The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies Bicentenary

Students support homeless people and their pets

Volunteers collect clothing, other essentials and pet supplies in partnership with local charities.

Students from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies have collected donated items from staff and students on the Easter Bush Campus to distribute to the homeless and vulnerably housed people of Edinburgh and their animals.

five students standing in front of a christmas tree with dozens of small filled bags

The Dick Vet Bag Appeal (DVBA), an annual initiative run by student volunteers to help support the community, had its most successful year to date.

It gathers donations of essential items such as hats, gloves, toiletries, underwear, socks and food that can be cooked with limited kitchen facilities.

Volunteers also seek donations of pet items such as dog blankets, toys and food.

The group collates the items and works with local charities and hostels to distribute them to those in need.

Targeted approach

In previous years, the DVBA asked staff and students on Easter Bush Campus to donate a bag filled with suggested items from a list provided by the group.

The group changed the format this year to provide a more targeted approach. Staff and students were able to donate individual items, rather than an entire bag full.

Volunteers then made-up bags for hostels and charities with the items they were most in need of, for them to pass onto their service users.

The group found this approach resulted in many more donations overall, compared with previous years.

Annual tradition

The DVBA was established in 2016 by former Dick Vet student, and now staff member, Dr Jamie-Leigh Thompson. It is run by a small group of veterinary student volunteers.

The organising committee has worked with local charities and hostels in Edinburgh for several years and have seen first-hand how much the donations are appreciated by those who receive them.

We are delighted to be able to help those most need in this way. Asking each hostel what items they needed the most, and then being able to send them those items, was incredibly satisfying. Huge thanks to those who donated to the Dick Vet Bag Appeal this year. Every item makes a huge difference to those who receive them.

Alice BrazierBVM&S student and DVBA committee member

Supporting pets

Donations of dog food, toys, blankets and coats are distributed in conjunction with All4Paws, a student-run charity which provides veterinary care for the pets of homeless and vulnerably housed people in Edinburgh.

Volunteer opportunities

The organising committee for the DVBA is looking for student volunteers from Easter Bush Campus to help in future years, and can be contacted through its Facebook page.

Related Links

Dick Vet Bag Appeal Facebook page


About the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies 

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is a one-of-a-kind centre of excellence in clinical activity, teaching and research. Our purpose-built campus, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park, is home to more than 800 staff and almost 1400 students, all of whom contribute to our exceptional community ethos. 

The School comprises: 

The Roslin Institute 

The Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems 

The Roslin Innovation Centre 

The Hospital for Small Animals 

Equine Veterinary Services 

Farm Animal Services 

Easter Bush Pathology 

The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education 

We represent the largest concentration of animal science-related expertise in Europe, impacting local, regional, national and international communities in terms of economic growth, the provision of clinical services and the advancement of scientific knowledge.