Adventurer Darren Edwards to headline 2023 VMG Congress - Veterinary Practice
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Adventurer Darren Edwards to headline 2023 VMG Congress

Darren Edwards, a record-breaking adventurer and specialist in resilience and mental toughness, will be the keynote speaker at VMG Congress 2023

Mountaineer and army reservist Darren Edward’s life changed in 2016 when he was involved in a near-fatal climbing accident that left him paralysed from the chest down. 

Since then, Darren Edwards has worked to challenge the perception of what those with a disability can achieve by leading a series of record-breaking expeditions.  

During his talk at the Veterinary Management Group (VMG) Congress 2023, Darren will remind delegates that nothing can be achieved without a resilient mindset and will encourage them to think – and act – differently.

Commenting VMG director Liz Somerville said: “We wanted our keynote speaker to epitomise the resilience, determination and inclusivity that is vital to the future of the veterinary profession.

“We believe that Darren Edwards will motivate us all with his personal story of overcoming adversity and building mental toughness, which he will tell with humour, honesty and his infectious enthusiasm.”

The VMG Congress website, with full details of the programme and ticket pricing, has now been launched.

Congress programme  

The first day features streams on developing “Our Purpose, Our Clients and Our Selves”. Seesion wil ldive into exploring how to find your purpose, using social media to educate your clients and managing your time and energy. 

Day Two focuses on “Our People, Our Workplaces and Our Future”. Sessions will include supporting neurodiverse staff, instilling a culture of kindness in your workplace and how to develop your employer brand to attract new team members. 

The programme will conclude with sessions exploring what the future could hold for the veterinary sector and how leaders can bring about change in their organisations.

Speakers include:

  • Jack Kennedy, UK economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, will discuss Indeed’s data on how Gen Z look for work and what we can learn from it
  • Helen Hannar, RN, director of nursing, occupational health Specialist and MHFA trainer, will lead a session on boosting your personal resilience in a tough industry
  • Ruth Downs, financial advisor, will present “how to manage your personal finances: taxes, savings, and pensions”, and will be available for mini-consultations all day
  • Amy Martin, RVN, Holly House Vets, will discuss “Schwartz Rounds: How to debrief your team after a challenging or emotional event in practice”

On the second day, delegates will be invited to a breakfast “Walk and talk” session with the VMG team along the River Avon, during which they will discuss learnings from Day One and plans for Day Two. 

The social programme includes a networking event on the evening before Congress and The President’s Dinner on Thursday evening.

Commenting Liz Somerville said: “We have relished the opportunity to completely rethink the format, content and style of our Congress to ensure that it fully meets the evolving personal and professional development needs of our delegates.

“At a time when pressure is continuing to mount on the veterinary sector and the dedicated professionals working within it, we are offering a fresh, innovative and practical programme to inspire our delegates to deliver immediate tangible outcomes for their practice and their team.”

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