One of the foundations that Insight was built upon is the principle that our staff are given the ability to strike a work-life balance that suits them. Whether studying a Masters in script writing or performing at Glastonbury, Insight have always supported their staff’s interests outside of work. That is no different for our Directors.
For the past seven years, Richard Collins and wife, Rachel, who manages our Marketing Team, have been running Animal Rescue Asia, a charity focusing on promoting humane treatment towards animals in Asia.
Unfortunately, after several years of good work, Richard and Rachel are now unable to devote the necessary time to running Animal Rescue Asia. As a result, they recently took a trip to India to discuss donating ARA’s remaining profits to a deserving charity in a similar field.
Whilst in India, Richard and Rachel visited The Treehouse in northern Goa, where Jo Hicks has run The Primate Trust India since 2005. The charity was set up by Jo and her husband John, a leading expert on primate care, with a history of animal welfare campaigning stretching back to the 70s. Sadly, John died in 2015, but Jo and the charity carry on his great work.
The Primate Trust India was set up as a way of putting John and Jo’s extensive knowledge of caring for primates to good use in India.
The couple frequently witnessed baby monkeys being used as tourist attractions – paraded along beachfronts, with tourists being prompted to pay for photos with the animals.
These monkeys were stolen from their families, with their mothers often being killed. They then entered a life of neglect, with their owners having no idea how to care for them. Quickly, the monkeys grew too large to be kept as pets and became aggressive, leading them to be locked away in cages.
John began embarking on rescue missions to save these monkeys. The missions were often dangerous as people didn’t want their monkeys, which they viewed as their livelihoods, stolen. Successfully rescued monkeys were taken to The Treehouse, where a purpose-built enclosure had been constructed. There, they had plenty of room to climb trees and swim in the pool.
Richard and Rachel saw this work first hand whilst at The Treehouse. They met Raj, a 28-year-old monkey who has been living at The Treehouse for three years. As a baby, he was bought by a couple and kept in their flat. Soon he became too big and aggressive and began to destroy their flat. The couple bought a parrot cage where Raj lived until the couple died.
Only after this did Jo and John find out about Raj and rescued him. Raj lives a much more comfortable life at The Treehouse, but has never learnt to climb or swim and has trouble walking properly.
After seeing the fantastic work that is being carried out at The Treehouse, Richard and Rachel are donating £1100 raised by Animal Rescue Asia to The Primate Trust India.
Moving forward, Richard plans to continue his charity efforts working closer to home. Insight’s offices are in the centre of the City of London, an extremely affluent area. Coming in and out of work each day Richard finds it hard to reconcile this opulence with the level of homelessness on the streets. He hopes to begin working with a homelessness charity to help tackle this problem.
The Insight team support Richard in this, and are very proud of the great work both he and Rachel have done to date.
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