First ever winner of prestigious award encourages others to nominate dedicated young vets after it ‘boosts’ her career

With just one month to go until nominations close for the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) 2022 Young Vet of the Year Award, a farm vet has shared how being nominated for, and then securing, the top prize has had a positive impact on her early career.

Emily Craven won the inaugural Young Vet of the Year Award in 2019 after being nominated for her passion for animal welfare, particularly lameness and mobility in cattle, and for going above and beyond as she balanced a full-time role while also helping out a local practice when they needed an extra pair of hands at a time of real need.

The Young Vet of the Year Award, supported by Zoetis, recognises and celebrates vets in the early stages of their career for many reasons: they may have provided outstanding and consistent care for their patients, shown great support for their clients and colleagues or perhaps given back to their community, or gone above and beyond the normal call of duty. The award also recognises vets who have championed causes in the sector, where their commitment has shown a significant impact, and where they have inspired others in the veterinary community.

Since winning the award Emily has continued to flourish as a farm vet, has joined BVA’s Policy Committee, taken the lead on the Mobility Special Interest Group within Vet Partners and has started a Masters degree with the University of Edinburgh in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law.

At the time of winning the award, Emily said she was “completely shocked and overwhelmed”, adding that she felt “incredibly lucky for this vote of confidence,” and joking that “it makes a change from a night on call!” Nearly three years later, she is still grateful for the boost the award gave her and is certain it had a positive impact on her career.

She said: “When I found out I had been nominated for this award back in 2019, I was absolutely stunned – and even more so when I won! This award has opened so many doors and gave my early career and my confidence such a boost.”

Emily, who is autistic, added: “Before winning this award, I would have struggled to open up about my Autism or my anxiety but since then I have been a lot more open in the hope it may help or inspire someone else who may be struggling. It is so important to celebrate the achievements, hard work and dedication of young vets, particularly at the start of their careers.

“Nominating someone who really has gone the extra mile could really make a difference to a young vet, so, if you know someone who is worthy of that recognition, then please do make sure you nominate them for this award, it really would mean the world to them.”

Nominations are open for another month to all those who are registered with the RCVS and in the first eight years of their careers. Applications can be from those working within any veterinary sphere, including clinical practice, research, education or veterinary politics.

BVA President Justine Shotton said: “Life may be settling back into a ‘new normal’ after a difficult few years but we know that vets have had to cope with – and are still coping with – workforce issues related to Covid, Brexit and also a surge in pet ownership.

“Veterinary professionals across the UK have all worked incredibly hard to ensure to ensure that animals and their carers receive excellent care. We are proud to have this opportunity to celebrate the dedication of these inspiring vets and urge anyone who knows a young vet who has really made a difference to nominate them for this award.”

Sarah Heming, Director of Public Affairs and Communications at Zoetis added: “Receiving a recognition is always a special moment so we are delighted once again to see and encourage nominations for young vets who are making the difference.

“There is plenty of fantastic work being delivered by our young veterinary professionals and we are looking forward to sharing and seeing more of these contributions this year. It is always such an honour to recognise people’s efforts.”

The winner of the award will be announced in November at the London Vet Show BVA Gala Dinner on November 17 2022 and will receive a prize package which includes £1,000 prize money, a year of free BVA membership, a mentoring/engagement opportunity with Zoetis and career development opportunities such as becoming a BVA ambassador.

The Young Vet of the Year Award is open to self-entry and nominations. The deadline for entries is Monday 29 August 2022. To find out more or submit an entry, visit https://www.bva.co.uk/membership/bva-young-vet-membership/bva-young-vet-of-the-year-award/ 

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