I would like to try and encourage more (younger!) members to become volunteers, initially on the regional committees which are at the heart of BSAVA CPD provision, but also to take on other roles within the organization, which can be incredibly beneficial to the professional development of the volunteer as well as helping to shape the future of the BSAVA.
I joined the BSAVA in 1975 as a final year student, and attended many useful CPD day and weekend meetings during the early years of my career. After raising money for PetSavers by running a half-marathon with my dog, I was initially asked to be the regional PetSavers representative. In 1990, the then Chair of the Surrey and Sussex region wanted to retire, and I was asked to take over, which I did until 1996. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the committee, meeting many eminent specialists from around the world when arranging CPD evenings, and also chairing sessions at Congress. I also regularly attended BSAVA Council meetings where issues affecting the Association and small animal practice are debated and decisions made. I encouraged several colleagues in the region to join our committee, and it is with pride I later witnessed one become BSAVA President, and another the FECAVA President.
I left the committee in 1996 to concentrate on veterinary dental study, and spent 10 years on the board of the European Veterinary Dental Society, including as President 2004–2006, helped in no small way by my time on both the Regional Committee and on BSAVA Council.
I am now semi-retired, but have always remained a member of the BSAVA, and have been persuaded to return as a volunteer.
The point of this CV is to demonstrate, from a personal point of view, the benefits of volunteering for the BSAVA. Most members start, as I did, by joining their local regional committee, and help organize regional day and evening meetings. Such volunteers also have a voice on the BSAVA Council, both via the Committee and the Regional Representative.
This is a great way to meet other like minded, forward thinking colleagues, and learn from them. The opportunities to meet and talk ‘one-on-one’ with internationally renowned specialists are invaluable, and would be very difficult from practice otherwise.
If this article inspires just one member to volunteer, I will judge it a success – and if that volunteer decides to replace me when I fully retire next year, then ‘Job Done’!
To learn more about becoming a BSAVA volunteer, visit our volunteer area and get in touch.