Independent practice scoops Wellbeing in Innovation award
An independent veterinary practice that had to furlough many of its staff during the height of the coronavirus pandemic is one of four recipients of the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) Wellbeing in Innovation Awards.
The Friendly Animal Clinic in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, said that it will use the £300 award to fund a 26-kilometre charity walk, designed to bring the practice team back together via some of Yorkshire's finest sights.
The RCVS MMI Innovation in Wellbeing scheme was launched in May to support innovative activities and projects that support employee wellbeing during COVID-19. The entries received showcased an array of ways that practices have been using technology to create a sense of togetherness.
Among the other recipients of the award include Crown Vets in Inverness, which trained up staff to be ‘Wellbeing Champions’ who can help colleagues with emotional support and coping strategies. The practice will use the award to organise a virtual bingo night for staff, including those on furlough, with prizes.
Millennium Vets in Braintree, Essex, organised a daily, online boot camp-style exercise class so that staff could continue to socialise while improving their physical and mental health. The practice will use the award to purchase exercise equipment so that staff members can continue to exercise together before or after work.
The final award was bestowed to The British Veterinary Ethnicity & Diversity Society (BVEDS) for starting an online fortnightly book group for its members to discuss books on racial justice. BVEDS said that it will use the award to start building up a lending library for its members.
Commenting on the scheme, Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters manager, said: “I received so many lovely emails as a result of this competition from people and practices who were using innovative ways to keep up that crucial sense of community and friendship that really makes a fantastic working environment, even during these strange and unprecedented times.
“We know that the coronavirus has caused a lot of stress and anxiety within the veterinary community, whether that’s due to increased financial worries, being furloughed or being isolated from friends and loved ones, but it has been very encouraging to see practices thinking of ways that they can bring their colleagues together and provide that much-needed support and interaction. I wish these practices all the best and congratulate them on their awards.”