It’s our first Week Ahead of 2020, and we intend to get things off to a good start! We hope you all had a good time over the Christmas break (although we know many of you will have been working), and that you’re rejuvenated and ready to get your CPD off to a good start as we enter the new decade (remember – we’re living in the twenties again now, so perhaps we can bring the Charleston back into fashion). We usually devote our Week Ahead email to an interesting event on this day in history, but in the spirit of looking forward, or at least laterally, let’s look at something that’s happening right now.

You may have seen ice sculptures before. Perhaps a tasteful swan at a fancy wedding, or a slightly sinister cherub at a rich child’s birthday party (we don’t know what your social life is like). But there’s a good chance you’ve never seen the kinds of ice sculptures that can be found at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, which begins today. These are not so much ice sculptures as ice cities. Based in the city of Harbin in China, which has bitterly cold winters, the festival is a longstanding tradition dating back to 1963. Over time, the sculptures have become increasingly complex and ostentatious, making use of liquid dye and coloured lighting to create splendours worthy of a Disneyland for Eskimos. Just look at a few of them here:




Yes, those buildings really are made of ice, which is mainly sourced from the nearby Songhua River and brought in large blocks, which are carefully sculpted with a variety of tools. Temperatures tend to rise above freezing in March, at which point the ice cities begin to melt away until nothing is left, ready for new designs the following year. It is said that the famous Japanese cherry blossoms are made all the more beautiful by their fleeting nature, and the same could perhaps be said for these monuments which are constructed with incredible skill and effort, all in the knowledge they will be gone in a few months. The sight is meant to only be enjoyed for a little while, and part of the value is knowing this. If you’re looking for a little New Year philosophy, perhaps you can draw something from this; that nothing lasts forever, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying it, or appreciating the craft inherent to something, rather than the longevity of it. Of course, you can take your own interpretation from it. What you get out of it is up to you.

In a similar way, you can get as much out of your CPD as you choose. This year, why not really commit yourself to learning new things, exploring areas that interest you, and discovering exciting new ways to do the job you love? We’ve got you off to a good start for 2020 with some brilliant new webinars. Here’s what you can look forward to this week:

How to Master your VetPassport in 2020

Tue 7th January 2020, 8:00 pm

By Jenny Guyat BVetMed MRCVS

This webinar is designed to help you get yourself motivated as you start the new year (please note: it’s not about Pet Passports or Brexit).

Do any of the following currently apply to you right now?

• I’m dissatisfied with vetting, maybe considering diversification

• I’m generally happy vetting but not sure on my purpose and direction or struggle with mindset challenges

• I have a business or career direction idea but lack confidence or knowledge on how to make it happen

If so, this masterclass is going to change your thinking, show you the pathway forwards and help get you unstuck!

How stress can affect team performance, and what you can do about it.

Tue 7th January 2020, 8:30 pm

By Kirsty Sturman

Stress can affect the performance of individuals, teams and the business. In this webinar we will explore some of the common stressors in practice, their affects on individuals, teams and the business and look at how to manage them more effectively to bring out the best in yourself, your team and your business.

Mental Health First Responder Training Session One – An Emotional Health Check for all staff

Wed 8th January 2020, 8:00 pm

By Mike Scanlan

Part 1 of 4 webinars.

Working in the veterinary profession can be exciting and rewarding. However, caring for animals can be challenging, too – mentally as well as physically. It has been recognised in several studies that levels of depression, stress and anxiety are disproportionately high among veterinary professionals.

This course will deliver, 4  live sessions and is designed to support individuals or Veterinary practices looking to promote positive mental health at work. This bespoke training equip participants with a toolkit to improve their confidence and skills in addressing issues of Mental Health at work and in the wider community.

For learners to work with Dr Mike Scanlan to understand and be able to apply the values led approaches intrinsic in the Emotional Health Check Process and to help people make changes to improve and maintain their wellbeing and mental health.

The Management and Diseases of Farmed Deer

Wed 8th January 2020, 8:00 pm

By John FletcherBVMS, Hon FRCVS, PhD

A brief introduction to the species of deer used in venison farms will be followed by a brief discussion of their seasonality and the antler cycle. Normal and optimum management systems will be outlined including a description of handling facilities and a discussion of the most common diseases encountered on deer farms.

Canine Flow: The Missing Piece of the Dog Training Puzzle

Thu 9th January 2020, 8:30 pm

by Victoria Smith-Gillard.

In this webinar, you will be given an overview of Canine Flow, what it is, how it can help on 3 levels (Behavioural, emotional, physiological), and what it can help. I will talk you through understanding dogs’ emotions from a Flow point of view and how dogs are really a messenger for owners. You will learn how I combine my people therapies with Canine Flow to help dogs help their owners! You will go away understanding Canine Flow in more depth, how it can help you as vets, dogs as pets, and owners as reflections of their dog


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