Mates Appreciation Day!

The last Friday of the Welsh October half term is a special day at science made simple – an extra holiday! Four years ago it was decided that all science made simple staff would have this extra day off to catch up with friends and family that maybe we haven’t been able to see for a while.

Sometimes it can be difficult to spend enough time with those we love, and this day is a reminder of the other important things in life besides our wonderful jobs!

science made simple and space made simple at our 2015 staff retreat playing team building games!

science made simple and space made simple at our 2015 staff retreat playing team building games!

How did M.A.Day come about?

A few years ago, science made simple staff went through a very difficult time which made us really appreciate just how important our friends and families are. We wanted to dedicate a whole day in our calendars to celebrating those nearest and dearest to us, because they may not always be around.

Why not ask your employer for a M.A.Day at your place of work? After all, there are other important things in life besides work!

The importance of friends and family

A newborn calf being cleaned by its mother. All rights reserved: Tim Smithers

A newborn calf being cleaned by its mother. All rights reserved: Tim Smithers

Many animals including humans are very social. This social behaviour can bring joy, rivalry, camaraderie, courtship, and friendship. It has been documented that many animals form strong friendship bonds.

Cows have best friends and become distressed when they are separated; female Bechstein’s bats can have more than 20 preferred bats out of the hundreds in their colony; and in Switzerland it is actually illegal to only keep one guinea pig as a pet because it will get lonely, you must have a minimum of two because they are such social creatures! If one guinea pig passes away, you can stay on the right side of the law by renting a guinea pig to keep yours company.

Guinea pigs are very social, don't keep one on it's own! All rights reserved Becca Smithers.

Guinea pigs are very social, don’t keep one on it’s own! All rights reserved Becca Smithers.

Many animals survive as groups such as packs of wolves, shoals of fish, and herds of antelope. These animals work together, show affection, and fight together to survive; protecting and supporting their friends and family. Alturism is where an animal will help

to raise and protect offspring that are not their own but they often share some DNA; this is common in lots of animals. Aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and grandparents play a huge role in animal and human lives.

Family units provide humans with support. There have been studies suggesting that close sibling relationships help stave off depression; chatting with your mother can reduce stress; and your friends and family can improve your healthy choices! This day is dedicated our friends and family and telling them how great they are and how much they mean to us.

How will some of our staff be spending M.A.Day?

Leanne is settling back into Milton Keynes and will be visiting her friends in their new house.

Becca will be travelling back home to visit her brother and an old school friend.

Wendy and Dan will be travelling to Oxford with their children, catching up with Wendy’s friend who was her bridesmaid, and spending the day at Cotswold Wildlife Park spotting some lemurs and meerkats.

James will be celebrating his one year wedding anniversary! Congratulations! He will also be visiting some old university friends.

Zoë will continue unpacking in her new house with her husband preparing for friends to visit over the weekend.

Farhin will be spending time with her family and playing with her neices.

Becky will be meeting up with her friends and colleagues from Damsels in Success at their meeting in Warwick.

Gaz will be visiting some friends in Aberystwyth…or if the weather looks good he might be hiking up Cnicht in Snowdonia!

David is busy with a booking on this day, but will be having a lovely restful day on Saturday before heading off to India with Debbie to run science communication training.


Today, tell your friends and family how wonderful they are in honour of Mates Appreciation Day!



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