2022 has proved to have been a busy year for Vetlife, with all three of its support services experiencing an increase in demand. Vetlife provides a 24/7 confidential Helpline which is open to all members of the veterinary community including vet nurses, students, and other practice non-clinical staff. The Helpline received 3,503 contacts in 2022, up 3.3% from the 2021 total of 3,390.
The charity also delivers award winning mental health care through its Health Support service, which saw a 15.5% increase in referrals during 2022.
Most markedly, the Vetlife Financial Support service received a 236% increase in applications last year. Factors such as a greater awareness of the support available, and the cost-of-living crisis have contributed to this huge uplift. Additionally, due to an update to its Articles of Association in mid-2022, the charity is now also able to consider applications for financial help from veterinary nurses where previously only veterinary surgeons and their dependants were eligible. The increasing level of requests for supportive financial assistance has led to a need for Vetlife to employ a further staff member to process applications and for the charity to call on the veterinary community for yet further help in support of its work.
Reflecting on the figures of the previous year, Vetlife President Graham Dick highlighted the impacts on both the veterinary and veterinary nursing professions and called for renewed efforts to support the work of the charity. “There are a variety of reasons for the unprecedented demands we are facing” he said. “Some are an inevitable consequence of the current national economic backdrop and some specific to the particular stresses faced by veterinary services overall as they seek to meet client expectations in a difficult financial and social environment.”
He went on both to thank all those who have offered supportive funding during the year and also to highlight the need for yet more resources to meet the rising demands on the charity. “Whilst Vetlife will always be there to offer support to those in need, I also call on fellow professionals to do all they can to help maintain the necessary funding such support requires” he said. “Whether it be by joining as a member, by organising a fund raising event or by simple charitable donation, every pound raised will help us to maintain the services which have already assisted so many of our colleagues and will continue to do so in the future.”
How to support Vetlife
To continue to meet demand, Vetlife needs additional funding and is urging veterinary surgeons and nurses to become a Friend of Vetlife to support the charity through small regular giving.
By choosing to give just £4.20 a month, Friends of Vetlife play a vital role in enabling Vetlife to effectively plan and offer long offer term, sustainable support to the whole veterinary community.
To support Vetlife now please click here.