Staff at St Elmo Veterinary Clinic in Derry were celebrating this week after one of their own was named Northern Ireland Animal Nursing Assistant of the Year.
Ciara Wilson from Killea was honoured at the Northern Ireland Veterinary Nursing Awards 2014.
Ciara (27) said she was “all delighted” with her new title.
Ciara started working at St Elmo in 2008, and did her animal nursing course at night.
Speaking about the competition, Ciara, who now lives in Newtoncunningham, said:
“The closing date for entries was the end of March and I just got the letter two weeks ago telling me I had been nominated, then I heard on Friday that I won.
“I was a bit surprised. I have been in the job for six years. I wasn’t expecting this.”
Ciara said working with animals was “something I have always wanted to do from such a small age”.
“I grew up on a farm so I was always used with animals,” she said.
“In here, no two days are the same, you know there is always going to be something different.
“It is a great team and you are working with your friends.
“It is such a rewarding job working with animals.”
But it’s not just at work that Ciara is surrounded by animals.
“I have two horses and two dogs and as well as coming from a farm I married a farmer myself!”
St Elmo Veterinary Clinic is one of the North West’s most established animal practices and is located at Unit 2 Northwest Business Park, Skeoge Industrial Estate on the Beraghmore Road.
The practice has a total of 25 years of experience providing animal health care and pet supplies. to people across the North West.
The Veterinary Nursing awards were organised by the British Veterinary Nursing Association, which is made of 12 Council members from around the UK.
The Association is based in Harlow and its Council members work on a voluntary basis and meet every six weeks.
It was started in 1965 and is the only body which represents veterinary nurses across UK.