Vet students lead workshops to help vulnerable children
"The student led 'Be a Vet for the Day' workshops are an amazing and unique experience for the vulnerable children we work with" - Lesley Winton.
‘Be a Vet for the Day’ workshops help children learn empathy and compassion.

In the first of a series of events to celebrate its bicentenary, the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (Dick Vet), in partnership with charity Fostering Compassion held workshops for vulnerable children, to help them learn about empathy and compassion.

The ‘Be a Vet for the Day’ workshops were attended by children who had been referred to Fostering Compassion for support. During the day, the children were given the opportunity to learn some basic veterinary skills, and were allowed to wear clinical scrubs to help them feel the part.

The children used stethoscopes to listen to their own hearts, and examined animal x-rays. They were also shown how to apply bandages before getting to practise on their own teddies. All the children were awarded certificates of achievement at the end of the day.

Fostering Compassion has helped over 700 children throughout Scotland since it was established 10 years ago. The veterinary workshops were run as part of its ‘Creating Compassionate Children’ programme.

Lesley Winton, chief executive officer of the charity said: “Fostering Compassion has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the students and staff of the Dick Vet for many years. The student-led ‘Be A Vet for the Day’ workshops are an amazing and unique experience for the vulnerable children we work with and we are incredibly grateful for the School’s ongoing support!"

The workshops were developed and delivered by Dick Vet students Cindy Zhao, Faye Tan and Megan Sawatzky, along with a team of volunteers.

Dick Vet senior veterinary clinical lecturer Dr Andrew Gardiner said: “The Dick Vet is proud that its students continue to support this wonderful local charity. We are delighted to make our facilities available for the ‘Be a Vet for the Day’ workshops, and to continue our collaborations with Fostering Compassion.”