Updated: Jun 26
Veterinary Voices Hiking Group is a new venture encouraging professionals to reach out, post local walks and meets, and create a supportive community.
Three friends have set up a veterinary walking group to promote mental health awareness, wellness and forge friendships and connections following a difficult couple of years for the profession.
Veterinary Voices Hiking Group has been set up by RVN Robyn Lowe and vets Paul Horwood and Danny Chambers to “get the profession out and about”.
The Veterinary Voices Hiking Group was inspired by the trio’s Snowdonia fund-raising trek in September 2021 and encourages veterinary professionals to reach out and post local walks and meets, with the aim of creating a supportive community.
In addition, over the course of 2022, the group intends to “join forces” with walkers across the nation and collectively cover 10,000km to raise money for veterinary mental health charity Vetlife.
Mrs Lowe, an admin of the Veterinary Voices UK Facebook group, said:
“I am so excited about this. These past two years have been particularly difficult on the entire world and, through various factors, felt profoundly throughout our wonderful profession.
Long hours, stress, pressures, and external factors mean our profession acutely knows the impact of mental health issues on our health and welfare.
For some, after a long day’s work, exercise is the last thing we feel like doing, but it is known it can have a positive impact on our mental health.
The aim [with Veterinary Voices Hiking Group] is to get our profession out and about while working as a supportive community to raise money for a fantastic cause, Vetlife.”
Veterinary Voices Hiking Group has set up a Facebook group and a Strava challenge, which Mrs Lowe said is doing fantastically.
"The group will probably plan events throughout the year, but the overall aim is to see people enjoying the great outdoors and exercise while helping their mental health, and making new connections and friendships."
For more information and to get involved, visit the Veterinary Voices Hiking Group on Facebook.
“It is entirely inclusive. We want veterinary parent pram walks, slow potters, hikers, short meetups and wheelchair accessible routes – basically, a community to help with the isolation or stresses experienced within the profession.”
Many Thank to the Vet Times for covering this new adventure: Hiking group aims to get profession ‘out and about’ for mental health | Vet Times