In this recording from the 2020 Veterinary Diversity conference Courageous Conversations, Ruth Cawston gives us a quick guide to who BVCIS are and why they are needed.

Ruth Cawston is the co-founder of the British Veterinary Chronic Illness Support (BVCIS).


Courageous Conversation with Ruth Cawston:

BVICS exists to support veterinary staff who are living and working the all kinds of chronic illness. They are a peer-lead organisation, run by spoonies, for spoonies. They aim to mutually support and encourage one another, and to provide practical advice on living and working with ill-health.

They also work to promote understanding of chronic health conditions in the workplace, and to help employers to see the benefits of being flexible and forward-thinking in their approach to veterinary staff with long-term illnesses.

​In the wider veterinary community, they seek to represent and advocate for those who are living and working with chronic illness, whether in or out of clinical practice. For more details on their current activities, check out their blog, and follow them on social media.

What is a spoonie? You may see the terms “spoonies” or “spoonholders” used in various places around their website, and in the name of their Facebook group (Veterinary Spoonholders UK). This is taken from the popular “Spoon Theory” that is used to try and explain life with a chronic illness – click here for more details.