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Matt Baker “blown away” by Willows

Television presenter Matt Baker has told how he was “totally blown away” by the amazing facilities and specialist staff at a leading veterinary practice in the Midlands.

The popular Countryfile and One Show host joined in the party at the industry-leading Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in Solihull, as it celebrated its 30th birthday on Sunday 15th September.

He toured the hospital and was shown the specialist facilities and equipment that helps the expert team at Willows deliver its first-class treatment, as well as taking part in ‘An Audience with….’session which invited the audience to pose their questions to him.

Matt said: “I have been totally blown away by both the fabulous facilities and the amazing level of specialist expertise I have seen here at Willows.

“It’s incredible to think our pets now live in a world where they can receive the same level of medical intervention and care as humans.

“I have always applied the ethos that to be the best you have to work harder than the person in second place until you are there, in first place!

“What I have seen here at Willows encapsulates exactly that.

“It has been an absolute joy to meet so many people who are as passionate about animals as I am myself.

“Growing up on a sheep farm, I have always been surrounded by animals and pets so I know how much they can bring into our lives.

“I even brought my own dogs Annie and Bob along and they had great fun too.”

The TV star sparked the biggest cheer of the day as he cut a giant 30th birthday cake, which had been made especially for the occasion, and proved a huge hit all day as he mingled with the estimated 400 people who attended the event.

Willows has been based at its Highlands Road premises for 10 years, having moved from its original practice in Tanworth Lane, Shirley, which was opened by founders Peter Renwick and Malcolm McKee and nurtured over 20 years to become one of the most respected names in the veterinary world.

Willows hospital director Tracey Morley Jewkes said: “Matt was fabulous fun throughout the day and really went out of his way to interact with Willows staff and all our visitors.

“He took a really keen interest in what we do here and visited the operating theatres, our CT scanner and imaging suites and was also given demonstrations of ophthalmology and minimally invasive endoscopic procedures.

“We’re delighted he was so impressed with everything we do here.”

The event also featured stands from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Cats Protection Society, Border Force Dogs, Love Underdogs and Fat Fluffs, a giant Operation game, face painting, a lucky dip and free ice creams for visitors.

As part of its birthday celebrations, Willows is undertaking a ’30 acts of kindness for 30 years’ campaign, in which staff are either collectively or individually doing good deeds as part of hospital’s celebration of community spirit.

To find out more information about Willows, visit: www.willows.uk.net.