VetPartners colleagues join forces to run, walk and cycle 3,139 miles to raise £5k for charity

TWO charities are set for a welcome windfall – thanks to the mammoth fundraising efforts of VetPartners.

 Colleagues from VetPartners, which has 140 of the UK’s most respected veterinary practices, joined forces to clock up 3,139 miles – the distance from Portsmouth, USA, to the company’s headquarters in York.

Throughout November, they ran, walked, cycled or rode on horseback the distance, recording individual mileage on the Strava mobile phone app until they had completed the distance, raising £5,020.

Those taking part included vets, veterinary nurses, receptionists and practice administrators, as well as members of VetPartners’ central support team at the company’s headquarters in York.

Judy Scrine, clinical director at Mayes & Scrine Equine Vets in Horsham, Sussex, completed six marathons and ran 311 miles during November. Andy MacGregor, clinical director at Ashlands Vets in West Yorkshire, and his wife Anne, practice manager, cycled and walked 1175.16 miles, climbing 60,000ft.

Another fantastic feat was achieved by Helen Mason, a receptionist at Prince Bishop Vets in County Durham, who walked 173 miles in the Yorkshire Dales.

Donations made through a JustGiving page and a £2,000 donation from pharmaceutical company MSD will be divided between Pets As Therapy (PAT) and veterinary charity Vetlife.

PAT supports communities through the visit of trusted volunteers and pets to hospitals, hospices, special needs schools and nursing and care homes. Vetlife provides free and confidential support to anyone in the UK veterinary community who has emotional, health or financial problems.

VetPartners, which has 5,514 employees working in more than 400 sites, challenged their teams in regions and species groups to complete as many miles as possible and the overall winner was the equine team.

Organiser Kayley Metcalfe, operations coordinator at VetPartners, pictured, said: “We have practices all over the UK but we are a close-knit company with a family atmosphere, and it has been fantastic to see everyone pulling together for two great causes during what has been a challenging year for everyone due to Covid-19.

“We have had a lot of fun raising money for two fantastic charities, which are close to our hearts, and it has helped to bring us all closer together as colleagues. It was a great way to boost fitness and wellbeing, as well as focus on our charitable efforts for 2020.”

Clinical director Kerry Lambert, from Ashworth Vets in Hampshire, said: “Because of this fundraising challenge, our team members were doing more exercise than they would ever normally do. The 12 colleagues taking part achieved more than 1,000 miles over three weeks. It was great to bond Ashworth’s branches over an exciting goal and increase chat between colleagues who may not usually have opportunity. We are now keen for the next fundraising event.”

VetPartners is committed to raising funds for various charities and organisations across its practices and central team.

PAT is the group’s chosen charity for 2020 and 2021, while they have ongoing support for Vetife.

PAT brings joy, comfort and companionship to many individuals, who appreciate being able to touch and stroke a friendly animal. Many people benefit from this unique experience and the results are outstanding.

Vetlife provides independent, confidential and free help via a helpline that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. Everyone in the veterinary community is welcome to contact the helpline for support and it is run by trained volunteers, all of whom are veterinary professionals.

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