More than 50 staff and students from The University of Nottingham’s Vet School are running the Robin Hood marathon this Sunday to raise money for their ‘Vets in the Community’ project.
The project was set up in 2012 and provides free pet clinics for homeless and temporarily-housed pet owners in Nottingham. Founding Clinical Director, Dr Jenny Stavisky and her team of vet students offer free routine veterinary care and since its inception more than 400 consultations have taken place involving more than 100 students.
Dr Stavisky said: “54 students and staff will be running the Robin Hood half and full marathons this weekend which we hope will raise vital funds to help our work with homeless pet owners to continue. We provide a valuable community service and a much-appreciated opportunity for students to have hands-on practice under the supervision of vets.”
The free treatments provided by the charity include flea and worming prevention, vaccinations, and microchipping, as well as providing medicine for ailments like eye and ear infections. Neutering vouchers are provided through partnerships with Dogs Trust and Cats Protection.
The project is currently funded by a University of Nottingham Impact grant, but as this expires at the end of 2015, student fundraising has been crucial to ensure survival of the project. The student veterinary society (Vet Soc) have organised the team, with support from their sponsors Hills and Vets4Pets. The team is fundraising on a JustGiving page, hoping to reach a target of £800.
The students hope that a raffle, including donated prizes from celebrity vets, Emma Milne, Marc Abraham and Cathy Woodhams, will help them towards their goal, but also welcome support from individual sponsors to hit their fundraising target.
Many of the runners have never trained for a marathon before, but are excited to be taking on the challenge and supporting a local charitable cause. Other, more experienced runners will be aiming for ‘personal bests’, in the race to raise money and awareness.
Lucy Burns, Vet Soc Charities Officer, said: “Having never been into running before, it’s so motivating to feel part of a big group, and even more to be running for a charity that’s so close to us all”.
Francesca Davidson, student president of ‘Vets in the Community,’ added: “We were amazed at the number of runners who wanted to be involved — I think it shows how keen the students are to support a community project, and how much they enjoy being part of the clinics”.
Social media and university website for Vets in the Community: https://www.facebook.com/vetsinthecommunitywww.facebook.com/vetsinthecommunity%20
· Twitter: @vetsincommunity
· Instagram: vetsinthecommunity
Vets in the Community website:
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings, and 8th in the UK by research power according to REF 2014.
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