Jade and I are close friends from university. I have been keen to volunteer as a vet since I qualified and have been fortunate enough to be able to do this abroad but struggled to do so in the U.K. When Jade spoke to me about StreetVet we both knew that I would love to help and that I would be keen to bring it to Brighton as soon possible. Once StreetVet was established in London we immediately set about recruiting in Brighton.
StreetVet Brighton launched in November 2017 with great energy and zest!
We work alongside the well established soup kitchen run by Sussex Homeless Support, at the Clocktower every Sunday 1-3pm. Jim Deans, who runs the kitchen, is a firm supporter of StreetVet and is instrumental in the smooth running of our weekly sessions. Sussex Pet Rescue are an established local charity who strongly support us and will aid us with whatever means they are able to. The city of Brighton has really got behind us and the level of public support has been both overwhelming and humbling. A local printing company have offered to print our leaflets free of charge and Clarity Environmental , a local recycling company, donated £1,500 to StreetVet.
We have had great support from veterinary practices in the area who have offered surgeries at a reduced cost for StreetVet patients. We now also have the support of a specialist cardiologist and an ultrasonographer too.
We carried out our first hostel visit in January 2018 to examine and treat two of their four resident dogs. We have since carried out follow up visits to this hostel and visited another to examine an unwell dog. We have contacted all the hostels in the Brighton area and in time, hope to be able to facilitate their inclusion of homeless people with pets.
We are also hoping to expand to other locations in Brighton and the surrounding areas over the next few months.
Our team at present consists of 13 vets and 15 nurses. However we are growing in numbers by the week! I feel extremely privileged to be leading such a dedicated and selfless group of fellow veterinary professionals.