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VN Futures Board appoints new chair
The VN Futures Board oversees and helps to coordinate the work of the VN Futures Initiative.

Racheal Marshall is the current chair of Veterinary Nurses Council

Racheal Marshall has been appointed as chair of the VN Futures Board, a collective that oversees and sets priorities for the VN Futures Initiative (VNF).

Ms Marshall, who is the current chair of Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council, took up the position at the fourth meeting of the Board, which took place at the Kennel Club’s offices in London in June. She will sit alongside VN Council vice-chair Liz Cox, BVNA president Wendy Nevins and BVNA vice-president Jo Hinde.

Launched in 2016 by the RCVS and the BVNA, the VN Futures Project aims to identify and draw up solutions to issues facing the veterinary nursing profession. The same year, the VNF published the VN Futures Report and Action Plan, which set out 31 actions under six broad strategic aims.

To see these actions through, six working groups were formed to look at the broad strategic areas. The VN Futures Board was established in June 2018 to oversee and help coordinate the work of these groups.

Wendy Nevins commented: “In its first 12 months, the VNF Board has really got to grips with the direction and legacy of the VN Futures initiative. The clarity and direction it has brought is reinvigorating the Working Groups. The next 12 months will see a real focus on delivery of the original findings of the VFN Futures initiative.”

During the meeting, the Board reviewed the first 12 months of its work and agreed on plans to communicate the gains that have been delivered so far. These include the development of two new Diplomas in Advanced Veterinary Nursing, more resources to help VNs and vets navigate Schedule 3 and the publication of career case studies to illustrate the diverse array of roles available in the profession.

Wendy added: “The VN Futures project has a fixed five-year horizon to make sure we keep focus on what the profession said it wanted – and needed – to be delivered. At the end it will be for the profession to decide how well this has been done – and what comes next.”

It was also agreed at the meeting that the Board would have a presence at the Royal Veterinary College’s Student Veterinary Nursing Fest as well as the BVNA and BSAVA Congresses.

Racheal Marshall said: “The energy and life of the VN Futures initiative comes from veterinary nurses so we are excited to be taking this back out to meet nurses and ask them for their thoughts and comments on how these issues – like career progression, further qualifications, and emerging agendas like One Health – matter to them.

"We are really looking forward to a busy program of congress events in order to hear from people!”

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."