Avairy and Small Animals

Our Aviary and Small Animals Department looks after a wide variety of small animals, poultry and exotic birds.

Every young person who works in this department has the opportunity to:

  • Work with small animals and birds to carry out a range of tasks including feeding and cleaning accommodation, grooming, handling and health care.
  • Understand the importance of animal welfare.
  • Work towards an SVQ in animal care.
  • Prepare for and compete in local fur and feather shows.  The department has had significant success in this in recent years, coming away from shows with trophies and awards in various categories.

We also organise group activities to help develop social skills including an opportunity to take part in an annual trip involving over-night stays. Our focus on training and essential life skills, with a view to maximising the opportunities that are available to our young people as they prepare to move on from Cantraybridge, is enhanced through recognising that:

  • Just being around animals and caring for them can be hugely beneficial both physically and mentally.  It is now well documented that holding and stroking animals can relieve feelings of tension and anxiety.
  • Animal assisted interventions can be used to help with maintaining mobility and improving co-ordination and people can learn transferrable skills to assist them in daily life.
  • Animals can promote a sense of responsibility and empathy with others.
  • Animals can combat loneliness and encourage social integration. 
  • Animals can promote self-esteem, independence and self-confidence.

Aviary and Small Animals Enabler - Donna MacDonald

Donna's background is in care services and joined Cantraybridge in 2006 as a Support Worker, but her interest in animal care led her to undertaking a range of qualifications which in turn led to her appointment as Enabler in 2015.  Donna's role includes the care of birds, rabbits, hamsters and a bearded dragon.

Supporting young adults to reach their potential

About the College

Cantraybridge promotes the skills and talents of young people with disabilities. We champion the rights of young people by creating opportunities to learn and grow.


We support our students to develop skills equipping them for work. We empower our young people through a managed transition from college to enhance their employability.

Independent Living

We provide accommodation for 20 students attending College. Residents develop their independent living skills whilst they are here in preparation for living in a place of their own.

Social Enterprise

Our Social Enterprise includes Cantraybridge Cafe and Venue Hire, our Market Garden and the visitor facilities at our Aviary department. We are open from Monday to Friday 12pm - 2pm

Latest news from Cantraybridge

4th October 2016

Engaging with employers

We hosted our recent Employers' Event, organised by Transitions Out Officer Alison Spriggs.  The event was delivered by Alison along with a team of students - Kerry, Dean, Joe, Laura, Laura...

13th September 2016

Celebrating success!

We recently held our first annual student and staff awards.  we invited nominations from our whole team for awards in a number of categories covering each of our student college teams, our...