The team at PAAW House do love a run. Bibi and Barry’s human Dads get up at ridiculous o’clock every morning to run for the hills, and I’ve cheered my Dad on from the sidelines for many a marathon over the years, he just runs to work these days! We have much admiration for Brian and his 31 day marathon of marathons, in aid of StreetVet. Good luck Brian from all at PAAW House and Happy Birthday for 31st August, we hope you get lots of donations to celebrate. Big Woofs, Vinnie x
Former Petplan Vet of the Year Brian Faulkner will be running no fewer than 31 marathons in 31 days throughout August – in aid of the remarkable charity StreetVet, which offers free veterinary care for animals of the homeless. He will run the length of the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, ending up there on Monday 31st, his 50th birthday.
Brian, who was born in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, but now lives in Hacheston, Suffolk, had never run more than 10 kilometres until four years ago. However, after being challenged to run the London Marathon during a lively 4am drinks conversation at a veterinary conference, he took the race in his stride. He went on, the next year, to run 10 marathons in 10 days. But StreetVet’s amazing work has inspired him to push himself further and embark on this even more gruelling journey. Well-wishers can check his progress and donate at: www.jogle2020.co.uk.*
StreetVet is a multi-award winning veterinary practice, with a difference. Its 500+ vets and veterinary nurses are volunteers – and its consulting rooms are the streets of Britain. Established in 2016, it has performed over 4,500 free consultations for pets of people of ‘no fixed abode’. It currently operates in 16 towns, cities and regions around the UK, but has plans to roll out to many more, such is the scale of the homelessness epidemic.
Brian had seen StreetVet’s work and was desperate to do something to help it raise much-needed funds, especially given the shocking plight of rough sleepers with dogs during Covid-19.
Only 10 per cent of homeless hostels and shelters allow pets. Most homeless people feel they’ve lost everything else; they simply won’t give up their beloved dog too, in order to secure a bed. So they stay on the streets.
Therefore, in addition to its veterinary care, prior to lockdown StreetVet had been researching and piloting aspects of a new ‘accredited hostels’ scheme. It gives these establishments practical help and advice on how homeless dog owners can be housed together WITH their pets. But during the pandemic the offer has also had to stretch to encompass those hotels and B&Bs co-opted for emergency accommodation. Jade, Sam and the team hope to launch the first official StreetVet Accredited Hostel before the end of the year.
StreetVet’s co-founder Jade Statt explains: “The preference would always be to keep the dogs and their owners together. The importance of the human-animal bond and the comfort it brings to people should not be underestimated, especially in times like this.”
Brian comments: “My biggest concern for the run is injury, so I’ll have to hope everything holds up, although I will really miss my family too. It’s the longest time I will ever have been away from them.” He is married to wife Georgia and has two teenage children, Freya and Seth. They live with a mini menagerie of four-legged friends too: two miniature labradoodles, Bear and Ellie, two sheep and three alpacas.
For those who want to chart Brians progress and cheer him on you will find the latest details on his WEBSITE
Brian was named Petplan UK Vet of the Year in 2008 after having been runner-up in 2007. He is now the insurance provider’s national media and PR vet. Petplan is supporting him on his ‘31 Marathons’ mission.
He is a true polymath. He graduated from Edinburgh Vet School in 1995 and worked in mixed practice before studying for an MBA at Nottingham Business School and then a further masters in [human] applied positive psychology.
Brian set up and developed four veterinary practices in Suffolk and will launch a fifth, in Aldeburgh, later this year. He founded the veterinary training organisation Colourful CPD and has worked in over 250 veterinary practices as a clinician, consultant and confidence coach. He’s also founder of The British Veterinary Receptionist Association and the Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Awards.
He is past president of the UK Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons and is associate honorary professor in veterinary business at Nottingham University. Last month Brian was awarded the title Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) in recognition of outstanding contributions to the veterinary profession.
If that weren’t enough he’s also an accomplished speaker, not just at veterinary conferences around the world, but he even won the UK and Ireland Toastmasters International Humorous Speech competition in 2014.
Further information on StreetVet can be found at: www.streetvet.org.uk.
Brian is on Instagram at: @vetwhisperer.