The decision has been made to suspend the VN Futures School Ambassadors Pilot until the 1st September, when the new school year is due to start, at which point the situation will be reviewed.
The aim of the pilot is to develop a selection of resources for provision of school talks, and ideas for approaches to educating schoolchildren on a career in veterinary nursing. This has been enabled through the recruitment of eight ambassadors who attended training in November 2019 and who have been communicating about the scheme and developing their presentations and supporting resources.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, veterinary nurses have been under increased pressure in the work environment, and in some cases, in also providing home-schooling for children, and this also impacted on the school ambassadors and their understandable need to prioritise work and other life challenges over extra activities.
Since most schoolchildren are also not returning to school until September (and this will also be dependent on developments over the coming weeks), this has a further impact on the ability of the pilot scheme to perform its work.
The end-date of the pilot will also be moved forward to offer sufficient time for the resources to be tried and tested, and feedback gained from schoolchildren, school staff and the ambassadors themselves.
VN Futures is also considering development of online ‘virtual’ school talks, which may be an approach that is necessitated by the pandemic, and in terms of a ‘silver lining’ may provide opportunity to reach more schoolchildren.
Supporting resources such as information leaflets and posters are continuing to be developed and refined during this time by the VN Futures Project Manager, Jill Macdonald and the communications team at the RCVS.
We hope to be able to get back to you soon with further updates, and if you are interested in this area of work, then please do contact us.