A MINI beast company is going from strength to strength and has been offering workshops during the school summer holidays.
Carrie Alcock, who lives in Tean, has been running 'Rent A Beast' since February and the company is going so strong that she has now employed a new team member in Ellen Roney.
Carrie, who now has around 300 mini-beasts, rents out the creatures to schools, nurseries and other organisations. he also ran a successful holiday club over the summer at Christchurch Hall in Tean.
Carrie, pictured above at one of her workshops, said: "We also do children's parties, events, and other things like that.
"The summer club has been very popular. Each workshop focused on different mini-beasts and included crafts and games as well as the chance for the children to hold the mini-beasts.
"I aim to host further workshops in Tean during the next school holiday."
Carrie is also on the look out for any other organisations which would like to use her services. She said: "We offer many different services that all emphasize the importance of correct animal care.
"We aim to help people learn in an interactive and fun way through first hand experience and provide everyone with the opportunity to learn how amazing it is to be able to care for another living thing.
"The ethos of Rent a Beast is to engage people and teach them about the importance of correct animal welfare.
"Whether it's an insect or a mammal, the principle of correct care is the same: correct feeding, enrichment, suitable accommodation and daily maintenance.
"By allowing people to experience this, it can then be transferred to other pets and promote high standards of animal welfare."
Rent a Beast started off as a simple idea to allow schools and nurseries to experience looking after mini beasts that fits in with the national curriculum.
Carrie, a Zoologist and Exotic Animal Management lecturer, has worked in a variety of animal care industries including vets, catteries, wildlife rehabilitation centres, equine yards, zoos and animal welfare charities.
She acquired the National Diploma in Animal management at Rodbaston college and Bsc (hons) Zoology degree at Leeds University.
Then she settled into working with a variety of exotic animals during the years spent as a zoo keeper.
This then lead Carrie into her career as an animal management lecturer at Derby College, specialising in Zoological Health and Husbandry. Ten years later with two children under the belt, the idea of Rent a Beast was born.
Carrie said: "The response to Rent a Beast has been overwhelming and soon our new team member Ellen Roney came on board.
"Ellen, a long standing good friend and work colleague of mine, also has experience in many areas of animal care including zoo keeping, veterinary nurse, and animal care lecturer. She is also qualified in child care."
Rent a Beast now provides a wide range of services including pet schemes, chick incubation hire and mini beast parties.
Carrie said: "We have an exciting future ahead of us working alongside Alton towers, Pet Nation, London pet show and the Pet Show at Stoneleigh Park."
For further information: www.rentabeast.org.