The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) launched two new awards to celebrate compassion and community within the sector for its 2021 Honours & Awards programme.

The common theme is that both awards seek to recognise vets who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The RCVS Compassion Award reflects the fact that compassion (along with clarity, courage and confidence) is one of the key themes of the RCVS 2020-24 Strategic Plan.

It can be awarded to a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse who has demonstrated compassion towards fellow professionals or members of the animal-owning public.

This may be as part of a one-off initiative or sustained over a longer period of time, but the individual needs to have made a significant impact and shown genuine compassion above and beyond what might have been expected of them as part of their day-to-day work.

The RCVS Student Community Award will recognise a veterinary or veterinary nursing student who has made a real effort to support their fellow students and the wider veterinary and veterinary nursing school community.

It may also reward someone who has contributed to the wider local community within which the academic environment is based.

RCVS president Dr. Mandisa Greene said: “I am delighted to launch the Compassion Award and the Student Community Award during my presidential year.

If the events of the last few months have taught us anything, it is about the power of treating our peers and colleagues with compassion – particularly if they are going through a difficult or distressing time, because sometimes even small acts of kindness, support and understanding can change a person’s mindset and outlook.

“It is people that have started actions and initiatives that have had this kind of impact on others that we are looking for in the nominations for the RCVS Compassion Award.

“Furthermore, student outreach is a major focus of my presidential year, and that is why I am also very proud of our new Student Community Award which again is all about kindness and support for peers or wider community.

The award could encompass a wide range of activities, such as:

  • A specific initiative that the student has developed; personal support they have given over a sustained period;
  • A demonstrable civic awareness in the way they have conducted themselves in student politics;
  • An outreach programme with their local community; or
  • An invaluable contribution to the governance of the student body.

“If you know of a student who fits the criteria then please nominate them for this award.”

The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2021 RCVS Honours & Awards is Friday, January 8, 2021.