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David Allen - Head of Prevention and Education

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I have been with the RSPCA for a very long time and I can honestly say I have never been bored. There is just so much to learn about animals and their behaviour and so many different approaches and things that we can all do to make their lives better. I have also worked with some really committed and brilliant professionals and volunteers in our science teams, our media and press office, our campaigners and with public affairs advocates, as well as our front-line officers and vets - the list goes on! All united by one common aim - to ensure that every species of animal is given the opportunity to live its best life.

What advice would you give to someone wishing to join us as an educator or advocate, be that through campaigning or through promoting animal welfare science at the RSPCA?

Go as far as you can with your own education and be a life-long learner! It doesn’t have to be animal related - I’m a geographer and environmental science graduate - and then consider professional qualifications in the sector or business that interests you most. I took a post graduate in education and worked all over the world from Africa to Japan, picking up new teaching skills and developing interests in wildlife, agriculture and then animals of all sorts. It would also be my advice to do some volunteering, this could be in your own community and it really doesn’t have to be animal related. This experience will help you understand the ethos of a big charity like the RSPCA and help you build resilience when things get tough and your targets and ambitions seem to be a long way off! Changing people’s attitudes and behaviours so that animals are well treated and their needs met can be a tough task so being focused and staying true to your values is also important.

What does a typical day look like in a snapshot?

This is a tough question, because as I suggested the days are never boring and there is always so much to do. If I look at this week, I will be in a workshop looking at how we can make our campaigns appeal to young people, presenting to teachers on how they can link animal welfare with their school curriculum, helping to design a digital resource that will explain how we know animals have feelings and then in a two-day meeting with colleagues from across the animal welfare charity sector, exploring ways to make our messaging stand out and speak to diverse groups of people and those suffering disadvantage because of the cost-of-living crisis.

David Allen - Head of Prevention and Education

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