Recognising achievement and celebrating success is an important part of the Vets Now ethos. This was summed up when the company’s clinical and support staff gathered in snowbound Harrogate for the annual MAD awards.

Vets Now staff who go above and beyond for their patients and colleagues have been recognised at a special awards ceremony. The Making a Difference, or MAD, awards saw plaudits handed to staff members and teams for their hard work and dedication.

The glittering event, at Harrogate’s Majestic Hotel, was hosted by chairman Richard Dixon and joint managing directors Fiona Dewar and Mark Ross. The awards demonstrated the commitment of Vets Now staff to giving people and their pets the care and support they deserve, at the time they need it most.

This year more than 2,000 nominations were received. Richard said: “These unsung heroes of the business are all people for whom going the extra mile is all in a day’s work. The record number of nominations sums up just how fantastic the entire Vets Now team is and how much people are valued by their colleagues.”

The award nominees were split into two groups, representing clinical and support, with each vying for a win in one of four categories.

Those were innovation, caring, releasing potential and taking responsibility —­ the values every member of staff at Vets Now is encouraged to uphold.

There was also a special acknowledgement for senior clinical mentor Ava Firth, who has been with Vets Now for 12 years and helped pioneer its acclaimed training programme.

Ava is held in the highest esteem by everyone in the veterinary profession for her commitment to excellence and her award was met with enthusiastic applause.

There was an equally big cheer for IT analyst Michael Whyte who won the support award for taking responsibility. Colleagues

told how Michael had worked round-the-clock to make sure the roll-out of a recent telecommunications project went to plan.

He was also praised for always conducting himself in a calm, approachable manner even when taking ownership of sometimes stressful situations.

Michael said: “To be honest, I’m not sure I deserved an award for doing my job but it was an honour to be nominated. Everyone at Vets Now is committed to our customers and their pets no matter whether they’re in the support team or are frontline vets and nurses.”

Another popular winner was district vet Liron Levy-Hirsch who was nominated several times across all four categories. He picked up a gong for supporting and mentoring his team to reach their full potential.

One of those who recommended Liron for an award summed him up when he said: “Liron is a great district vet, but an even better person”.

One of the two innovation awards went to marketing manager Julia McLean.

She was commended for revamping the MAD awards, being a great team player, and also for assuming responsibility for many tasks with no fuss.

The other was handed to specialist veterinary surgeon Neil Forbes, who works in Swindon, for the “fantastic contribution” he has made to Vets Now’s approach to treating exotic animals.

Other award winners on the night were senior nurse manager Helen Lloyd, district vet Rebecca Pope, senior vet Anton Thompson and senior nurse manager Calum Marshall, who picked up a joint award, and senior nurse manager Sophie Bedford.

More photos from the annual ECC Congress can be found here.