Mind

Keeping up with the spirit of giving

MindParkinsonsSPANAYoung Minds

So, our sprinkling of goodwill continues with our other charities.  We are supporting two charities for Mental health, Mind and Young Minds.  This year the pandemic has caused so many problems for so many people.  It does not matter how strong you are, anything can set you off and not having support networks in the same way, when things are not normal, can be worrying.  Then we put dark winter days and Christmas on top of everything else and things can be very dark for many.  Both of these charities, offer support and advice and Young Minds, helps parents, with children struggling, to be able to give them guidance and advice and how to approach their children.  These conversations can be very difficult and it is about seeing the triggers and changes.   Glenda and Marcus are supporting these two charities this year.

Trish is supporting a charity, which means a great deal to her and it supports a friend who run this wonderful charity.  Fiona foundation for Kids.org.  This charity linked up with Tushinde Children Trust in 2017, who are a Kenyan based charity, providing help and support for mothers who go out work to provide an income for their families, who are vulnerable from living in the slums with little support in day-to-day life.

Parkinson’s is a charity that we have supported over the last few years.  It holds a special place in our hearts, relating to the Company and Clare.  Many of us also know people who have Parkinson’s. It is a disease which is so varied in the way it affects people. There are over 40 symptoms of Parkinson’s and everyone’s experience is different.  Announced in early December, the charity will be investing £3 million in drugs, that could slow down the progression of the disease.  With Parkinson’s, there is an excessive chronic inflammation with the brain and work is being carried out over the next couple of years, to discover a new family of molecules, which target a protein to slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s and slow down the harmful inflammation to the brain.  Currently there is no cure and so it is urgent to get better treatments to slow down the progression.

Finally, our group charity is SPANA, for working animals.  There are over 200 million working animals around the world, many who have chronic untreated conditions, resulting in a working life of pain. Sadly, many of the rural communities, who suffer, do not have access to veterinary care. SPANA Vets are the life line for working animals, providing care and treatment that save lives and protects communities.  SPANA provides a network of veterinary clinics in cities and towns around the world and mobile clinics to deliver vital lifesaving veterinary care to rural communities.

charity 2021

A1 Locums Christmas Charities

As 2021 draws to an end we felt that it would be appropriate to reflect on a very unusual and challenging year. The veterinary industry has been hit hard by a “perfect storm”. IR35, Brexit and the pandemic have caused the number of vets and nurses in the UK to dwindle. Despite these setbacks we’re still healthy and well. This leads us to wonder, how can we support others out there?

We’re doing things a bit differently this year. Rather than sending out cards to clients, the staff at A1 have each picked a charity to support. The staff picked a charity that they felt was personal to them. The sad reality is that many charities are experiencing financial hardship caused by covid. We want to do something about it!

Many of the smaller charities continued to provide services and care for animals but were not able to fund raise with their regular activities. Animal charities noticed changes in animals, who missed the interaction of the public and performing for its visitors.

So, our choices are varied this year and here are the first of our choices. Megz who has recently joined the A1 team as an administrator has chosen Munchkins Miniature Shetland Rescue. They’ based in Devon. The team at Munchkins cares for a number of resident ponies. Thanks to their efforts 55 Shetlands have been rehomed!

Another animal related charity is Donkey Island Farm at Brightwell-cum-Stowell near Wallingford Oxfordshire. This charity is close to my heart, personally I have sponsored a donkey that’s under their care for the last 15 years. John Mclaren (the manager of the yard) along with his family have given everything to this charity. John’s passion for the donkeys shines through in everything that he does for them. Many of the rescues that are under his loving care have become champions in their breed. Polyanna for instance has gone on to become star of the Royal Opera House on stage in London. The trustees have been instrumental over the last couple of years, in particular, raising money for a veterinary hospital on site.

Sophie has chosen ‘Saving the Survivors’. Her choice comes from her love of travelling to SA and volunteering at the world-renowned Wildlife Conservation Volunteering in Africa. One of our locum vets also worked with the charity. (Taken from their website:) ’Saving the Survivors’ was founded in 2012 by Dr Johan Marais to attend to injured endangered wildlife that have fallen victim to poaching or traumatic incidents. Whilst we will attend to the needs of any injured animal, most of our efforts have been directed at the rhino due to the vicious attacks that many of them have fallen victim to. Sophie is hoping participate in the Kilimanjaro Trek in 2022 in aid of this charity.

We want to do whatever we can to help these charities, with a little charity donation love and spreading the Christmas spirits to further fields.

Mind

London Vet Show 2021

Its all aboard for the London Vet Show 2021.

Hope to see you there! Stand no B22

London Vet Show 2021

It certainly has been strange times for us all with the pandemic and 3 lockdowns. It has been hard for the veterinary industry in many ways, with many practices struggling with absent staff members and with keeping their clients outside their doors, in car parks and on pavements, to enable them to practice safely and efficiently.

A1 Locums started off working from home, which worked OK but we all soon missed the camaraderie and gradually we moved back onto the farm, to continue our daily support to the industry. During the first lockdown we fought hard to support the practices and keep our candidates informed of what was happening in the marketplace. It was certainly a guessing game for us all.

A1 Locums put together a weekly newsletter communicating to the team working remotely from home, on how we were all doing, sharing what we were growing in the garden, or our weekly lockdown recipes, sharing new ideas and praising staff with reward vouchers for work achievements. We kept smiling and kept going while Brexit happened and IR35 took hold of the industry. Now we want to come out and shout from the rooftops that we are still here and still supporting our wonderful clients, and catch up on the stories from our friends, both locums and clients alike, and rejoice that our industry is making every effort to bounce back and look to the future.
We look forward to welcoming you all with open arms on Stand B22 and a chance to reassure that after 17 years in the industry we have your interests at heart in finding you new beginnings or an opportunity to earn extra money.

From the A1 Team

Mind

How difficult is it to arrive in England on a new adventure during Covid?

Meet Guido Bertoldi, Italian born, who arrived from Argentina to start a new life in London as a VCA.

Guido Bertoldi
Guido Bertoldi

Thank you, Guido, for sharing your experiences.

What did you look forward to most, when moving to England?

My main goal is to become a Veterinary Neurosurgeon; however, I can’t deny that I really look forward to meeting people, learning from them, meeting other cultures, music, foods, travel around Europe/Asia/Africa and different ways of seeing life. I am really excited about that, although COVID has other plans (for now).

Is there any advice you would give to other vets in your position before moving over that you wished you knew before?

It is a broad question, as it depends on every vet’s particular situation and goals. In my case I thought I was going to have more time to study as I have to sit for the MRCVS exam… living in London, in particular, is expensive and we need to work 40hs/week in order to “survive”. So, my advice would be, if you have to sit for the same exam, study as much as you can before coming and also choose a place to live that can allow you to save as much as you can. If you are already a Vet qualified to practice in the UK that’s awesome, enjoy!

Was/is there any addition paperwork you needed when moving to London?

Yes, I had some troubles to acquire a proof of address as newly arrived i didn’t have National Insurance Number, hence couldn´t have any services from my household on my name. So, I used a General Practitioner’s (human doctor) letter to get proof of address and then was able to use that in banks and also to finish my MRCVS exam forms.

I had to do the Pre-settle status and also the National Insurance Number.

In regard to my university qualifications, I brought my degree translated and certified by the Haya postille and before sending all the needed documents to the RCVS I had to do an Affidavit in order to state that Proof of Good Standing Practice.

Have there been any restrictions you have faced while moving here?

Fortunately, not, I arrived and asked for the pre-settled status and it was granted to me without problems at all. Unfortunately, things are changing everyday with the Coronavirus restrictions.

What has been the best part of your placement since starting in London?

To be completely honest, I still find it very difficult to feel as if I were in London, as I cannot go to a bar, or the theatre, etc. The best part since I’ve arrived, has been the kind and generous people and co-workers I have met, who, have made so much easier, the homesickness “coin face” of this journey.

Have you got any advice to anyone looking to sit the RCVS exam upon arrival?

It is very difficult to give precise advice, because of the interpersonal differences, but what I have learnt so far:

  • Good, solid anatomy/physiology bases are essential in order not to lose time with those when going through so much material.
  • Endurance – work every day even if it is 1hour or 30minutes and study something new.
  • Listen to the RVC podcasts! they are awesome for tube/bike (not recommended he he!) time .
  • Try to find what kind of information they will probably ask of us in the exam, so far, I’ve been focusing on clinical scenarios, differential diagnosis and most common treatments.
  • Go and see General Practitioners work in the UK! It’s is very different compared to they way we work in Argentina.
  • I think the most challenging part of the exam is the amount of information you have to cope with and memorise and retain for long periods before sitting the exam. I had to change the way I studied because of this, so a particular piece of advice (that I think is helping me) regarding study techniques: active recall (make yourself questions when studying and try to answer them instead of just reading the book) and spatial repetition (judge yourself on how good your answers are and go back again to those topics to help memory)

How did you find working with A1 Locums?

To be 100% honest, to arriving in London, finish my 14 days of isolation and have a job waiting there for me… was without doubt, one of the most important things that helped me to be safe and be able to focus on my studying. This unique scenario of being 11.000km away from London and being able to get a job interview… I would have found that impossible in other times. I am so thankful I met Sophie; I am sure that things would have been so much harder, if I hadn’t met her.

Guido - hopping test

Mind

Happy Christmas – Our Charitable Donations

Christmas time is always a difficult time for so many and especially this year with COVID 19 and the various lockdowns, it has been very hard for everyone come to terms with what is expected of them. We have all learnt to adapt, for some this has been more difficult than for others and now thrown into the mix is Christmas, which does not always bring joy and happiness. Its only a day, but for many the long shutdown of businesses and interaction will be difficult.

At A1 Locums we have been fortunate enough to trade through this year, it has certainly delivered it challenges for the veterinary industry, with initial grants not been available, practices not allowed to invite clients in to the practices, causing stress to owners and pets and then practices working long hours and needing coverage, but not sure about letting locums into the practices to share bubbles.

Over the last few years instead of sending cards to our candidates and practices, we have sent donations to 2 or 3 different charities.  This year we decided it would be nice for each one of our staff to pick a charity they would like to support for their own personal reasons and each person has placed their charity tag on our tree.

The charities we are supporting are varied, from rescuing dogs in Romania, to supporting Veterinary staff, caring for animals on the streets, to saving orphaned wild animals.  We have also supported Mental health in all age groups, CALM, (Campaign against living miserably) and supporting people and research with Parkinson’s

We hope that our donations will make a difference and help people in these difficult times.

From all at A1 Locums, a Very Merry Christmas and hope that 2021 will be a brighter year for all of us, both in our health, well-being and in our businesses.