Vets get on their bikes to ride for Rita
Holly Kernot, Vet Times

Vets get on their bikes to ride for Rita

Two women are preparing to cycle the length of the UK in memory of a colleague who took her own life last year.

Anna Jennings, a vet and director of Seadown Veterinary Services in Southampton, and Gemma Ives, a veterinary technical advisor at Protexin Veterinary, will pedal from Land’s End to John o’ Groats in May to honour the memory of vet Rita Mesquita, who died last year.

The determined duo, who formed a firm friendship with Dr Mesquita when they worked at Seadown, are also hoping their two-week endeavour, entitled #RideforRita, will raise £5,000 for Vetlife.

They described Dr Mesquita as a “particularly gifted, respected and much loved, young veterinary surgeon, full of energy and passion”.

With the gargantuan challenge fast approaching, the ladies have been increasing their training and getting match fit.

Mrs Ives said: “I am trying to cycle at least 100 miles per week. To date, this has included cycles in the sleet, rain, wind and occasional sunshine, with some sweaty sessions inside on the turbo trainer.

”It’s hard work, but I know it will be worth it in the end.”

Mrs Ives continued: ”Hopefully, we will succeed at raising a significant amount of money for Vetlife, which I believe provides an invaluable service to the veterinary community.

”I telephoned Vetlife several times when I was struggling; each time they provided a supportive and listening ear, and our conversations left me feeling calmer and more settled in myself.”

Anyone who needs support can contact the Vetlife Helpline on 0303 040 2551 or anonymously via the Vetlife website.

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