25 March 2021
Harper Adams Masters student Heather Venables has shown that with the right level of determination, you can start to realise your ambitions even before completing your studies.
Heather Venables, who is currently studying for an MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy, has set up a new rehabilitation centre in Shropshire to treat a range of family pets.
The postgraduate student set up PawFit Veterinary Physiotherapy in Whitchurch after deciding to follow her dream career a decade ago. Despite the business being in its early days, she has already taken on three members of staff and has plans for further expansion.
She said: “I just want to be able to offer gold-standard facilities in order to help my patients and clients. “
I have been able to take on two part-time veterinary physiotherapists - both Harper students - and a qualified hydrotherapist and hope to be able to expand the centre further as the business grows.”
The centre is the culmination of several years of combined work for Heather, both in the veterinary nursing profession and as a student. She is combining its running with her Masters studies at Harper – with a number of previous courses already under her belt.
She added: “I have been planning my rehabilitation centre since I first decided I wanted to pursue veterinary physiotherapy as a career in 2010. It then took me many years as I had to complete the diploma in advanced veterinary nursing first due to holding only an NVQ at the time.
“I chose Harper because it has always maintained a high standard for animal-related courses.
“I attended the university for training days when I did my original veterinary nursing NVQ, then again from 2012 - 2015 when I completed my diploma in advanced veterinary nursing - and then I continued onto the veterinary physiotherapy postgraduate diploma.
“After that, I took two years out then started the MSc. It is both challenging and rewarding – and it has allowed me to perform my dream job and run my own business.
“To students looking to study vet physio I would say - be prepared to be stretched to your limits both mentally and emotionally but just know that it’s completely worth it.”
Principal lecturer and Programme Manager for Veterinary Physiotherapy, Carole Brizuela, said: “Heather has been determined and focussed since she decided to pursue a career in Veterinary Physiotherapy.
“I am in awe at the dedication she put in to her academic studies in reaching her goal. It shows that where there’s a will there’s a way!”
Pictured from left to right - Kate Outram (part-time vet physio), Fran Germain (part-time vet physio), Heather Venables (owner and vet physio) & Suzi Zawistowicz (hydrotherapist).