Vets for Isles of Scilly

A vets surgery for the Isles of Scilly

It was a day that many thought might never come, but the Isles
of Scilly now have their very own purpose-built veterinary
surgery.

Thanks to a £104,000 grant from the Isles of Scilly Local Action
Group (LAG), there is now a sustainable future for locally-based
veterinary care for the first time in the Islands’ history.

The building and equipping of the surgery, with its own
accommodation, was a £170,000 project which was started off by a
small group of volunteers in 2007 after they were left for several
months without a resident vet.

The arrival of vet Heike Dorn that year led to the volunteers
setting up the Isles of Scilly Veterinary Support Group (IOSVSG).
Finance was a key issue. The group set about raising money to buy
and maintain better equipment and surgery facilities so that the
practice could take on a wider range of services independently.
This met the dual aims of making the practice sustainable and
providing the best possible care for animals on the islands.

A planning application was submitted and the group applied to
the LAG for a grant.

“This is a real example of the difference that local people can
make within their community,” said Isles of Scilly LAG Manager
Amanda Pender.

“The tireless fundraising and drive exhibited by the Veterinary
Support Group as they sought to meet their dream a reality is a
real example to us all’.

While the project will bring peace of mind to many on the
islands, it is also a first step in longer-term plans to support
land management and farming on the islands. It is hoped that
increased livestock numbers, development of an island abattoir,
reduced food miles and a resilient and sustainable food market will
be pursued.