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Who We Are

The charity was founded in 2015 in answer to a pressing need to support our Veterans with PTSD; we are passionate about helping our Armed Forces and Emergency Services and passionate about dogs from rescue… we want to change lives for the better, two at a time!

In 2018 Service Dogs UK won the Soldiering on Award for Animal Partnership and also became full ADI/ADEu Members in October 2021.

We have a team of like-minded people from all walks of life, all with a serious passion for improving the lives of PTSD veterans from the Armed Forces and Emergency Services; whether injured on the front line abroad or at home and for rescue dogs.

We have been very lucky in attracting wonderful sponsors, fantastic dog trainers, fosters, volunteers, fundraisers and others who have joined us in making the difference.

We operate our South Coast Programme in West Sussex which serves Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey along with another Hub based in Somerset and our newest Hub in Essex – all serve surrounding counties.

Dame Kelly Holmes

We are proud to welcome Dame Kelly Holmes as an Ambassador for our charity!

Dame Kelly is a double gold Olympic legend, a Veteran of our UK Armed Forces and an inspirational mental health champion.

We are honoured to have the support of such an iconic figure who is a great role model to young people and fantastic supporter of Veterans in the UK.

She is pictured with one of our wonderful assistance dog partnerships Martin and Ollie.

Garry

Garry BotterillGarry served in the Royal Navy for 6 years before joining the police and is from a family with strong connections to the military. As a frontline Police Sergeant, he has policed G8 and G20 conferences in Scotland, Ireland and Wales and the London Riots. he has been involved in several major crime investigations including high profile murders and terrorism cases. He was the Team Leader for the Sussex body recovery team in the immediate aftermath of the Shoreham Airshow crash in 2015.

He has a keen interest in dogs and their welfare and has introduced microchip scanners to his force. He developed a pilot project for veterans with PTSD to work with dogs to help comrades and colleagues. As a result of his determination to learn more about the positive effect specially trained dogs have on PTSD sufferers he was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to research the subject in the USA and Holland in May 2015, to read his travel blog click here.

Garry is a Sussex Armed Forces Network ‘Champion’ for the police and is also a Mental Health First Aider within the organisation. He is passionate about providing help and support for veterans and colleagues in both the armed forces and emergency services and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. He is the co-developer of the first Police mental health app, Backup Buddy. He joined the National Police Wellbeing Service on secondment and leads nationally on the Wellbeing and Trauma Support Dog initiative which he developed.

He lives by the sea in Hampshire with his rescue dogs Max and Poppy and enjoys running, fitness sessions and paddle boarding.

Donna

Donna is an integrative Psychotherapist (UKCP Registered) and a trauma specialist, with over 30 years experience of working in the NHS – having originally trained as a nurse, then as a psychotherapist.

She is also an Eye, Movement, Desensitisation and Reprocessing ( EMDR) trauma therapy practitioner. Donna has supported multi professionals – nurses, doctors, paramedics, and serving and retained Allied Forces, in individual therapy and group de briefs.

She was the lead psychotherapist and founder of BSUH NHS Trust’s HELP psychotherapy service. She is now a consultant psychotherapist, with her own business.

Donna is a published author – co authoring a book on mental health and well-being.

She has a strong connection to the military, with her family having served in the Allied Forces.

Donna has a lifelong passion for animals, especially dogs, and has been the owner of rescue dogs in the past.  Her grown up son, step children and family, are all animal lovers, and share the joy and love it brings to their lives. Both professionally and personally Donna is acutely aware of the healing nature of the human/ animal connection.

Jane

Jane spent her early years working for both the local authority and the CAA in West London.  She developed her passion for dogs at a very early age and for 10 years spent time competing in Flyball, not only in the UK but also France, Belgium and Germany. Mia, her lab/collie cross was one of the first crossbreeds to compete in a flyball team at Crufts.

When Jane lost Mia, (her heart dog) 3 weeks after moving to the South Coast, she realised she wasn’t ready to commit to owning her own dog so decided to foster and discovered SDUK.  She has never looked back. Fostering has been an incredibly rewarding experience but there are times when it can be both mentally and physically exhausting.

As Foster Liaison Lead Jane is able to use her experience to empathise with other foster carers.  Communication is key in this role to reassure and provide moral support and Jane is passionate about helping our ‘Fab Fosters’ succeed as they are vital for the success of the charity.

Ian

Ian is a semi-retired design engineer who has run his own businesses for over thirty years. Having owned and worked with dogs for several decades, Ian joined the team at Service Dogs UK as a trainer for the South Coast Hub.  He also runs a not-for-profit dog training club that specialises in obedience training for pet dogs to Kennel Club “Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme” standards.

Working with the SDUK team, Ian now also joins us as a Trustee and is looking forward to any new challenges that this may bring.

 

 

Paul

Paul is a qualified accountant (FCA) who had a long career as an accountant/Finance Director in both the Commercial and Not-for-Profit sectors. He grew up with a wonderful and scatty boxer dog call Turk.

He has relatives recently in the services, and his ancestry research has revealed several who served in WW1. His grandfather was in the police force, being one of a line of relatives dating from Victorian times to the 1970s.

Being now retired, Paul has been looking for opportunities to use his qualifications and experience by volunteering to be a Charity Trustee. He found Service Dogs UK through an advert for Trustees, and was struck by the brilliant concept of matching rescue dogs with Veterans.

Glen

Glen is an Army veteran who served 23 years.

Living and working in Sussex, Glen has been through the Service Dogs programme and is paired with black Lab, Beau.

 

 

 

Camilla

Camilla Howard served 11 years as an Administration Officer in the Royal Air Force before leaving as a Squadron Leader in December 2015. Her appointments included Head of HR, Media Communications Officer, Infrastructure Programme lead and Head of Estates looking after both Soft and Hard Facilities Management.

Camilla joined Compass Group UK and Ireland straight out of the RAF and has worked in both their Defence sector and their Independent Education sector. Within Defence she managed over 40 sites including: the National Training Estate contracts, US Air Force contracts, Royal School of Military Engineering PFI and the Hestia Southwest Wiltshire and Gloucestershire regions. Camilla recently moved across to the Independent Education sector and is the Contract Director for the United Learning Trust contract managing 16 Independent schools across the UK.

As an Army wife and veteran, Camilla has been involved with numerous projects for the Compass Group UK and Ireland military network over the last 6 years. She has also recently taken over as the Chair of the Compass Group UK and Ireland Armed Forces committee which sees her maintain contacts within the Defence sector as well as numerous military charities.

Camilla and her husband, James, live in Wiltshire with their son and their black Labrador. As an ex international athlete, she enjoys all sports and outdoor pursuits and is a long suffering supporter of the Welsh rugby team.

Charlotte

Charlotte has a strong administrative and data management background, having spent 10 years with Huhtamaki UK Ltd managing Food Service and Consumer Goods product data, as well as analysing manufacturing output and efficiencies across 5 UK sites.

As a child her beloved dog Gypsy was her best friend and this love of dogs has carried on into adulthood, with her beautiful dog, Tilly. She also has two children, so life is always busy!

Charlotte is acutely aware of the strong connection between humans and their dogs, demonstrated by her father’s bond with his Patterdale terrier, Dash, following a life changing  car accident he was involved in. The companionship between them, along with Dash’s intuitive nature shows a level of compassion and empathy which highlights the significance of the human-canine bond.