Our Committee for 2020-2021

Tommy Doyle 

President (He/Him)

I’m Tommy, the President, and I’m gay and cis. I live in a small town in rural Sussex and work in a small animal practice, where I’m a partner.

I’ve been involved with the group since 2016. I joined it thinking I could help other people, but as it turned out I benefitted from the group far more than it needed me.

I came from an Irish Catholic school where being gay was not talked about, and when I went to university there were no visible veterinary LGBT+ role models. Being part of BVLGBT+ has helped me understand that I don’t need to be different people at work and at home: that there are many different and equally legitimate ways to be a vet.

Dan Makin

Senior Vice President (He/Him)

I’m Dan. I have been actively involved with BVLGBT+ since its inception and have held several roles on the committee which culminated in me becoming President of the group in 2019.

I am deeply passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion within the veterinary profession and I am proud to be a member of the RCVS Diversity and Inclusion Group. 

Helen Redpath

Secretary (She/Her)

Hi, I’m Helen, currently secretary for the BVLGBT+ group. My role is mainly assisting with arranging meeting dates, and recording/circulating agendas and meeting minutes.

The BVLGBT+ group are like another family; a fantastic, welcoming and approachable bunch of folks, providing much-needed support to those feeling isolated in the profession, which can be a lonely place. From the moment I met the group I felt accepted; and look forward to every meeting, especially the wonderful Pride events.

Peter Heather

Treasurer (He/Him)

My name is Peter and I’m the BVLGBT+ treasurer. I’m a vet and independent practice owner on the south coast. In my spare time I play golf, walk the dogs and do a bit of beekeeping at home.

Pride events and our other BVLGBT+ get-togethers are a great source of pleasure for me personally and professionally. Some wonderful friendships and support networks have flowed from these and connecting with other LGBT+ colleagues has been a particular joy these past years.

I hope to play my part in furthering the amazing work that BVLGBT+ has done to date.

Sam Morgan-Hourd

Nursing Liaison (She/Her)

I’m Sam Morgan-Hourd RVN and I have only just recently become a committee member on BVLGBT+ however prior to this I have been a keen supporter since the outset and have attend London Pride twice with BVLGBT+ in my previous role as BVNA president.

My interest in the committee is to help to provide advice, guidance, and support primarily to Veterinary Nurses and Student Veterinary Nurses alongside Vicki Neilson. I feel this group is a vital one in the veterinary profession to show there are understanding and likeminded individuals you can count on and (hopefully) be a role model to.  Events like pride help to showcase this support but the groups is more than this event, we are looking to reaching out to college and universities to publish that BVLGBT+ exists and is there for whoever needs them.

Vicki Nielsen

Nursing Liaison (She/Her)

My name is Vicki and I’m one of the nursing representatives for British Veterinary LGBT+ group working alongside Sam.

Together, we plan to raise awareness of the group in veterinary nursing education, among educators as well as training practices to support LGBT+ veterinary nursing students and those supporting them.

A positive experience being part of the LGBT+ community is being recognised as married to my wife following the conversion of our civil partnership in to a marriage, when it became legal.

Michael Derling

Student President (He/Him)

I’‘m Michael and I’m an international student from America in my 4th year at Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at University of Edinburgh. During my term, I plan to continue in my predecessors’ footsteps, connecting LGBT+ veterinary students with each other and working members of the profession to hopefully grow accessibility to networking resources, as well as to raise awareness for students’ essential needs, like wellness, safe professional and academic opportunities, and community.

Some of my fondest and proudest LGBT+ moments have been while singing with both the Philadelphia and Edinburgh Gay Men’s Choruses. As a vocalist, I feel compassion can come out from within when a choir of people can comfortably support each other through song, comradery, and confidence.

Ami Sawran

Farm Vet Liaison (She/Her)

I’m Ami, a clinical director of Westpoint Farm Vets in Chelmsford. Myrole within the committee is to try to increase engagement of farming, agricultural and farm vet communities with LGBT+ issues. 

Traditionally, people in these industries are not used to speaking up or indeed coming out, consequently there can be a real lack of understanding about LGBT+ matters. We need to make sure that we afford support and promote open discussion within these spheres to help people feel safe, understood, and part of our wider community.

Charlotte McCarroll

Welfare Officer (She/Her)

I’m Charlotte, I graduated from the University of Glasgow vet school in 2008. I am a bisexual trans woman so tick the B and T of LGBTQI+ and live with my wife, Natalie, and our cat, Moses.  My plans as Welfare Officer is to provide a support network for LGBTQI+ vets and vet students, and help provide a safer working environment within the veterinary profession through improved education and support for veterinary workplaces in being better allies to their staff and students.

As a veterinary student, I never felt safe enough to be my authentic self.  The veterinary profession has always seemed quite conservative and placed staff wellbeing second to patients and clients.  However, with appropriate support, friendship, encouragement, and mentoring of staff and students with the safety to be our authentic selves will improve our wellbeing and patient care

Joe Simon

Publicity Officer (He/Him)

My name is Joe and I am in charge of all things publicity. I graduated from Liverpool University in 2019 and helped set up the LGBT+ society there, which was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. 

You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where I will be working on sharing content to do with our society and to mark any significant days of the year. I hope to bring valuable and wholesome content!

Being part of BVLGBT+ has given me some of the richest experiences of my life – I wouldn’t change being LGBT+ for anything! I always remember being particularly touched when walking around the Castro District in San Francisco and being blown away at how much history of struggle and rebellion in those three blocks that helped push forward equality and allow us to live in a much more accepting society than what older generations had. Listening to their stories is so valuable and reminds us of all the work that still needs doing.

James Whitmore

Entertainments Officer (He/Him)

I’m James, I am one of the BVLGBT+ Entertainment Rep. I graduated from the RVC in 2014 and now work at Cotts Equine Hospital in Cardiff, my main interests are lameness diagnosis and stud work.

Ben and I are planning a society spring away day (depending on COVID restrictions), London Pride and Glasgow Pride 2021.  I’m proud that the society has enabled members of our profession and paraprofessionals to feel empowered and confident  enough to attend their first pride event.

Ben Curnow

Entertainments Officer (He/Him)

Hi! I am Ben, and I work as a lecturer in Equine Practice at the University of Liverpool. I love my job, as I get to combine clinical work with teaching the final year vet students the day-one-skills that set them up for their first few years in practice.

I have taken on the duties of Ents Rep for this year at BVLGBT+. James and I are planning plenty of virtual events in the lead up to Pride season during 2021.

Hope to see you there!

Tobias Hunter

Website Officer (They/Them or He/Him)

Hi, I’m Tobias. I’m a 3rd Year Veterinary Student at the University of Liverpool and eager to support the BVLGBT+ Committee this year with their upcoming projects. I’m trans and non-binary and I’ve met a few obstacles on my journey through Vet School so I’m keen to work to remove those obstacles for future generations and to make the veterinary profession as inclusive and supportive as possible.

I will be working on the website and also assisting the rest of Committee working on delivering talks and CPD packages to veterinary practices.

Mat Hennessey

Founder and Past President (He/Him)

I’m Mat, I’m one of the BVLGBT+ past presidents and currently help out on the committee. It’s been wonderful to see our group go from strength to strength over the last few years and I’m so proud of the things we’ve accomplished. 

Working in our professions can be challenging enough at times, and nobody should have the extra burden of having to worry about how their sexuality or gender identity will impact their careers.

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