VET Festival has always been so much more than just another CPD event. These two days are all about providing food for the heart, mind and soul of the veterinary professional in a beautiful grassy field with a genuine sense of community. One delegate that I had never met before said that he had been in the profession all of his life but had never felt a sense of belonging until now. This meant the world to me.

The atmosphere in Loseley Park this year was buzzing – full of enthusiasm, inspiration, relaxation and fun, all at the same time as delivering world-class knowledge from global leaders with a wealth of experience which can’t be learned from books. Delegates were universally thrilled and excited to be there. The format was relaxed and the outdoor environment contributed to their willingness and ability to absorb the subject matters.

The theme of Wellness was extraordinarily well received and the community of compassion we are trying to build for the greater good of the profession – and for wider society – resonated with absolutely everyone that attended. It was a privilege to be able to talk to Russell Brand about the struggles that everyone has in life and to relate that to veterinary professionals who can often feel stressed, lonely, isolated and depressed. Mental health issues are at an all-time high in our profession and what was really great is that together we looked in the mirror and wanted to do the very best we can for each other.

My sincere hope is that everyone takes a little bit of the love and fulfilment they felt at the VET Festival inside them back into their professional lives as a ray of light in difficult times. We really are all in it together. We give so much of ourselves to our patients and our clients and it was lovely to see at The VET Festival that in both academic learning and in our professional collegiality we felt a common sense of joy. We’re lucky to be part of what I consider the greatest profession on planet earth and for these two days every year, we celebrate this. The vibe in the field came as a much-needed reminder of why we all joined the profession in the first place. We will continue with this event to promote and protect wellness in our profession, so we can be the best we can be in providing for the families and the patients we are lucky enough to serve.

All of the people in the field made the event what it was, and many people said to me that they had the absolute best time, which was the reason I set out to do it in the first place – to listen to what the profession want from lectures and atmosphere to environment and food. My commitment to the profession and to the animals we serve is that the VET Festival will always be about them and the finances will always go toward their benefit.

This year I genuinely feel that we gave the veterinary profession a little ball of unconditional love to hold within themselves and to pass on to others – just like we do every day for our clients and for the animals they love. I really hope that we have set a new standard for the delivery of education and inspiration, and one thing I know for sure — we had a fabulous time in the process. I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Find out more about The VET Festival