More than two hundred vets and veterinary nurses from practices around the south-west gathered at Kingsley Village, Cornwall, on February 26 to learn from experts and raise funds for a new children’s hospice.

More than two hundred vets and veterinary nurses from practices around the south-west gathered at Kingsley Village, Cornwall, on February 26 to learn from experts in their field and help raise funds for a new children’s hospice.

Organised by local vet Colin Whiting and Duchy College staff Helen Harris and Carol Knight, the event united all arms of the south-west veterinary profession to support Children’s Hospice South West‘s Precious Lives Appeal for a new children’s hospice in Cornwall.

Conference organisers hand over a cheque of £10,000 to representatives of Children’s Hospice South West. [L-R]: Jill Sharpless (CHSW Hayle Friends Group), Colin Whiting (vet), Carol Knight (Duchy College), Mary Murfin (CHSW) and Helen Harris (Duchy College)With Kingsley village and all speakers volunteering their services, all delegate fees and sponsorship from the 17 veterinary industry and pharmaceutical companies who had stands at the event went directly to the appeal.

On the morning of the big day, the final total of £10,000 was announced to cheers in the lecture halls.

Mr Whiting, of A30 Referrals in Cornwall, said: “We had speakers flying down from Glasgow University and driving from Lincolnshire to join other local experts in their field, volunteering their time to present entertaining and informative lectures that will all serve to further the veterinary care of pets in the South West. 

“This is an event that the whole of the South West veterinary profession – vets, nurses, industry, Duchy College, and speakers – can be genuinely proud of, raising a fantastic amount of money for a fantastic cause.

Mr Whiting praised the work of Helen Harris, Carole Knight and their colleagues at Duchy College and said he hoped the event would would become an annual event, supporting a local charity.

Children’s Hospice South West is the only organisation in the region providing respite care in a hospice environment for families with life-limited children. Its hospices in Devon and Somerset provide care and support for the whole family. A third hospice in Cornwall will mean that no family in the south-west has to travel for more than 90 minutes to access this special service.

Mary Murfin, community fundraiser for Children’s Hospice South West, said: “It was a real pleasure to meet so many veterinary professionals […] They are by nature a very caring profession and, by coming together in this way, have raised a huge amount for our appeal.

“The money raised will go a long way towards helping achieve the dream of a children’s hospice in Cornwall,” she added.

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