Vets, vet nurses and support staff win praise for their hard work and dedication

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 event, at Harrogate’s Majestic Hotel, was hosted by chairman Richard Dixon and chief executive 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 1000 nominations were received, with 53 finalists shortlisted across 11 awards.

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Richard said: “The MAD awards are about celebrating all the people in the organisation who have made a difference to their colleagues and, of course, shown great dedication to caring for pets up and down the country.

“These unsung heroes are all people for whom going the extra mile is all in a day’s work. The huge 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.

Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night went to Kath Howie, head nurse in Farnham, who won two separate awards – the first time this has happened – for caring and taking responsibility.

Staff from Vets Now in Glasgow picking up their MAD award
Staff from Vets Now in Glasgow picking up their 'team of stars' award

Colleagues described Kath as a “living legend” and a “shining example of leadership” and said she’d made a huge difference to young vets and vet nurses, caring for them as people as well as professionals.

Kath was also praised for brilliantly running one of the busiest out-of-hours emergency clinics in the country while continuing to support and mentor her team. One of the nominators went as far as saying ‘when I grow up, I want to be just like her’.

Kath said: “It was very humbling to have my name called out twice, partly because the nominations were full of completely amazing people, and partly because it meant the people I work with most closely took the time to nominate me.

“I’m still completely overwhelmed by it all. It came as a surprise to be a finalist in one category let alone two and I’d no idea this was the first time one person had won two awards.”

17 Vets Now staff received 'emperor penguin' awards for completing 10 years' service

The support star award winner in the caring category went to district manager Charlotte Lea-Atkin while Jayne Potter, clinic administrator in Sheffield, won the same award for responsibility.

Vet surgeon Alison Patrick and district vet Jacqui Seymour picked up the gongs for supporting and mentoring people to reach their full potential, and vet surgeon Louise Littler and district vet Richard White took the honours for innovation.

This year saw the introduction of a new award for exceptional service to our clients and this was picked up by Manchester receptionist Laura-Jane Bates. The final MAD awards of the evening were reserved for our clinical and support office teams of stars. These went to the brilliant Glasgow hospital staff and the ever-industrious locum network.

There was also a presentation to staff who had completed five, 10 and 15 years’ of service, with almost 60 people receiving recognition across all three landmarks.