Vets4Pets recently held a virtual awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of its graduates and the commitment shown by colleagues across its Group to helping newly-qualified vets grow, develop and gain confidence during their first few years in practice.
The event focused on the finalists and winners of Vets4Pets’ annual Graduate Practice of the Year and Graduate of the Year awards. It also gave a special recognition award to acknowledge a particular practice’s exemplary commitment to new grads throughout the years.
More than 50 people attended the virtually-hosted event, including the nominees, Vets4Pets Joint Venture Partners, the Group’s executive team and special guest Daniella Dos Santos, the President of the BVA.
The 2020 winners:
- Graduate Practice of the Year: Vets4Pets Cardiff Bay
- Graduate of the Year: Diana Cavaleiro, Vets4Pets Maldon
- Special Recognition Award: Vets4Pets Falkirk
Emily Bridges, a Veterinary Surgeon and Vets4Pets’ Graduate Programme Lead, said: “This a particularly difficult and stressful time for everyone, so it was brilliant to come together, albeit only virtually, as a Vets4Pets community to celebrate the fantastic achievements of our grads and to showcase the tremendous commitment our colleagues have to helping our grads grow and develop.
Graduate Practice of the Year: Vets4Pets Cardiff Bay
This award recognises a practice that goes above and beyond to foster a nurturing support network and inclusive working environment for its graduates.
Helen Navran, the practice’s co-Joint Venture Partner and Veterinary Nurse said: “We were surprised and delighted to even be nominated for this award, let alone win. It was a very proud moment for our entire team.
“The Vets4Pets Graduate Programme is something our practice is very passionate about. It has brought us two incredible young vets who have become an integral part of our team, bringing with them a dynamic and positive energy.”
Samantha Bird, co-Joint Venture Partner and Veterinary Surgeon at Vets4Pets Cardiff Bay, added: “For us, animal welfare is the most important foundation to our job, and in order to continue providing a high level of animal welfare in the UK, we need great vets. This is something we are hopefully helping to achieve by supporting the next generation of vets.”
Lorna Beeley, a Vets4Pets vet grad who nominated the practice, said: “I’ve been lucky to be part of Cardiff Bay’s phenomenally talented veterinary team and family for two years. I nominated them as I really wanted them to receive the acknowledgement they deserve.”
Graduate of the Year: Diana Cavaleiro, Vets4Pets Maldon
This award, which received more than 45 nominations, recognises graduates who have worked hard clinically and personally during the year to overcome challenges and integrate themselves within their practice and team.
Diana joined Vets4Pets Maldon in August 2018, having moved to the UK from Portugal.
Diana said: “Winning this award was really important for me. I never expected to win, and when I did, I felt love for everyone who recognised my work and thought I deserved this award.
“My colleagues at Vets4Pets Maldon have really helped me to progress and have helped me become more confident with my English. Everyone has played a role, including the kind and helpful receptionists, the experienced vets who share their knowledge, our amazing and patient nurses, and our Practice Manager Jane.
“The Graduate Programme has provided me the opportunity to develop my clinical skills and my non-clinical skills, which are so important in this profession. It’s also enabled me to meet other grads and for us to share our experiences, which helps our mental health. The programme has made my journey much easier and helped me to become the vet I am today.”
Vets4Pets Maldon’s Practice Manager Jane Hayden said: “Diana has an amazing way with clients and has developed a wonderful bedside manner that shows she really cares.
“Diana has also developed an interest in ultrasound and has attended several CPD events to aid her in her development and is now able to provide support to her more experienced colleagues in this area of diagnostics.
“I am so proud that Diana is part of our team. I am confident she will flourish in her career.”
Special Recognition Award: Vets4Pets Falkirk
Vets4Pets Falkirk received a special recognition award for its outstanding, and ongoing, contributions to helping vet graduates.
Samantha Kurt, lead vet for the practice said: “I was totally surprised when our name was announced. Our entire team works really hard with new grads to help them become the best they can be, so this is a fantastic recognition for all of us.
“When I was a new grad, I was extremely lucky to have supportive bosses who helped me to build a successful career. I know many new vets don’t experience that, and I’ve heard some horror stories, which just makes me want to step in and help. It’s not fair to newly qualified vets, if don’t receive the support they need.”
Veterinary Surgeon and Vets4Pets Clinical Development Manager for the North, Orly Simkin added: “The team at Vets4Pets Falkirk are always keen to provide a welcoming, safe environment for learning. They have a real passion for mentoring and supporting less experienced colleagues.”
Emily concluded: “I think for those in the veterinary profession, especially new graduates, it can be easy to compare yourself to others and concentrate on what goes wrong rather than celebrate successes. I hope this event and these awards helped everyone to focus on and celebrate positive experiences and areas of growth and achievements, especially during this particularly challenging time.”