Helen has had a varied career. Qualifying in 1996, she started in general nursing before concentrating on consulting. In 2004, she left practice to work for Petplan, but quickly realised she missed practice life.
Returning in 2007, Helen opened her own practice, employing the vet, finding the premises and having them fitted out. In 2013, she sold it, recognising its growth required more than a sole VN.
Helen now works for Onswitch as one of the trainers on its Bertha Bus, and is a project manager at Mojo undertaking various veterinary projects including working alongside International Cat Care.
Why is she standing?
Helen says she will “fight for VNs to have their voice heard” if she is elected.
“I am proud to call myself an RVN and be part of a dedicated, caring and hardworking profession,” she said. “I am passionate about getting our profession heard.”
This passion is evident when you see how Helen has been promoting the VN title petition. She has written to her MP, generated an article in her local newspaper and even contacted the Chris Evans breakfast show on BBC Radio 2 on the eve of BVNA Congress for the past two years – “VNs would have heard their profession mentioned in the ‘representing the nation’ section,” she said.
Helen believes her daily contact with vet professionals of all kinds is a strength. “Working as a trainer and PR, I meet many VNs, student VNs, vets and receptionists, which keeps me in touch with the issues in our profession,” she said.
Attempting to protect the title is “only the beginning of a great VN future”, says Helen, which should open up more opportunities for VNs and lead to the profession “gaining the recognition we deserve”.
Helen thinks Defra’s promise to review Schedule 3, and the possibility of having a tiered system where VNs undertake post-registration qualifications, could be a good thing for career engagement.
“As we qualify, our skills develop from our day one skills and our interests grow, with some VNs preferring more clinical roles in practice and surgery, and others preferring more client contact. Until you’ve experienced that, you don’t know where you want your career to take you,” she said. “By including post-registration qualifications, maybe this would help career development, VNs feeling they had a career and that it was worth staying in the veterinary profession.
“I know this is a main area for why people leave the profession, so I think it is good we work on career development,” she said.