Volunteers needed in Devon to help tackle global health challenges

 Humanimal Trust, a charity founded by orthopaedic-neuro veterinary surgeon, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick – otherwise known as The Supervet – is calling on people across Devon to join its mission to close the divide between human and animal medicine. 

The pandemic has served as a stark reminder of just how closely all species are connected. Add to this the growing urgency of several interlinked health challenges that affect both humans and animals such as antibiotic resistance, and the need to work together to tackle these global challenges becomes even more pressing. 

Jo Blake, Development Manager at Humanimal Trust, said: “Sadly, we share so many health issues with animals, including cancer, arthritis, obesity and some infectious diseases. It makes perfect sense that we should all work together to tackle these global health conditions so that people and animals can benefit equally from medical progress, but not at the expense of an animal’s life – otherwise known as ‘One Medicine’.

“Since the Trust was set up, we have successfully established a much-needed online forum that allows human and animal health professionals to meet, collaborate, share knowledge and initiate research for the benefit of all humans and animals. We have also funded One Medicine research in areas such as infection control and antibiotic resistance, cancer, bone and joint disease to help find new treatments. But there is so much more to be done to help future generations of humans and animals, which is why we need the public’s help.”

The charity is seeking to recruit volunteers across Devon to help in lots of different ways, from supporting at events and giving talks in the community to organising local fundraisers and sharing their expertise.    

Terri Owen, 56, from Appledore who has been a Humanimal Trust volunteer since 2018, said: “The Trust mirrors my ethos of equality for all, irrespective of species. By sharing knowledge and resources, lives will be saved and a higher quality of existence will be achieved for many. One Medicine will ultimately benefit the planet too. It seems ludicrous to me that advances in medicine are not shared across the board at a time when awareness of the planet’s finite resources is paramount.

“There are lots of opportunities to get involved with Humanimal Trust. I took part in The Kilt Walk in Edinburgh in 2019 and last Christmas, I space hopped 5k around my village dressed as Santa! By volunteering, I feel as though I am making a positive difference in the world. I’ve also met many interesting people, made lifelong friends and feel part of the Humanimal ‘family’.”