We will be introducing ourselves on this blog, and then sharing our thoughts, ideas and feelings, along with fundraising news and ideas, to keep our supporters updated now and throughout the trip

JI am delighted and excited to have been picked to go to India. The interview process was nerve racking but made very worth it by the elation of being successful. We are now bonding as a team and getting to know each other through fund raising days, meetings and team building activities. As a mature student I’m keen to encourage others and to promote Veterinary Nursing to people who might be interested in a career change.

I am interested in teaching or coaching, animal welfare, ethics and the ‘one health’ concept as possible areas for career progression or further study. Going to India will allow me to investigate this further and to explore the role of the Veterinary Nurse in these fields.

The challenges of this trip are going to be numerous. India can be crazy and chaotic and all our resources will be stretched but this will be balanced by the friendly people, inquisitive children with beaming smiles, the amazing food and some spectacular scenery. I am particularly excited about coconuts, chillies, wildlife, waterfalls and elephants!

While researching the area we are visiting, I was intrigued by an innocuous description of the ‘curly roads’. On further investigation, these turn out to be hairpin bends with unprotected edges tumbling into steep ravines. I have an HGV license and can drive a lorry but I am a terrible passenger, so for me the transport will probably be my biggest challenge, apart of course from the animals.

Cultural attitudes towards animals in India are very different from what we are used to here. Being able to enhance the lives of the individual animals we meet, even in a small way, will be incredibly rewarding. Being able, through education and collaboration with the Indian veterinary profession, to improve the lives and welfare of many animals into the future, in a long-lasting and sustainable way, would be an unbelievable privilege.

As student VNs we all care passionately about animal welfare and this trip will be an amazing opportunity to see how making small changes can have a big impact. Working in this environment with limited and different resources will no doubt be personally and professionally challenging, but will result in great benefit to all involved.

Through being empathetic and non-judgemental we aim to raise awareness of animal sentience and improve the health and welfare of hospitalised in-patients, which in turn will provide better patient outcomes for the veterinary staff.

As students we will be able to consolidate our knowledge by stripping nursing care back to its basics, and in the process our own skills and confidence will increase, benefiting the animals and the profession back home.

No doubt there will be sights and sounds that are distressing – worthwhile things aren’t always easy and I’m sure that we will all have occasional tough times. By talking, sharing and laughing we will support each other through the challenges, enabling us to make a real difference to animals living in extreme conditions.

We look forward to updating you on our adventures….