Meet our dedicated team of staff who keep Hounds for Heroes running
Virginia joined Hounds for Heroes in July 2018 having worked in the charity sector for many years in operational management, finance, and education. Virginia is passionate about the positive impact dogs can have on people’s lives. She is committed to Hounds for Heroes’ ambitious strategy of increasing the number of new puppies starting training each year, enabling more injured and disabled men and women of both the UK Armed Forces and Emergency Services to benefit from an assistance dog.
Sarah is the longest serving member of the team. She began as a volunteer in 2011 and became a member of staff in 2012. During this time Sarah has seen her role grow from general administrative support to coordinating the whole office. Sarah loves her job and says she is honoured to be involved in making such a positive difference to people’s lives.
Sarah’s spare time is spent gardening and looking after the various family pets: German Shepherds Star and Samson, Labrador Colonel, chickens and fish.
Liz joined the charity in July 2015 and looks after the management and issuing of collection boxes and buckets, promotional materials and merchandise sales along with sending out letters of thanks to all our supporters. Liz says she feels humbled to have such a rewarding job. She enjoys talking to and meeting the charity supporters.
Although Liz has recently stood down after many years of being a Civilian Instructor with the Air Cadet Organisation, she continues her support with them on the clay pigeon shooting ranges. She now has more time to train as a Grandma, which is her newest job role to date.
Liz also enjoys photography, gardening and looking after the wild birds in her garden.
Rita joined the charity in November 2014 and coordinates fundraising and awareness events. This includes speaker requests, supporting fundraisers and volunteers. Rita enjoys her job, especially meeting the wide variety of people who choose to support Hounds for Heroes. She is continually amazed at the commitment, effort and generosity of the supporters.
Rita enjoys the outdoor life including hill and mountain walking, kayaking and camping. In her spare time, Rita volunteers at The Rowans Hospice.
Ravinder joined Hounds for Heroes in November 2014. He is responsible for the charity’s financial processes and brings experience of working within a finance environment for 25 years. He enjoys working in the not-for-profit sector because of the difference it makes to communities.
He is the proud father of two sons, likes to go walking, play softball, watch cricket, has recently taken up Golf and belongs to a local badminton club.
Dog Training and Client Manager
Sandra joined Hounds for Heroes in October 2016. Her role is to oversee the training of the puppies, client applications for working dogs and the aftercare program. Before joining Hounds, she had worked within the assistance dog world for 20 years, giving her significant experience in all aspects of assistance dog health, welfare and placement. Her sidekick is a Golden Retriever called Rookie who supports Hounds as a demo/fundraising/media dog and a ‘meet and greet dog’ for the applicants. In her spare time, when she has some, she likes to make sure family memories are not lost by creating scrapbooks and journals.
Aftercare Officer and Advanced Dog Trainer
Lexi joined in March 2015. As an Advanced Dog trainer, Lexi has a varied and fulfilling role taking the dogs from 14 months old until they are ready for placement. Lexi feels extremely privileged when working as an aftercare officer to see the transformation Hounds for Heroes dogs make to the partners’ lives. She finds it very rewarding to be a part of the partnership formation. Lexi says she has always been animal mad, especially about dogs, so this career is perfect for her.
In her personal life there’s nothing Lexi loves more than going for long countryside or beach walks with her border collie and socialising with friends and family.
Lauren joined the charity in 2017 as an Advanced Dog Trainer within the dog department. Lauren had previous experience volunteering as a puppy parent for Guide Dogs and Surrey Police. She really enjoys working for Hounds for Heroes and loves training the dogs to form life-changing partnerships. In her free time, Lauren enjoys walking her family pet dog, Ernie the Dalmatian, and cycling.
Louise started working for Hounds for Heroes in March 2017 as a Puppy Trainer. Louise enjoys teaching classes; supporting puppy parents and watching the puppies develop as they learn different life skills ready for their advanced training. In her free time, she is kept busy with her two children, Border Terrier Charlie and her Whippet Chester.
Having volunteered for Hounds for Heroes for eighteen months, Jade was recruited as a trainee Advanced Trainer in February 2019. Jade loves animals and it has always been her dream to work with assistance dogs. Away from work, Jade has a young Border Collie puppy at home called Bella and loves to spend time training and walking her. She also likes socialising with friends and taking part in many sporting activities.
Dog Training Assistant
Alison joined Hounds for Heroes in February 2019. This new role for the charity has her in a supporting role in both the puppy and advanced dog training departments. She helps in puppy class and runs one-to-one sessions with our puppy parents. Alison’s past experience as a volunteer puppy parent is invaluable in her role. The other part of her job is working alongside the Advanced Trainers, preparing the adult dogs for life with their new partners. Alison enjoys the fact that her days are varied and filled with new challenges.
Alison has recently completed a Degree and Masters in Fine Art at The University of Chichester and is an artist who works with textiles to create maps.
Sarah joined our team having volunteered as a Dog Training Assistant with Sussex County Dog Trainers teaching both scent work and obedience classes of various levels. Sarah has always had dogs of her own; she is currently mum to a rescued German Shepherd named Bella. Sarah has a keen interest in animal behaviour, particularly relating to assistance dogs, having recently completed a degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Plymouth. In her spare time Sarah enjoys her various roles in multiple choirs, having recently performed with the University of Plymouth Student Choir and the University of Plymouth Big Band on their combined tour to Bruges.