of university she is happy spending time at home.
She said: “I’m loving studying at home as I get to spend most of my time with my companion animals and family while doing lessons and assignments.
“However the negative side of studying at home is that there is a lot trouble with the wifi connection and I miss the social side of seeing people.
“I do get tired but you just have to get on with it no complaining - I wouldn’t change a thing. I have always been brought up to do my care role too.”
Molly has been volunteering at the Exotic Pet Refuge for around 18 months is hoping to work with animals after university.
She said: “I love volunteering at the refuge.
“I want to pursue a career working with animals as I have am passionate about caring for and supporting them correctly.
“After learning about what problems animals face, I also want to help spread this knowledge and prevent animals from being extinct. I would love to take part in research and conservation projects.”
Mum Julia Smith, who nominated Molly for the awards, said: “I’m so proud of her. She has a lot going on with her care role at home plus her studies and volunteering but she does it all without moaning.
“She gets up and out no matter what the weather and she’s really dedicated.”