The University is the proud winner of a 2020 Green Gown Award. The student-run veterinary clinic Vets in the Community (ViC) have won in the Benefitting Society category for their work in caring for the pets of the homeless and vulnerably housed in Nottingham.
The Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges and their role in enabling and empowering young people to tackle pressing global issues.
In the UK around 320,000 people are homeless, with that number on the rise. Many homeless people have pets, which can be a source of support and companionship. Their pets are important to them and have been shown to improve mental health, reduce social isolation and even prevent relapse into addiction and offending. However, access to veterinary care is a significant problem.
ViC provides veterinary care for these pets which in turn provides huge benefits to both the animal's and owner's welfare. Under supervision from qualified staff, veterinary students run the free service, providing vaccinations, flea and worm treatment, microchipping and general care.
Referrals come from homelessness services including the Big Issue, drop-in centres, drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, rape crisis, women’s aid, and the police.
The work of ViC means individuals don’t have to worry about how to feed their pets when things get tough, and they don’t have to go without food themselves in order to look after their animals.
Since launching in 2021, ViC has trained hundreds of veterinary students in compassionate care and have inspired similar projects at other UK vet schools. They also conduct research on pet ownership and homelessness to inform Government policy.
Jenny Stavisky, Clinical Assistant Professor and Founder of ViC said: "We are honoured to win this award, especially as we were alongside so many innovative and inspiring entries. We hope this award will help us to highlight some of the important issues around homelessness and pet ownership, and empower others to become involved in this area of work."
Watch the Vets in the Community video.
2021 nominations open
The 2021 Green Gown Awards are open for applications. The Awards provide an opportunity to be recognised for efforts to undertake innovative and inspiring sustainability work to create a brighter future for students.
Get in touch with the sustainability team and we can help support your application.
Posted on Wednesday 21st April 2021