Meet the Trustees

Pets As Therapy Trustees are volunteers who bring a wide range of knowledge, expertise and experience to our Charity. They advise and assist with decision making and approve our Strategic and Business Plans, as well as our Annual Budget.

Simon Fletcher (Vice-chair)

I am a director with an international charity that uses the law to fight climate change and protect biodiversity. Prior to that, I was a director at an international law firm where for 22 years I was responsible for leading and managing strategic and governance related projects. I also managed their grant-making foundation, working with several charities. As a PAT Trustee, I have witnessed first-hand the impact our volunteers and their pets make to the quality to people’s lives. Using my governance and charity management experience, I’ve been able to help strengthen PAT’s capabilities and resources to effectively support volunteers and enable them to do what they do best. My wife and I live in Buckinghamshire and enjoy walking and exploring the Chilterns with our rescue dog Reilly.

Julia Garner

I joined Pets As Therapy as a volunteer in 2019 with my rescue dog Hardy and decided we would focus our visits on care homes. Hardy always manages to bring a smile to people’s faces and it’s very clear to see the power that animal therapy has on individuals and groups. I was delighted when I was asked to be a trustee. I am a human resources professional, having worked mainly in large organisations, from airlines to energy companies. My career journey has been diverse, so I can bring many experiences together to help the charity deliver and grow. I am married to Bruce and live in West Sussex with Hardy and his twin brother Nelson. We are close to the South Downs so there are wonderful walks to explore together.

Anna Hall

I am delighted to be a Trustee for Pets As Therapy as I understand how animals can have a profound impact on people’s lives. I am currently the Director of Operations for Riding for the Disabled Association, an organisation that enables some 25,000 disabled people to benefit from a wide range of activities with horses and ponies. I worked in the environmental sector for 15 years in consultancy, for the National Farmers’ Union and latterly for the Environment Agency. I then changed career, working for British Equestrian, the national governing body for equestrian sport, with the aim of getting more people involved in equestrian sport more often. I live in Northamptonshire and can be mainly found outdoors, on a horse or walking the many footpaths with my husband and our rescue border collie.

Peter Portlock

I became a PAT Volunteer with my Standard Poodle Max in 2019 and the visits we make to our local hospital have become a regular feature of our lives. I’m fortunate to witness first-hand the huge and positive impact that Max and the other PAT Dogs have on the experience of patients, relatives, friends and staff, and the enormous therapeutic benefit that such visits bring. The unique difference that Pets As Therapy, as well as its volunteers and staff, make to the lives of thousands of people across the UK means it’s a privilege to be able to work for and support this fine Charity. We live in Surrey, close to the river and Richmond and Bushy Parks, where there are plenty of opportunities for us to walk and explore.

Dr Kathryn Rhodes

I am delighted to join Pets as Therapy as a Trustee. As a Headteacher in London I observed first-hand the positive impact therapy pets can have on children and adults, alike. Talking to, or about a pet, makes so many people smile and connect with the world and those around them. Helping to create a positive impact for people has been a focus of my career. After Headship, I worked in the University sector, focusing on individual and organisational development. I have additional trustee experience as the education champion for Fordhall Community Farm – England’s first community-owned organic farm. My partner and I have two dogs: Alfie a rescued Bichon Frise and Bobbin a miniature schnauzer.

Scott Smith

My first experience of Pets As Therapy was when a volunteer and their dog visited a local stroke group that I was managing. Then a few years later, my grandmother told me about the wonderful dog that visited her when she was in a hospice. Both dogs brought a big smile to the faces of everyone, and it’s a real privilege to now be a PAT Volunteer myself. I became a Trustee in 2019 and Chair the Fundraising, Marketing and Communications subcommittee. I bring my experience of working in the charity sector, specifically in fundraising, and my academic knowledge of communications that I gained at the University of Sheffield. In my spare time, I enjoy watching rugby and going on long walks with my wife and rescue dog, Freddie.

Sue Stone

I’ve been a nurse for 37 years and have worked in many areas of mental health services, including CAMHS and dementia services, and I’ve witnessed the power of animal-assisted therapy. After seeing a PAT Dog - a Labrador called George - at work in an older people’s ward, I decided to become a PAT Volunteer. I live in Cwmgiedd in South Wales and have three giant dogs - a St Bernard, a Newfoundland and a Great Dane. They all take it in turns to accompany me to work as Director of a charity that works with adults in recovery from addiction.

Carol Warner

I worked for Guide Dogs for over 30 years and saw first-hand the benefits of the human-animal bond – how the relationships between people and animals can improve confidence, self-esteem, encourage interaction with others and promote positive mental wellbeing and reduce loneliness. In 2018 I became a volunteer for Pets As Therapy and my dog Tommy and I are part of the Read2Dogs scheme. At every visit I am constantly amazed at the interaction between Tommy and the students and how this can support those who may be struggling with school life. Earlier this year I was privileged to become a Trustee and hope that my experience and skills can support the growth of this amazing Charity. I live in Warwick and enjoy travel, keeping fit, photography and walking the dog.

Sarah Webbe

PAT trusteeship for me combines a long-time interest in reading development and a love of and respect for animals and their relationships with people. PAT Teams touch thousands of lives through practical therapy and it is a privilege to help. My business experience spans operations and commercial management for the National Trust, the business consultancy McKinsey and in legal services provision. I have also been a school librarian and literacy coach. Pro bono work includes leading an active 7,000-member alumni association, being a development adviser for an FE college and special adviser to a National Trust Regional Committee. I’ve launched a humanitarian work bursary scheme for students and helped to rebuild a derelict village hall. I am training as a PAT Assessor in memory of our family black Labrador.

Ian Windsor

I joined Pets as Therapy as a Trustee in late 2021 as I’m passionate about improving mental health and how this can be achieved through the companionship of animals. In my professional career I have worked in Information Technology for over 30 years and currently head up IT at a global medical technology company. Much of my time is focused on how we use digital technologies to improve patient and employee experiences, become more efficient and protect personal data. As a Trustee I hope to use this experience to help strengthen PAT’s capabilities. I live in Berkshire with my wife, two daughters and Fifi – our miniature Labradoodle. When I’m not working, I love to spend time with my family and walking Fifi in the local countryside.

We’re here to help

Whether you are a potential volunteer, a corporate sponsor or you’d like to take part in an event and raise money for Pets As Therapy, get in touch.

WE ARE JUST A CLICK AWAY