I first became aware of PDSA when I was a student in Bristol. As part of my course I had to spend a week in the PDSA centre ‘seeing practice’ alongside the dedicated vets, nurses and support staff who looked after the pets of those in need. I was amazed at how many pets they saw in a day, making sure everybody got the treatment they needed to keep their animals fit and well.
In 2002, I had a 5 month gap between filming projects that I wanted to fill with veterinary work so I contacted PDSA to see if there was a spot for me. I wanted to see first hand how it all worked and was keen to use the television profile I had gained to raise awareness of the charity. My local PDSA PetAid Hospital is in Stoke-on-Trent, who’s friendly team made me feel very welcome. I enjoyed my time there so much I went back for more over the following few years including some volunteer days to free up the Senior Vet to allow him to catch up on paperwork. I continue to help PDSA out with talks at fundraising events.
PDSA is the largest veterinary charity in the UK with around 50 hospitals spread across the UK. They also work in partnership with private practices to help those in need who fall out of the catchment areas of those hospitals making sure they can cover virtually all the eligible households within the UK. Its a huge undertaking but the organisation is strong and well led. It started all the way back in 1917 and, with times now being as hard as they are, they need all the help they can get to continue the work they have in hand.
If you want to help there are many ways you can, from donating time in one of their hospitals or shops, raising funds or awareness, or leaving a gift in your will. However you help, you can be happy in the knowledge that you are helping people and pets who desperately need it.