2021 Vets4Pets Vet Graduate Programme Awards

From Emily, our Graduate Development Lead…

At Vets4Pets, we’re incredibly proud of our Graduate Development Programme and the hundreds of Vets who started their first years in practice with us. We therefore relish the opportunity to celebrate their achievements.

Every year we watch as 80 graduates leave university and join our practices, and each year we hear stories from their colleagues of what a wonderful addition they’ve made to the team - this year has been that times 10!

We have seen graduates across both of our cohorts thrown straight in at a deep end that we never even imagined existed. They had to consult in car parks, microchip wriggly puppies in a gown, gloves, mask and visor. Some graduates have made the jump into sole charge, others will have been working in bubbles and been a dual Vet, Nurse and Receptionist.

All in all, our graduates will have learnt skills that vets before them, including myself, will have taken years to develop, if ever.

So, onto the winners…

Graduate of the Year: Lauren Witter, Vets4Pets Wigan

We were looking for Graduates on the programme who have made an outstanding contribution to their practice. This might have been related to their clinical performance, through contributions to the practice culture or by overcoming adversity or through innovative ideas they’ve introduced to their practice.

We were thrilled to have received 28 nominations in total for this really special award, highlighting what a truly incredible job all of our graduates are doing!

Lauren received an amazing 11 nominations from her colleagues in practice, all of them incredibly proud and honoured to have Lauren as part of their team.

Hayley, JVP at Wigan said:

“Lauren is a fantastic vet and a very valued member of our team. Lauren comes into work every morning with a fantastic smile and a positive outlook, nothing is ever too much trouble and she is a brilliant team player. Lauren worked all the way through the global pandemic and showed that she is resilient and adaptable in her approach to our new ways of working. Lauren always puts her patients first and has an excellent bedside manner, and often receives glowing feedback from her clients. Lauren is a joy to be around and makes me very proud that she is part of our team.”

Graduate Practice of the Year: Companion Care Burgess Hill

We were looking for outstanding practices who have consistently gone above and beyond to support their graduate colleague. Not only did they need to have a supportive culture and ethos throughout the practice, but they would create an optimal learning environment and involve the whole team in this. 

We loved reading all the nominations from Graduates and team members, here’s one from Burgess Hill…

“I am very fortunate to work within a supportive practice where all members of the team from reception, admin, nurses, and vets look out for each other. Especially throughout lockdown, we would check in with each other, even if only for a few minutes over a tea” 

Individual Recognition Award: Matt Link and Leigh-Anne Brown

We added this award this year to allow us to celebrate those individuals who go above and beyond to support graduates and, by doing so, can have a positive impact on their whole careers. Reading all the nominations clearly demonstrated just how much the graduates appreciate the people that support them every day.  

Here’s what Kirsty French, 2019 Grad had to say about her mentor Matt Link…

“I would like to nominate my mentor Matt for the individual recognition award.  I feel that the people who consistently provide support and care are often overlooked because it’s just accepted that they will always be there.  Matt is one of those people.  From my time doing EMS as a student to my first 18 month in practice he has provided unwavering support. He listens to my sometimes-endless questions and concerns, never seeming judgemental or annoyed, and always encouraging me to find the positives and focus less on the negatives. Even on the busiest of days he finds time to provide clinical advice or surgical assistance.  He celebrates the little wins as much as I do and makes me laugh at myself when I need to.  Often he has more confidence in my abilities then I do and has always gone above and beyond to ensure I meet my potential.  He pushes me out of my comfort zone but provides a support network and a no blame culture if things don’t go quite as planned.  He always has an encouraging piece of advice!  Matt provides support not only to myself but as senior vet he supports the entire team. He is a pillar of trust, positivity, and confidence for the entire practice. I honestly don’t think I could have gotten through my first 18 months in practice without his knowledge, patience, and genuine kindness. I am extremely grateful to have him as a mentor and hope that one day I can do the same for a new graduate vet”

Lucy Clarkson, another one of our 2019 graduates who nominated her JVP, Leigh-Anne Brown…

“Leigh-Anne should win this award for multiple reasons! I have known her for roughly 10 years now and she has always had an active role in my veterinary studies and now journey as a new grad. She knows my strengths and my weaknesses but is always available to offer help or support in whatever capacity I need it! Even if that's a Saturday evening facetime whilst I am scrubbed in to a surgery...! She is approachable and I know has my best interests as a vet and as a human being at the forefront of her mind- I had to have pretty much immediate leave due to a surgery with little notice and she didn't bat an eyelid and didn't make it into an issue- I know that not everyone's boss is so accommodating. Leigh Anne is an amazing vet and I one day aspire to have the knowledge she keeps in her brain and skills with surgery”

As ever, a huge well done goes to all our nominees and winners. In a challenging year every single one of them has really stepped up and supported one another and they are an inspiration to us all.

Bring on our 2022 Graduate Awards!

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