BSAVA applauds its volunteers during National Volunteers Week

During National Volunteers Week (1 – 7 June) the BSAVA is recognising the contributions that their volunteers make to the association.

From student representatives from different universities to the Trustee Board, the BSAVA has more than 150 volunteers helping to run the association. In their 12 Regional Committees, volunteers help to organise CPD which are both online and in person. Many are part of the BSAVA’s Working Committees which cover the key elements of the association including  Publications, Scientific, Education, PetSavers Management and Congress.

There are many reasons why people decide to volunteer at the BSAVA, but mostly it is to give something back to the profession, the networking opportunities and recognition of the career development opportunities that volunteering can provide.

The BSAVA’s Volunteer Development Committee is there to ensure that the volunteers are in a post that is of the most interest to them. As part of the Development Committee, the BSAVA is providing volunteers with a Volunteer Development Programme, which will offer training opportunities and allow them to develop skills which they can use in other aspects of their life, and also in different roles within the organisation. 

BSAVA volunteers
Image by Guy Hinks. BSAVA Scottish Congress 3 Sep 2016, SECC, Glasgow. See copyright and usage clauses of the metadata.

Susan Dawson, Chair of the Volunteer Development Committee said: “I am delighted to be joining the heart of the BSAVA volunteer family as chair of the volunteer development committee. 

“As a past-president of the association I have experienced all the benefits that can be gained from being a BSAVA volunteer – having fun, making friends, and making a difference. I look forward to working with everyone to provide equal opportunities for all our members to become BSAVA volunteers in whatever capacity works best for them.”

BSAVA’s current president, Sheldon Middleton, reached his role through getting involved at a member-facing regional level in 2007, and worked as the Treasurer and Secretary during that time. In 2011, Sheldon took on a new role within the Association as Regional Representative, before he became Chair of the Membership Development Committee. 

Sheldon expressed an interest in learning more about finance, and with the support from the BSAVA this led to him taking on the role of Honorary Treasurer before becoming President of the organisation. Being part of the PDP Committee and editing the new graduate pocketbook were some of the roles he has been involved in. Sheldon’s variety of roles within the organisations shows the possibilities that can arise from volunteering.

Sheldon Middleton said: “I started volunteering soon after leaving university and BSAVA’s regional network allowed me to replicate the sense of community I had whilst studying.  Volunteering has given me the opportunity to work with and learn from people I would not have come across in the course of my day job.”

“I have developed new skills that have been directly applicable to my career as a veterinary surgeon and practice principal such as financial management and leadership. The friends I’ve made along the way provided invaluable personal and professional support and are still only an email away.”

Speaking about the volunteers, Carole Haile, Volunteers Manager said: “Our wonderful volunteers are the heart of the BSAVA. Each one is an important cog in the larger machine and we would not be able to operate without them.

“It goes without saying that volunteers have played a key role in the pandemic response and Volunteers Week is a time for us to come together and thank all our volunteers for their invaluable contribution.”

To find out more about volunteering opportunities at the BSAVA, contact Carole at become a BSAVA member, visit the website here.

Read more articles on the BSAVA here.