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Vetlife team climbs O2 arena
Pictured: The brave team at the top of the O2 arena.
The climb is part of fundraising campaign Vetlife Day. 

A group of team members and volunteers from Vetlife, BVA, VDS and Summit have climbed the O2 arena in London to raise money for the veterinary charity Vetlife.

The team took on the challenge in as part of the organisation's Vetlife Day campaign, which asks the veterinary community to dedicate one day this year to fundraise for Vetlife. 

On their JustGiving page, the team have raised over £6,500 and the Veterinary Defence Society has pledged to match fund a further £2,000 – bringing the total raised so far to over £8,500.

Eve Ritchie, Vetlife communications officer, commented on the climb: “It was brilliant to get so many supporters together for a day of challenge and fundraising. It was quite hair raising ascending the roof given how windy it was. 

“A few of our climbers were afraid of heights, making their achievement even more inspiring! We’re really grateful to everyone who took part and donated.”

Vetlife provides independent support service to those in the veterinary community who need it, with a confidential helpline for emotional support, Vetlife Health Support for those struggling with health issues in the community and Vetlife Financial Support for those with severe financial difficulties. 

Knowing the importance of Vetlife's work, BVA membership marketing manager Katharina Blakemore undertook the O2 climb despite her fear of heights. She said: “I’m terrified of heights and didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it on the day. 

“Focussing on the amount we were raising and promoting Vetlife really helped as a distraction! 

“I’m not a vet myself but working at BVA I really see the value of Vetlife’s support for the profession. It was a great opportunity to get sponsorship to help fund their services.”

Donor relations manager Emma Helbert is encouraging people to get involved in the Vetlife Day campaign: “We hope we have inspired others to hold a Vetlife Day too. 

“A big thank you to our fantastic supporters who joined us on the day; VDS for their match funding donation and all those who have sponsored the team. We are blown away by their generosity.”

Tips and inspiration on how to hold your own Vetlife Day can be found on the Vetlife website. You can get in touch with Vetlife at fundraising@vetlife.org.uk with any questions.

If you're struggling, the Vetlife Helpline is available to call any time, any day. Call 0303 040 2511, or use the anonymous email service here

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World Bee Day celebrations begin

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 Today (20 May) marks the fifth annual World Bee Day, which raises awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators to people and the planet. Observed on the anniversary of pioneering Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jana's birthday, this year's celebration is themed: 'Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems'.

Organisations and people celebrating the day will raise awareness of the accelerated decline in pollinator diversity, and highlight the importance of sustainable beekeeping systems and a wide variety of bees. Slovenia, the initiator of World Bee Day, will be focusing on teaching young people about the significance of pollinators. 

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