Vanessa is currently engaged to Charity Dingle.
1976-2012: Early lifeEdit
2012-2014: Arrival in EmmerdaleEdit
Vanessa arrived in the village on 10th December 2012. After Rhona Goskirk fires her locum vet, she hires Vanessa, a friend from university. Paddy Kirk, Rhona's husband, has heard wild stories about her and Paddy dreads her arrival. He feels isolated as Rhona greets her friend and as the day continues, Vanessa eyes up Andy Sugden in the pub and Paddy is annoyed to hear that she and Rhona are planning a night out. He worries about Vanessa bringing men back to the house but is forced to apologise when she overhears him complaining.
When Vanessa goes to Butler's Farm, she walks in on Moira Barton and Cain Dingle kissing. She returns the next day and apologises to Moira. They sit down together and tell each other about their pasts, which is the start of their friendship. Vanessa is distraught when Katie Addyman's horse dies whilst in her care. Katie threatens to sue Vanessa but Rhona helps calm the situation down. When Rhona hurts her back Vanessa becomes a partner in the vets with Paddy and Rhona to help with the workload.
In 2013, when Rhona gets hooked on painkillers Vanessa is the only one who finds out and tries to help her friend. On 2nd August 2013, Vanessa admits to Rhona that she has fallen in love with her. Although she's initially shocked, Rhona makes Vanessa think her feelings are requited so that Vanessa will keep giving her pills. Vanessa and Rhona begin a brief affair but Paddy catches them kissing. Later Rhona reveals she was just using Vanessa to get more painkillers, leading to Vanessa leaving Rhona alone in her house and staying at Moira's. She opens up to Moira and is devastated. They later find out Rhona had an overdose and is lying in hospital. There, Vanessa tells Marlon and Paddy the truth about Rhona's addiction. Later, Rhona starts getting treatment for her addiction and Vanessa tries to get her and Paddy to forgive her, which they eventually do.
Vanessa then buys and moves into Nikhil Sharma's former house after he moves to Canada. Following Cameron Murray's hostage siege at The Woolpack in October 2013, Diane Sugden and Chas Dingle stay with her briefly until the pub is complete. When Declan Macey evicts Dom Andrews and his daughter, Gemma, Vanessa lets them stay with her. Vanessa accompanies Dom to the hospital when Gemma is found unconscious and is upset when Gemma dies. She attends Gemma's funeral and helps Dom through his daughter's death. The two develop a close friendship and Vanessa is there for him when Belle Dingle is accused of Gemma's murder. On 13th June 2014, Dom leaves the village without telling Vanessa.
2014-2016: Relationship with Kirin and birth of JohnnyEdit
In August 2014, Vanessa and Leyla Harding go on a night out and Vanessa has a one-night stand with a young man. She boasts to Leyla about him the day after and tells her he’s only 24. However, she later realises it is Priya Sharma's soon-to-be 17-year-old stepson, Kirin Kotecha. When Vanessa realises this she is horrified and decides to confront him. He charms her and asks to come around to hers and explain. Kirin tells her he wants to keep seeing her and they decide to continue their relationship in secret. But Priya catches them and demands they end their relationship, to which Vanessa agrees. After trying to stay away from each other they decide to not let others dictate what they do and give their relationship another go. They later, decides to go public with their relationship and Kirin invites Priya and his dad, Rakesh to join them at the pub. When they realise Vanessa is the person he’s dating they both get upset, but Rakesh reckons Kirin will soon be bored of her.
In November 2014, Kirin has a row with his dad and decides to move in with Vanessa. Vanessa gets upset at how he moved in without asking her and tells him that she’s not ready to share her space with him just yet. However, he doesn’t take it well and after a fight, she ends up breaking up with him. Vanessa fears she overreacted and calls Kirin to ask him to go back to her while he’s out drinking. While driving his father's car there, he collides with Moira's van and sends her sliding off the road. She is rushed to the hospital and Vanessa is furious with him when she finds out he was the one who caused Moira’s accident but he swears he’s sorry and didn’t know Moira’s had gotten hurt. Vanessa goes up to Butler’s Farm to apologize for Kirin and convince Cain and Moira to not go to the police. Vanessa’s defence of Kirin upsets Moira and she promises not to call the police due to her owing Vanessa for all she’s done for her but says that from this moment their friendship is over. Vanessa wants to repair her relationship with Moira and tries to get her attention at Katie’s hen night. She tells her that she misses her and apologizes for what happened. Moira forgives her and they hug and reconcile.
In January 2015, Katie decides to sell Tug Ghyll, which does not leave Vanessa and Leyla happy since they will be forced to move out. However, in February Vanessa is devastated when she finds out Katie has died. After Katie's death, her husband, Andy Sugden, takes ownership of the property and chucks Vanessa and Leyla out. With nowhere else to stay, Vanessa moves into Kirin's, much to his delight. On Vanessa's birthday, Kirin notices a lump on one of Vanessa's breasts and they both fear it could be cancer. She tells him it's nothing to worry about but with encouragement from Rhona goes to the doctors. Kirin promises to support her and Vanessa books a hospital appointment but he fails to go with her and Rhona goes with her instead. She is disappointed in Kirin but thankful for Rhona being there for her. Vanessa feels that what she and Kirin have isn't enough anymore and breaks up with him. Andy decides to let Vanessa and Leyla have their house back.
In March 2015, Vanessa has a one night stand with Moira's son Adam after he is dumped by his girlfriend, Victoria Sugden. They agree that it was a mistake and should keep it a secret. When Kirin goes with her to get the results of her cancer tests, she gets the all clear, and gets back together with him. However, not long after Vanessa is horrified to learn that she is pregnant, and isn't sure who is the father. She tells Rhona, who tells her she'll be there for her whether she chooses to keep it or have a termination. She decides she can't have the baby, because of how messy it will make everyone's life but after seeing Marlon with Leo, she changes her mind and wants to keep it. She realises she needs to tell Kirin and Adam. Kirin is ecstatic at the thought of becoming a father but Adam is terrified. Kirin and Vanessa tell Rakesh that she is pregnant and he demands Vanessa have an abortion but she refuses. Unable to deal with the stress of knowing Adam could be the father, Vanessa books a DNA test with only Adam present. However, Kirin finds out and Vanessa is forced to tell him Adam could be the baby's father. When the DNA results letter arrived Rakesh took them before Vanessa could see it and changed the results to show Adam as the father. On 1st June 2015, after seeing the fake results, Kirin leaves Vanessa and she tells Adam the baby is his.
In September 2015 after Jai Sharma accidentally pushes her over at Kirin's cordial business launch, Vanessa collapses by the road whilst walking home. Kirin finds her and gets her to hospital where the doctors tell her she's in labour. They tried to stop the labour but they couldn’t and on 11th September 2015, Vanessa gave birth 14 weeks prematurely to her son, Johnny Woodfield, with both Adam and Kirin by her side. Adam and Vanessa visited Johnny in the NICU, but Vanessa became distressed at how little her son was. Vanessa said she couldn't bear watching her son in that state, waiting for him to die so she left Adam alone in the hospital. Everyone got bemused when Vanessa returns home, acting like everything is normal. Adam became annoyed with her behaviour and when he went into the hospital that day Johnny's incubator alarm when off. Adam phoned local vicar Ashley Thomas and asked him to perform an emergency baptism for Johnny but Vanessa refuses to come, believing her son will die. However, Victoria managed to persuade Vanessa to go to the hospital for Johnny's baptism.
Vanessa kept feeling insecure about her mothering skills but tried to do what she was supposed to do. In early October 2015, Johnny's incubator alarm went off again and Adam couldn't get hold of Vanessa. When Vanessa finally arrived at the hospital, the doctor told them that Johnny had necrotizing enterocolitis and would need surgery the following day. Vanessa was acting strangely calm and hostile. Johnny's surgery went well but Moira notices that Vanessa was not bonding well with Johnny and tries to talk to her but Vanessa angrily runs off. Moira confides her suspicions in Rhona who also talks to Vanessa. Vanessa admits to her that she doesn't feel anything for him and have just been trying to act like she thinks a mum should. Rhona tells Adam who is worried about Vanessa that she was not bonding with Johnny and there is no guarantee that she will ever feel anything for him. He gets upset and confronts her but she storms off. An upset Adam considers trying to get him and Victoria sole custody over Johnny but Rhona overhears and confronts him about it. She convinces him to talk to Vanessa again and she opens up to him about her lack of feelings for Johnny. He tells her to get help and that he doesn't want to take Johnny away from her although it gave Vanessa a wake-up call she needed.
On Christmas Eve Vanessa was allowed to bring Johnny home and a week later she spotted a bruise-like spot on Johnny's back. The midwife reassured Vanessa that Johnny had a Mongolian Blue Spot and that it was harmless, but she raised Vanessa's suspicions when she mentioned that it's common in mixed raced babies. Vanessa ordered a second DNA test to put her mind at rest and a few days later, on 6th January 2016, the second DNA test came back and proved Kirin was Johnny's biological father. Horrified Vanessa realised that she had to tell Adam who was devastated and struggled to take in the news. He asked for some alone time with Johnny but after Vanessa left, Adam took Johnny and drove off with Victoria, where he was forced to reveal to Victoria he was not Johnny's father. Vanessa revealed to shocked Kirin that he was, in fact, Johnny's biological father. Adam plans to run off with Johnny and Victoria but later that evening, Victoria calls Vanessa and reassures her Johnny is alright and that they will bring him home in the morning. Adam and Victoria return Johnny to Vanessa and she tells Rhona that the kidnapping helped her realise how much she loves her son. Kirin wanted to be a dad to Johnny and they decided to give their relationship another try.
In February 2016, Kirin starts getting overwhelmed with parenthood and when Vanessa gets ill he has to look after Johnny by himself. He starts lashing out when Johnny won't stop crying and Carly Hope, Vanessa's housemate, walks in and takes Johnny away from him, scared that he will hurt Johnny. Carly tells Vanessa who is furious and throws him out. Not long after Kirin leaves the village to go on the run after accidentally running over and killing Tess Harris whilst drunk driving, leaving Vanessa to raise Johnny on her own.
After it comes to light that Paddy had an affair with Tess, he and Rhona split up and Vanessa tries to be there for her friend. Rhona takes in Tess's widowed husband, Pierce and Vanessa is worried it's too much for Rhona to deal with. Vanessa is suspicious of Pierce's motives and tries to warn Rhona off him. Later, he and Rhona start dating and Vanessa tries to be supportive and eventually warms up to him.
2016-2017: Long Lost FamilyEdit
In May 2016, Carly invites Tracy Shankley to come live with them in the spare room of their house. Vanessa gets upset when Tracy doesn't pay her rent on time and threatens to throw her out. They make amends but their relationship remains rocky.
In August 2016, Tracy's boyfriend David Metcalfe visited Tracy's father Frank Clayton in prison in the hope of reuniting Frank and Tracy, so that Frank could attend their wedding. During the visit, Frank revealed he was being released early and had written to 'Teeny' about this, which David believed to be Tracy. David tells Tracy about his visits and she is hurt that he went behind her back, and even more hurt to realise the girl Frank is talking about can't be her, as he never called her that name. Later, Vanessa gets a call from Frank, mistaking her for Tracy and confusing Vanessa when he asked about her impending marriage. Vanessa told him she wasn't getting married and asked him to stop calling her 'Teeny' as he lost the right to call her that over thirty years ago when she stopped calling him dad. Vanessa help Leyla sabotage Tracy and David's wedding plans since they are suspicious about her motives. When they find out a fight breaks out, making their relationship even tenser.
Vanessa and Tracy then both received phone calls disclosing that Frank is in hospital. While Leyla and Rhona tried to convince Vanessa to go and visit her father, David convinced Tracy to do the same. Vanessa decided to visit Frank and they discussed Johnny and Frank saw pictures of his grandson. However, when Frank reminisced about a holiday in Skegness, this angered Vanessa, as she was not the child in Frank's story. As Vanessa went to leave, Frank's condition rapidly deteriorated. After the doctors told her he was going to recover she stormed off and accidentally bumped into Tracy and David, but didn't disclose why she was there. Tracy asked a nurse about Frank, but backs out when she tells Tracy that she is the second young lady to visit Frank today. Vanessa then tells Leyla about Frank's seizure, and tells her she is glad she went to visit her father, as he is dead to her now.
Later, Vanessa reveals to Leyla that the hospital called to say they hope to bring her dad out of his coma the next day. On 23rd August 2016, when Vanessa headed to the hospital to see Frank, she was confused when a nurse explained a woman named Tracy was also there to see Frank. Her confusion turned to shock when she spotted Tracy sitting at her father's bedside. Vanessa confronted Tracy, asking what she was doing at Frank's bedside, demanding to know why Tracy was there. At that moment, Frank woke up and Vanessa could not believe it when Tracy called Frank 'dad'. Vanessa angrily says that he's not her dad but Frank steps in and tells her to meet her little sister. Vanessa and Tracy argued after Vanessa referred to Tracy's mum as a skank. Tracy questioned how Frank could allow her to grow up without telling her about her sister, as she'd always dreamed of having one. Vanessa admits she would've loved a little sister she could've looked after. Frank insists he would have loved them to know each other, but Vanessa's mother would never have allowed her near Tracy's mother. Vanessa and Tracy both storms off shortly after, upset with their father.
Vanessa goes to the pub and tells Rhona, Leyla and Chas what happened and Tracy walks in. They start arguing and after Vanessa throws a pint over her new found sister's head, the pair end up scrapping before being broken apart by Carly. Tracy reveals to the whole pub that Vanessa is her big sister and suggests Vanessa is too ashamed of her before storming off. Vanessa later offers to cover the cost of any damage that her fight with Tracy caused and insists she and Tracy have lived different lives, and they are different people but Chas encourages her to reach out and make amends. Vanessa brings Tracy some coffee and cake, and apologises for fighting and suggests Frank has played them both but Tracy orders her to go away.
When David comes round to talk to Vanessa about her and Tracy, he reveals it's Tracy's birthday tomorrow, and suggests it's a perfect time for them to make up, but Vanessa tells David that Tracy means nothing her and asks him to drop it, as neither she nor Tracy will appreciate his meddling. Later, Vanessa overhears Tracy telling Bernice about a present her dad got her for her birthday, and how he stole it back a few days later. Vanessa then approaches David and tells him she's changed her mind, and wants to give Tracy the best party ever. Tracy's 90s themed 27th birthday party gets underway in The Woolpack, and Vanessa wishes her new-found sister happy birthday, before the pair hug. At the party, David, Vanessa, Tracy and Carly discuss the best and worst presents they have received, and Tracy comments how her best was a barbie car that was stolen. Vanessa admits she knew about the car, as Frank took it from Tracy and gave it to her, so Vanessa presents Tracy with a new barbie car. However, Tracy is not happy and lashes out at her. When Vanessa phones Frank, she informs him he can stay at Tug Ghyll with her upon his release, on the condition that he sorts things out with Tracy, and that he treats both of his daughters equally.
Tracy later goes to apologise to Vanessa and Vanessa says sorry to Tracy for them not having the same opportunities growing up. Tracy decides to throw Johnny a birthday party, insisting no member of her family will feel the way she did on her birthdays. Vanessa is interrupted while she informs Tracy that their dad is being released tomorrow, and misses the chance to tell her about him moving to Tug Ghyll. She later tried again to tell her sister about their dad moving to the village but ends up agreeing to try to make up for lost time with her sister by forgetting Frank's existence. When Vanessa returns to Emmerdale with Frank in tow, and reminds her father of her rules, they head to The Woolpack but meet Tracy who is speechless when she comes face to face with dad. Tracy can't believe Vanessa has kept Frank staying with her a secret and insists Frank can drop dead, just as Frank collapses.
Frank gets better but Tracy storms off, still mad at him while he and Vanessa stay in the pub. David tries to convince Tracy to give him another chance, but she overhears Frank telling Vanessa he only cares about her and should forget about Tracy. As revenge Tracy frames Frank for stealing Eric’s bank card. Vanessa is furious with her dad when the police come to arrest him for theft. She apologises to Tracy for not seeing him for what he was and tells her they shouldn't let him come between them as she likes having a sister. However, Tracy felt guilty and later discloses the truth to Eric who tells the police he made a mistake. They all made up and later Vanessa and Frank both attend Tracy and David's wedding.
In November 2016, it is revealed that Frank had lied about the reason he was in prison. He had previously told Vanessa and Tracy that he was in for protecting a woman and had accidentally hurt the attacker when in fact he was in for fraud. When he is blackmailed about that information he almost steals charity money to pay him off. He says that he didn't end up doing it but Vanessa doesn't believe him and says she wants nothing to do with him anymore. To Vanessa disbelief, Tracy still trusts him though and lets him continue living at hers. In January 2017, after Frank admits to the whole pub about his fraudulent past Vanessa reckons he'll do a runner. However, he surprises her and with Tracy's encouragement, she decides to give him another shot.
On 14th February 2017, Rhona and Pierce announce their engagement. Vanessa remains sceptical towards him and their relationship, thinking they're rushing into things. Vanessa gets, even more, doubting when Pierce starts examining possessive behaviour. She is determined to make Rhona see sense and break up with him but Pierce sets Vanessa up to make Rhona distrust her and later goes to threaten Vanessa, telling her he's her worst nightmare. Rhona gets more and more upset with her and tells her to stay away from her. Vanessa tries to make Rhona, as well as all their friends, see what Pierce is really like but no one believes her and they tell her to stop interfering or she'll risk her friendship with Rhona. In April Vanessa realises Pierce has lied to Rhona about deleting a sex tape the two made. While trying to get proof she accidentally sends the video to Paddy and Pearl. Rhona is furious and tells Vanessa she wants her out of her life, leaving Vanessa devastated.
On 11th May 2017 (Episode 7822/7823) Rhona reveals to Vanessa that Pierce raped her on their wedding day. Vanessa eventually manages to persuade her into reporting him to the police. She stands by her through the entire ordeal and is called as a witness for the trial. In late July Peirce is found guilty of rape and is subsequently sentenced to five years in prison.
2017-2019: Suspension & StabbingsEdit
On 12th October 2017, at the funeral of Finn Barton Vanessa follows Charity Dingle down the Woolpack cellar to give her a piece of mind. She accidentally locks them in there due to the lock being broken. With no sign of being found anytime soon they start talking and Charity ends up kissing Vanessa. The next morning she tries to sneak out but is caught by Paddy. She goes back later that day telling Charity their kiss was a mistake and that it won't happen again. Vanessa is terrified Charity will tell everyone and in a desperate attempt to prove she's straight she goes on a date with Daz Spencer but she cannot bring herself to go any further with him. Later in the Woolpack, in the company of Daz and Frank, Charity outs Vanessa and discloses that they spent the night together, declaring 'Its Okay! You can be gay!'. Vanessa, feeling embarrassed and upset, storms off and later talks to Rhona about it, admitting she's not sure if she's straight or not.
Charity continues to tease Vanessa and act nonchalant until she sends Vanessa a text asking her to come over and they start sleeping together. Their relationship continues in secret until December when Paddy walks in on them. Rhona is apprehensive about their relationship due to Charity's reputation but Vanessa tells her 'She's fun, It's fun. She makes me laugh. I'm happier when she walks into the room, you know? My heart... it beats a bit faster'. Vanessa is annoyed with Charity's immature behaviour as she flirts with anyone and constantly tries to wind her up to prove they're nothing more than two people having a bit of fun. Vanessa breaks it off with her but Charity comes after her an apologizes telling her she actually cares about her a bit. They become official 'girlfriend and girlfriend' on the 22nd February 2018 after finally stopping denying their feelings for each other following a night out Vanessa had at a gay bar.
On 12th March 2018, Gabby and Liv go to raid Charity's alcohol stash in the Woolpack. As they are doing so, Charity and Vanessa enter and kiss on the sofa. Meanwhile, Gabby steals a vial of ketamine from Vanessa's bag. Vanessa notices the girls' bags and the two run away. The next day in the Woolpack, Liv accidentally spikes Lisa Dingle's drink with the ketamine, believing it to be Daz's. Lisa collapses and is taken to hospital. An investigation is launched and Liv and Gabby confess to stealing the ketamine. Meanwhile, Vanessa informs the police of its disappearance. Vanessa had disclosed this already to Rhona and when they reveal it to Paddy, he is shocked and disappointed they did not report it straight away. Vanessa talks with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and updates them on the situation with the Ketamine theft. She frets as they want to do an inspection in a fortnight and fears she'll have the book thrown at her.
Two weeks later, whilst Vanessa greets the RCVS inspector, Martin Henderson, Paddy notices Voldemort the snake has gone missing. Paddy, however, discovers that Martin is his old friend from veterinary school and the inspection weighs in Vanessa's favour. Vanessa spots Voldemort behind Martin and shouts. Although Martin pretends to be fuming he actually finds the whole episode hilarious and agrees to put in a good word for Vanessa with the RCVS, telling her he doesn't think there'll be any need for a suspension, to Vanessa's relief. Paddy suggests to Martin that they should have a reunion, recalling a woman on their course with an abundance of facial hair. Paddy makes fun of her until Martin reveals she's now his wife. He states he's now going to play things by the book which leaves Vanessa fearing for her career and leaving Paddy profusely apologising to a fuming Vanessa. She returns to the pub telling Charity, Frank and Pearl what happened and they try to cheer her up. Upset with the prospect of losing her job she runs out with a bottle of wine, announcing she's going to get 'quietly plastered'. Later, Charity finds drunken Vanessa sitting in the surgery talking to Voldemort. Vanessa suggests Charity leaves her before she brings her down too, but Charity promises she's not going anywhere then sticks a fake moustache on Vanessa which raises a smile. The next morning, Vanessa goes for her hearing in London and returns with the news that she's been suspended for twelve months and is lucky she wasn't struck off. Rhona and Paddy agree to give her an admin job until her suspension is over.
In April 2018, Charity admits to Vanessa the rape and abuse she suffered at the hands of Detective Inspector Mark Bails when she was a teenager. Vanessa is horrified and tells Charity to report him to the police but she refuses. Upset with what happened, beside her better judgement Vanessa calls the police. The police officer is under the impression it's Vanessa who was the victim of the historical abuse. When Charity is unwilling to tell her what happened, Vanessa tells the police officer she can't do this and apologises for wasting her time. Once she leaves Charity reveals Vanessa is the only person she's told and the only one she trusted but that she won't be making that mistake again. Vanessa begs her to forgive her but Charity says it's too late for that and dumps her. Charity chats up a guy at the pub but Megan sees her and calls Vanessa. She tries to get Charity to change her mind but she tells her she has a bloke waiting for her upstairs, leaving Vanessa crying. The next day Vanessa is devastated and her family tries to comfort her but after Megan tells her she found out Charity didn't sleep with that guy Vanessa realises she can't give up on them just yet. Vanessa approaches Charity in the pub to talk. She concedes she shouldn't have gone to the police but tells Charity she only did because she couldn't bear the thought of Bails getting away with hurting her. Vanessa tells Charity she thinks she is amazing and they both admit they still really like each other before sharing a kiss.
Vanessa sees a picture of Tracy and DI Bails in the newspaper and realises he is working with her on an initiative to help sex workers. Upset and scared for what he could do to her sister, Vanessa begs Charity to tell Tracy what he's like. She refuses but later at the launch of the sex workers initiative she can't hold it in anymore and publically accuses Bails. Vanessa is there for her and helps her through the difficult court case and the two grow closer. Bails gets convicted but Charity struggles to cope. On September 27th, Charity thanks Vanessa for being there for her and not running every time she has a crisis, and then admits she loves Vanessa, who returns her feelings. In late November Charity asks Vanessa to move in with her and on 13th December 2018, Vanessa and Johnny move from Tug Ghyll into the Woolpack with Charity and her children.
In an attempt to target Belle Dingle, Donny Cairn decided to set fire to The Woolpack with Belle and her family inside. He was caught in the act by Vanessa who tried to stop Donny and a struggle ensued. Donny grabbed a broken bottle and stabbed Vanessa in the abdomen then took off in her car, unaware Vanessa's three-year-old son Johnny was in the back. When Donny realised Johnny was in the car, he decided to leave Johnny at the side of a road. However, Vanessa's girlfriend, Charity Dingle, found Donny and Johnny at the side of the road and rescued the toddler before having it out with Donny and beating him with a metal pole, restraining him until the police arrived. Vanessa made a full recovery in hospital and her near miss prompted Charity to propose the following week.
Relationships and AffairsEdit
Rhona invites Vanessa to Emmerdale after she fires her locum vet. Paddy becomes jealous of Vanessa and Rhona's friendship. Vanessa later humiliates him in front of Edna Birch, when they discuss payment for her dog's treatment. In the local pub, Vanessa eyes up Andy Sugden at the bar and suggests that she and Rhona go on a night out. Vanessa is distraught when Katie Addyman's horse dies whilst in her care. Katie threatens to sue Vanessa but Rhona helps calm the situation down.
Paddy later helps Vanessa look for a flat but she is distracted by a fire across the road. Vanessa learns that Rhona is addicted to painkillers, after becoming hooked after having trouble with back ache. She tries to help Rhona but it just gets worse. When Rhona and Paddy go on a weekend away with friends Marlon Dingle and Laurel Thomas, Rhona buys painkillers and takes them. As a result, Rhona misses Leo's first steps and tells Paddy that she does not feel well, asking him to take her home but then go back to the cabin while Vanessa looks after her. Vanessa confronts her about stealing painkillers from Sandy Thomas, leaving him in severe pain. Rhona denies it until Vanessa says she can have more painkillers if she admits it and she does. Vanessa then refuses to give her anything and Rhona slaps Vanessa. Vanessa then tells Rhona that she needs professional help for her addiction. Vanessa realises that she has feelings for Rhona and tries to help Rhona wean herself off the painkillers. Eventually, Vanessa realises what she is doing and warns Rhona that if she doesn't stop, she will end up in the hospital or even worse dead. Rhona ignores this and pushes Vanessa to give her drugs. Vanessa eventually tells Rhona how she feels but Rhona rejects her, claiming her feelings are "wrong". Vanessa is distraught but continues to give her the painkillers. Rhona eventually visits a drug dealer for more drugs but starts coughing up blood, so Vanessa takes her to the hospital. On their return, Paddy confronts Rhona as he thinks she is cheating on him. When he tries to look at her phone, Rhona lashes out and hits him repeatedly but Vanessa supports Rhona and wanting more drugs, Rhona reveals that she is in love with Vanessa and kisses her passionately. Vanessa and Rhona begin a brief affair but are rumbled when Paddy catches them kissing. Paddy refuses to believe Rhona is a lesbian and stays with Marlon and Laurel. Rhona tells Vanessa that she was only using her to get painkillers, insulting her and throws her out. Vanessa stays with Moira and learns that Rhona has overdosed and meets Marlon and Paddy at the hospital. There, Vanessa tells Marlon, Paddy, and Moira that Rhona is addicted to painkillers and why she lied to Paddy. Paddy attacks Vanessa but Marlon and Moira restrain him. Rhona wakes up and Paddy tells her that he knows about her addiction before throwing Vanessa's belongings out on the street. Angrily, Vanessa tells Pearl Ladderbanks that she and Rhona kissed, making Pearl wonder if Rhona is a lesbian before moving in with Moira, Cain and Moira's son Adam Barton. Moira tells her that Rhona will be released from the hospital soon.
Rhona is discharged and decides to go "cold turkey", rather than go to rehab. Vanessa learns of this and is concerned for Rhona's welfare. Paddy threatens to sack Vanessa but she reminds him that she is a partner, so he cannot. She eventually repairs her relationship to both Paddy and Rhona. In January 2014, Vanessa, Rhona, Paddy, Marlon, and Laurel goes to a gay bar as Vanessa is still confused about her sexuality. Vanessa tells Rhona the night made her realize she fell in love with her for who she is and not because she's a woman. Rhona tells her she will always love her but only as a friend to which Vanessa says she would rather have her as that than not at all and they hug it out.
In May 2014, Vanessa helps Moira prepare for her wedding day to Cain. After Moira's nephew, Pete Barton has a bust-up with his girlfriend, Debbie Dingle, he confides in Vanessa and they kiss. They both regret it but Debbie sees them hugging.
In August 2014, Vanessa goes on a night out and has a one-night stand with a young man, who appears to be in his 20s. She boasts to Leyla Harding about her new boyfriend and realizes it is Priya Sharma's soon-to-be 17-year-old stepson, Kirin Kotecha, and there is a 21 year age gap. She visits Kirin and they agree to continue their relationship in secret but they are caught by Priya and Leyla. Priya demands Vanessa and Kirin end their relationship for good but Vanessa and Kirin are caught again by Paddy. Kirin later tells Priya and Rakesh about his relationship with Vanessa, angering Priya but Rakesh tells her Kirin will soon get over her. He tries to convince Vanessa that Kirin will soon be bored of her and that he has a thing for older women. His words get to her and Vanessa decides to go away for a while with Rhona to think things through. When they come back Vanessa thinks Kirin is ignoring her, leading to Rhona and Paddy setting her up with anouther guy. Kirin sees this and gets upset. He tells Rhona that he wasn't ignoring Vanessa but just didn't see her, which leads to Rhona telling Vanessa she should give Kirin another shot and they reconcile.
After months of dating Kirin, Vanessa decides to end their relationship, after he moves into her house without talking to her first and they have an argument. Kirin goes out drinking and while driving his father's car back to Vanessa's, he collides with Moira's van and sends her sliding off the road. She is rushed to the hospital and Vanessa is furious with Kirin but forgives him and they make up. Kirin tells his dad he doesn't want to go to university and that he is in love with Vanessa. Furious of his decision, Rakesh confronts them in the pub telling Vanessa that Kirin loves her. The next day they talk and Vanessa is worried she's the reason Kirin no longer wants to go to uni. He tells her that's not the case but that it is true that he loves her. She says she's not quite there yet but implies she will be. On her birthday, Kirin notices a lump on one of Vanessa's breasts and they both fear it could be cancer. Kirin promises to support her and Vanessa finally tells him she loves him. She books a hospital appointment but he fails to come. This leads to Rhona supporting taking her there instead and Vanessa breaks up with Kirin.
While on their break, Vanessa has a one night stand with Adam Barton but decides not to tell Kirin, and soon after gets back together with him. However, Vanessa soon learns that she is pregnant and is left unsure of who the father is. She decides to tell Kirin who is ecstatic at the thought of becoming a father, they then tell Rakesh about the pregnancy and he isn't as pleased, demanding she has an abortion but she refuses. Unable to deal with the stress of not knowing who the father is and scared it will break Kirin's heart if it's not him, Vanessa books a DNA test. However, when the nurse leaves, Kirin arrives and Adam hides upstairs. When Adam's mobile phone rings, Kirin realises that he is upstairs and believes that they are having an affair. Vanessa tells him that it is not an affair but Adam could be the baby's father. Not wanting his son to be a father yet, Rakesh steals the test results which show that the baby is Kirin's and edits them to make everyone believe that Adam is the father. Kirin not being able to deal with Vanessa having a baby with someone else ends their relationship. A few months later, Vanessa and Kirin start getting closer again and when Vanessa goes into early labour Kirin is there for her alongside Adam.
After finding a bruise-like spot on her son, Johnny's back that is common with mixed-race babies Vanessa gets suspicious and orders another DNA test. The test results show Kirin as the father and a distressed Vanessa is forced to tell him. He is upset at first but wants to be a father to Johnny, subsequently, he and Vanessa decide to give their relationship another shot. However, when Vanessa gets ill Kirin is forced to look after Johnny by himself. He starts lashing out when Johnny won't stop crying and Carly walks in and takes Johnny away from him. Carly tells Vanessa who is furious and throws him out. Not long after, Kirin is forced to leave the village after accidentally have run over and killed Tess Harris whilst drunk driving. He tells Vanessa he can't cope with being a father and that he doesn't love Johnny, and she tells him to go to hell.
In March 2015, while taking a break from her relationship with Kirin, Vanessa has a drink with Adam as they are both upset with their respective partners and have a drunken one night stand. They both regret it the next morning and agree to keep it a secret, not wanting to risk hurting Kirin and Adam's girlfriend, Victoria Sugden, and try to carry on with their lives. However, soon after Vanessa discovers she is pregnant and realises that Adam could possibly be the father.
In April 2017, after breaking up with Victoria again, Adam confides in Vanessa and tries to kiss her. She pulls away and he apologizes before leaving.
At the funeral of Finn Barton on 12th October 2017, Vanessa ends up locked in the Woolpack cellar with Charity Dingle, who confesses that she has had an eye on her. Charity kisses Vanessa and the two spend the night together, only to be busted by Paddy the next morning. Vanessa, confused about her sexuality, goes on a date with Daz Spencer but she cannot bring herself to go any further with him. Later in the Woolpack, Charity outs Vanessa and tells everyone that they slept together, declaring 'Its Okay! You can be gay!'. Charity continues to tease Vanessa and act nonchalant while Vanessa struggles to come to terms with her sexuality. In November Charity sends Vanessa a text message, asking her to come over and they start sleeping together. Rhona is apprehensive about their relationship due to Charity's reputation but Vanessa tells her 'She's fun, she makes me laugh. My heart... it beats a bit faster when she walks in the room'.
After teasing and denial of having feelings for each other Charity realises that she may actually care for Vanessa and they become official 'girlfriend and girlfriend' on the 22nd February 2018. When Vanessa faces a suspension from her job Charity is there for her. Vanessa tells her she should leave her before she drags her down with her but charity reassures her she's not going anywhere. In April, Charity confesses to Vanessa the past abuse and rape she suffered as a teenager at the hands of DI Mark Bails. They split up briefly after Charity dumps Vanessa when she calls the police to report him. However, they soon get back together when Vanessa apologises and tells Charity she thinks she's amazing, much to Charity's disbelief. As Charity goes through a particularly difficult court case against Bails when she finally has the courage to take him on, Vanessa is constantly supportive and the two become closer. On September 27th, Charity admits she loves Vanessa - who feels the same. In late November Charity asks Vanessa to move in with her and on 13th December, Vanessa and Johnny move from Tug Ghyll into the Woolpack.
On 10th January 2019, Vanessa is stabbed by Donny Cairn as she attempts to stop him from setting fire to the Woolpack. He drives off with Vanessa's car, with Johnny still inside. Charity manages to track him down and return Johnny safely but when she gets to the hospital Vanessa has taken a turn for the worse and they aren't sure she'll make it. Luckily she survives and Charity realises she cannot cope without Vanessa and her support and decides to propose. Chairty is stressed about how to do so as she cannot think of anything worthy enough and seeks help from Chas and Tracy.
Outside the Woolpack on 17th January (Episodes 8369/8370), Charity talks to Megan , who discloses she is helping to plan a proposal at Home Farm for a client. Charity rushes to Home Farm and poses as Megan's boss, locking the client Miles in a cupboard. She calls Tracy who has Rhona drive her and Vanessa to Home Farm. Charity tells the employees that the Miles is no longer proposing but as they have gone to the trouble of being there, they can help her instead. When Vanessa arrives, the two get into the horse and carriage. As it pulls away, Megan and Miles begin shouting as Tracy and Rhona are left confused. Charity hastily proposes to Vanessa who is in awe and asks if Charity has done all this for her. Vanessa very quickly realises however that Charity has stolen Miles' proposal and tells her no.
A distraught Charity gets drunk at Home Farm while Vanessa, Tracy and Rhona head back to the village disgusted. Charity expresses her feelings for Vanessa to Tracy which she feeds back to her sister and Vanessa returns to Home Farm to find Charity drunk. She tells Charity that she doesn't need a big proposal as she's happy whenever they're together and Charity proposes again. This time Vanessa says yes just as the fireworks from Miles' original proposal go off and the two enjoy them together. The next day in the Woolpack, Charity and Vanessa announce to their friends and family that 'she put a ring on it!'.
- The idea to make Tracy and Vanessa half-siblings was presented to producer Iain MacLeod by the actresses, Michelle Hardwick and Amy Walsh. Michelle and Amy felt they looked similar and pointed out their characters both had an unknown father in prison.
- 'Uh, well now you don't have to' (First line, to Paddy Kirk)
- 'I'd say, what have you done with my girlfriend' (to Charity Dingle as they become official)
- 'She's fun... it's fun, she makes me laugh, I'm happier when she walks in the room y'know... my heart... it beats a little bit faster' (to Rhona about Charity)
- 'Well, I'm in for the duration so, bring it on' (to Charity Dingle)
- 'Vanessa Woodfield, local vet' (to Kim Tate)