Linnaeus, the corporate veterinary group with 130 practices around the UK that was bought by Mars Petcare earlier this year, has made a £60,000 donation to Vetlife, the charity which gives free confidential support to veterinary professionals who have emotional, health or financial difficulties.

The charity, which was set up over 120 years ago, says the number of calls and emails it gets from industry professionals seeking help has increased 500% over the last 5 years; it has received more than 1,500 calls and emails over the past 12 months. 

Lynne Hill, Chief Executive of Linnaeus said: "The veterinary industry is fast-paced and, at times, an extremely stressful environment, so the support on offer from Vetlife is particularly valuable and its worth is demonstrated by the significant increase in contact being made to it.

"We hope this donation will help Vetlife continue to provide the excellent service and support they have given to vets and nurses for so long." 

Vetlife President Geoff Little said: "This donation from the Linnaeus Group is extremely generous. We have seen a dramatic rise in calls and emails to the service over recent years. So much so, we have recruited additional volunteers to cope with the additional contacts.  It’s extremely gratifying to see the number of volunteers who are so willing to put something back into their profession and to help others.

"At Vetlife, we provide support in the shape of three core services, which are the Vetlife Helpline, which provides independent, confidential support 24/7, 365 days a year; Health Support, run by mental health professionals; and Financial Support, which provides assistance to vets or their dependents who find themselves in difficulty. 

"This support from Linnaeus will help us to bridge the gap as the need for support continues to grow." 

Anyone who needs support can contact the Vetlife Helpline on 0303 040 2551 or anonymously via www.vetlife.org.uk

Photo: Vetlife President Geoff Little receives the £60,000 donation from Lynn Hill at Linnaeus.