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  • Writer's pictureDr. Katie Ford MRCVS

Vet Empowered Co-Founder Katie Ford: Winner of the RCVS Inspiration Award!

Dr. Katie Ford RCVS Inspiration Award Winner
Dr. Katie Ford BVSc CertAVP(SAM) PGCert MRCVS MCMA

You know we are all about celebrating wins, right?

Well, Katie (and Claire!) get to go and collect a very special award at One St George Street this month.

We are so excited here at Vet Empowered as we announce that our remarkable co-founder, Katie Ford, has been honored with the prestigious RCVS Inspiration Award!

This incredible recognition, bestowed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, celebrates Katie's unwavering dedication, passion, and her exceptional ability to inspire and uplift others throughout the veterinary profession. We are so proud she's a part of what we do, and we live everything we talk about at Vet Empowered.

Fellow co-founder Claire says: "Katie has also gone on to train as a coach and is currently working on an Emotional Wellbeing Master’s degree. Her talks are always incredibly well received and ‘real’, with many attendees expressing gratitude and inspiration as a result of her words."

Nobody quite knows everything that this woman does (even her?!), so join us as we shine a spotlight on Katie's outstanding achievements and the immense impact she has made on the lives of countless veterinary professionals.

Let's call this section, what the heck (not) does Katie Ford do?

A Trailblazer in Veterinary Empowerment:

Katie Ford, as the co-founder and director of Vet Empowered, has spearheaded a movement of empowerment and personal growth within the veterinary community. Her unwavering commitment to supporting veterinary professionals has left an indelible mark, touching the hearts and minds of thousands of individuals across the globe. Read some of the testimonials to see what a difference this makes on a daily basis to our community.

"Katie Ford & Claire Grigson, the support that you have given to so many of our recent graduates is absolutely invaluable. When grads use phrases like 'life changing' and 'my self awareness has sky rocketed' you know you've signposted them into safe hands."

- Veterinary Graduate Programme Lead

Katie and Claire, with Vet Empowered Banner
Katie and Claire showcasing Vet Empowered at a Graduate Event

A Champion of Emotional Wellbeing:

Katie's contributions to the profession go far beyond her role as a coach, influencing tens of thousands on social media. She fearlessly shares her own experiences of imposter syndrome, prior low confidence, and mental health challenges, encouraging others to seek support, practice self-compassion, and overcome the barriers they face. Her authenticity and vulnerability have sparked important conversations about emotional wellbeing within the veterinary profession and beyond. She is currently studying for a Masters in Emotional Wellbeing Therapy, as well as her previous study in coaching, mindfulness and more.

I had 27 letters after my name and dr before it, and none of them gave me me
One of Katie's messages

An Influential Speaker and Author:

Through her captivating talks, webinars, and workshops, Katie has enthralled audiences with her wisdom, empathy, and practical insights. Her words resonate deeply, reminding veterinary professionals of their inherent value and inspiring them to reach their full potential. In addition, Katie has authored multiple gift books, including the widely cherished "To an amazing vet," which has touched the lives of countless individuals and served as a heartfelt reminder of their significance. She has spoken on multiple continents, and her impact has reached outside of the veterinary profession, as well as speaking at vet schools, for new graduate and corporate schemes and beyond.

We loved looking at the testimonials on her website, here are a couple of our favourites...

  • "This woman gets it. Engaging, inspiring and also truly action-based. I've seen a lot of keynotes in my time, but this is one truly worthy. She gives you the how, and not the junk." - James Bow

  • "This was the best talk I’ve attended in years. Imposter syndrome - I felt very seen and learned a lot about how to try and help myself re-focus." - RCVS Specialist

And her books make an incredible impact on so many too:

  • “The book is something I will cherish for the rest of my career, genuinely one of the most thoughtful gifts a client has ever sent" - Veterinary Surgeon on receiving the book

  • "I just had to say that I would love for every vet, vet nurse and actually to human medicine profession to receive the words you have written in this book as we all spend our days helping others but never spend the time to help ourselves or to acknowledge the great things we do and how amazing we are."

  • "I never ever get emotional at stuff like this... and yet I teared up reading it!"

  • "Hey, just wanted to send a wee message of thanks - your book arrived today for a vet friend of mine and it’s just amazing, exactly what she needs to hear."

Keep your eyes peeled as we often have a sneaky few copies at Vet Empowered events too!

Katie at London Vet Show with "You Are Amazing" Banner
A beautiful reminder at London Vet Show on the MolyMed stand

A Force for Positive Change:

Katie's impact extends far beyond Vet Empowered. She co-founded VetYou, an organisation that empowers veterinary professionals to take control of their financial journeys. Her commitment to the profession led her to organise and host numerous webinars, equipping over a thousand members of the veterinary community with essential financial knowledge and guidance. She has helped create collaborations with the British Veterinary Chronic Illness Support CIC to educate on finances for those with chronic illness, ongoing collaborations with the Association of Veterinary Students and creating a series of events for veterinary nurse finances.

A photo of all of the VetYou team members
Katie and the rest of the VetYou team.

Innovation and Fun during Challenging Times:

Throughout the pandemic, Katie, along with her partner Simon Howard of Introducing Events, orchestrated a series of virtual gameshows, quizzes, and entertaining events for the veterinary profession. Not only did these initiatives bring joy and laughter during difficult times, but they also raised funds for charitable causes such as StreetVet and Vetlife, making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need.

Katie used her technical skills and expertise to help bring many popular veterinary conferences online during the pandemic including the Global Veterinary Careers Summit, the VetLed Veterinary Human Factors Conference, Vetfit Raise The Bar, vtx virtual, The VDS Virtual Graduation, The Big Student Careers Fair, VN Happy Hour and more.

Using her Level 7 in Events Management, she also created post-pandemic events to help the profession, such as VETworking sessions, alongside the UK's first veterinary social media conference: VETstagram. She also stepped in and project led the VSGD Live 2.0 event after a friend was unwell, bringing together 200 veterinary career professionals in a global hybrid event.

VETstagram crowd shot
VETstagram 2023 - What a squad!

Award Nominated:

Katie has been recognised both within and outside of the veterinary profession, within the last few years, she has also been:

  • Nominated for Business Woman of The Year (previously awared to Karen Brady)

  • Finalist for MYT Entrepreneur of The Year

  • Finalist for BrightMinds Influencer (alongside Dr. Adam Christman)

  • Shortlisted for CPD Event of The Year with VETstagram

Manchester Young Talent Awards
Manchester Young Talent Awards

Katie Ford's recognition as the recipient of the RCVS Inspiration Award is a testament to her extraordinary dedication, unwavering support, and transformative impact on the veterinary profession. Her contributions, through Vet Empowered, VetYou, and her heartfelt engagements, have touched the lives of countless veterinary professionals, inspiring them to embrace their worth, prioritize their well-being, and reach for greatness.

We are immensely proud of Katie's achievements and look forward to witnessing her continued influence as she lights the way for others on their professional and personal journeys.

The exciting thing is that in 2023 and beyond, she will be spending even more time on Vet Empowered as she will tell you herself, this is her absolute passion.

Congratulations, Katie!

And final words from Katie on her RCVS Inspiration Award:

"There's a certain irony in the fact that I talk about imposter syndrome, yet in the moment of winning this award - I still get those thoughts as to whether I've done enough to achieve it. Thankfully with everything I know from Vet Empowered, I know just what that story is - and I'm choosing to be incredibly grateful, whilst staying humble and celebrating all of the other recipients. Everyone can be inspiring, and the most inspiring thing we have is often our stories - I just shared mine to start with. A huge thank you to Claire for nominating me and being pure joy to work with, as well as thanks to my boyfriend Simon and my other business partners Ebony, Paul and Matt. More recently, a huge thanks to a wonderful medical team for getting me back on my feet to receive the award after a back injury"

Keep your eye out for the photos!


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