We are delighted to be funding a trial of a new peer support programme for members of the practice team in Northern Ireland. The project is chaired by former RCVS President Des Thompson, and training for the volunteers will take place in the New Year.

The confidential support programme is not designed to offer counselling or medical help, but supporters will be trained to offer a non-judgemental listening ear, help people rationalise their thoughts and sign post them to sources of formal help.

The project is supported by Vet NI and, once the training has taken place, the names and contact details of the peer supporters will be published on its website.

We will be watching progress of the trial keenly as, if successful, this may be a model of support that could be rolled out elsewhere in the UK. If you would be interested in being involved in a trial in your local area, please email Lizzie Lockett on

Des Thompson