New £5m vet centre announces national charity support

A new £5 million referral vet centre in Wakefield plans to raise both money and awareness after revealing Vetlife as its chosen charity of the year.

Paragon Veterinary Referrals, a state-of-the-art animal centre which opened its doors earlier this month (February), will offer a range of support to the national charity during 2018, including a donation for every referred patient treated and ongoing fundraising activities.

Vetlife, which is based in London, supports those within the veterinary community across the UK who have emotional, health or financial difficulties, providing free and confidential advice.

The charity, which has existed for nearly 120 years, revealed it has seen a 500 per cent rise in calls and emails from veterinary professionals seeking support over the past five years, with more than 4,000 received over the past four calendar years combined.

Ian Monteith, managing director of Paragon Veterinary Referrals, said the centre’s support of Vetlife aligned itself perfectly with Paragon’s focus on wellbeing, which includes a dedicated wellbeing programme for staff.

Ian said: “We made a very conscious decision to choose Vetlife as the charity we would support throughout 2018. It’s a fantastic charity which is, of course, close to the hearts of everyone here.

“The charity has seen a huge spike in the number of calls and emails it has received from people seeking support within the veterinary industry and over the rest of this year we will be aiming to raise both awareness and money for such a worthwhile organisation.

“In terms of fundraising, we will be offering a 25p donation for each referral patient we treat in 2018. We will also be donating £2 to Vetlife for every vet who, throughout this year, signs up as a Paragon Veterinary Professional member on the Members Area of the Paragon website and registers their contact preferences.

“There will also be a number of fundraising events throughout 2018, where we hope to involve members of our local veterinary community together with local people, which we will use to raise money and awareness for the charity.”

To kick-off its support of Vetlife, Paragon has already produced 2,000 rugby ball shape stress balls with Vetlife’s contact details printed on them, which are to be distributed to first opinion vets.

Ian said: “Vets, in particular, are fans of stress balls and we thought it would be a fitting way to show our support for both Vetlife and Wakefield Trinity to produce some rugby ball shaped ones.”

Geoff Little, Vetlife President, welcomed Paragon’s support. He said: “We’re really looking forward to working with Paragon this year and are grateful for the support the centre and its team are offering.

“Vetlife provides 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.

“Backing such as this from Paragon Veterinary Referrals enables us to continue providing support for an increasing number of veterinary professionals.” Anyone who needs support can contact the Vetlife Helpline on 0303 040 2551 or email, anonymously, via

To find out more about Paragon Veterinary Referrals, and keep up to date with fundraising activities the centre is running to support Vetlife, please visit

Notes to Editors

Paragon Veterinary Referrals is part of the Linnaeus Group, which is a network of first opinion and specialist referral practices formed following the investment of Sovereign Capital and based at Willows Veterinary Centre, in Solihull, West Midlands.

The Linnaeus Group is a vibrant, forward-thinking partnership of highly respected veterinary practices across the UK, comprising some of the best clinicians in the profession. Through its flexible and supportive culture, its practice teams can focus on delivering top quality care to their patients.

For more on the Linnaeus Group, please visit


If you need support please contact Vetlife Helpline on 0303 040 2551 or email Vetlife via

Vetlife is a charity which provides support to members of the UK veterinary community and their families who have emotional, health or financial concerns.

Vetlife finances and manages three services in order to achieve this:

Vetlife Helpline: provides confidential emotional support by phone or anonymous email via the website. Support is provided by trained volunteers; vets, VNs, and others who have knowledge of the veterinary profession. It is a completely confidential, non-judgmental listening service, which gives people time and space to talk. Callers are provided with access to specialist help where appropriate.

Vetlife Financial Support: provides financial and other assistance to veterinary surgeons, and their dependants, in the form of regular monthly grants or one-time special gifts. Professional advice on issues such as debt and State benefits may also be funded.

For younger people, this support can mean homes not being repossessed or enablement to deal with their physical or mental health problems and a successful return to work. For the elderly or those unable to return to work, the support provides an improved quality of life.

Vetlife Health Support: provides professional support for mental health issues, including those related to stress, anxiety, depression, alcohol, drugs and eating disorders.

More information is available at

Contact: Jo Driver
T: 0207 908 6385

Donations can be made to Vetlife on-line at

Vetlife is a working title of the Veterinary Benevolent Fund which is a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee, Company No. 153010 at 7 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NQ, Charity Registration No. 224776