The Trustee of The Donkey Sanctuary is The Donkey Sanctuary Trustee Limited. It is ultimately responsible, in law, for the charity, its assets and activities. Meet the current board.

Stuart Reid

Stuart Reid - Chair of Trustees

Graduating from the University of Glasgow as a veterinary surgeon, Stuart is Principal of the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), University of London. Awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2018 for services to the veterinary profession and higher education, Stuart has been a trustee of The Donkey Sanctuary since 1996 and Chair since 2007. Sitting on the Board of the Food Standards Agency and as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his research interests are focused on zoonotic disease and antimicrobial resistance. He has contributed to over 160 scientific publications, and has secured over £15 million in competitive funding during his distinguished career.

Bill Tetlow

Bill Tetlow - Trustee

Having worked at The Donkey Sanctuary as a regional welfare officer from 1991 until his retirement in 2007, Bill became a trustee of the charity in 2008, so continuing to share his tremendous knowledge of care and welfare. Born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, Bill ran his own farming business up until joining organisation. He has owned and shown donkeys for a hobby since 1976 and has bred several British champions. Bill was chair of the Donkey Breed Society in 1998/1999 and some of his other hobbies include photography and after-dinner speaking.

Christine Purdy

Christine Purdy - Trustee

Christine is an international non-governmental organisation manager whose career began at the World Bank in the 1970s. After three years with the United Nations Development Programme in North Yemen, Christine went on to work with Patgroup International, supporting projects in Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She was then appointed field director for Save the Children Fund, working in Nepal and Sri Lanka before returning to the UK to become CEO of Brooke Hospital for Animals. Christine’s most recent position was CEO of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation. Now retired, she holds voluntary roles for a number of charitable organisations, but her heart is most closely associated with The Donkey Sanctuary.

David Howarth

David Howarth - Trustee

As chair of the Donkey-Assisted Therapy committee, David helps The Donkey Sanctuary develop programmes and activities for young people with additional needs in the UK and overseas. He became a trustee in 2012 after a career that combined education and management. As a teacher, he understands the value of child-centred learning programmes, based on first-hand experience of working with autistic children and other disability groups. David has led a number of charities providing support for young people, the seriously ill, disabled and carer groups. His experience has led him to see the benefits that animal-assisted therapy can offer those with additional needs.

John Sewell-Rutter with Dr Elisabeth Svendsen

John Sewell-Rutter - Trustee

As a lifelong animal lover, John ended his career with seven years as chief executive of Blue Cross, during which time he fostered relationships with many other animal welfare charities, including The Donkey Sanctuary. It was his close acquaintance with our founder, Dr Elisabeth Svendsen that crystallised John’s interest in becoming a trustee in 2008. John’s early career was in marketing for companies including Nabisco, Cadbury and a leading international advertising agency. Then followed managing director roles at two manufacturing companies over a 20-year span, with extensive overseas business activity.

Natalie Cook

Natalie Cook - Trustee

Natalie is a member of our Donkey Care and Welfare and Donkey-Assisted Therapy committees. Before starting in her current role as Animal Behaviour and Welfare Scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Natalie worked on animal welfare campaigns and research in Singapore and Malaysia. She has a Master’s degree in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law from the University of Edinburgh and a BSc (Hons) in Applied Animal Behaviour and Training.

Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford - Trustee

Robert Crawford has been a trustee director of The Donkey Sanctuary since 2010 and currently chairs the Finance and Governance Committee and the Capital Projects Group. He is Principal of Crawford Service Management, a customer-centred consultancy that focuses on developing and implementing strategies leading to increased sales and retention. With a senior background in banking, he has also served as Executive Director of The Institute of Customer Service and as Chief Executive of the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Europe. Robert is regarded as one of the UK’s leading customer service practitioners, having developed nationally recognised pillars of customer service: UKCSI (UK Customer Satisfaction Index), a methodology for gauging customer satisfaction and benchmarking against the best; and ServiceMark, the UK’s national customer service standard.

Rosemary Gillespie

Rosemary Gillespie - Trustee

Rosemary became a trustee of The Donkey Sanctuary in 2012 due to a lifelong love of donkeys and a desire to improve their lives, especially abroad. Originally a nurse, Rosemary worked in California and the UK, specialising in general surgery, spinal injuries and eventually becoming a ward sister and nurse teacher. She moved into academia as senior lecturer in health policy and medical sociology at the University of Portsmouth, completing her PhD in 2000. She led the Kings Fund: Patient Involvement Project, and joined the NHS Modernisation Agency: National Clinical Governance Support Team in 2002. Rosemary moved to the voluntary sector in 2006 and held a number of leadership roles, including deputy CEO at Breast Cancer Care, CEO of The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and CEO of Terrence Higgins Trust. She now runs a consultancy and works as an interim CEO.

Sue Griffin

Sue Griffin - Trustee

Sue graduated from the University of Wales and went on to complete an MSc at The City University in Information Science. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Marketer. After graduating with and MBA from Cranfield School of Management she followed a career in various marketing roles, from Sales to product development and Marketing Director, at Cable & Wireless in the US and UK. Following her return to the UK from California she ran online financial services at Charles Schwab Europe and Fidelity International Investments and spent six years at The Pensions Regulator working as Director of Communications. Sue began her involvement with donkeys riding on the sands at Porthcawl beach and has been involved with equines ever since. She has been owned by Top Hat, a horse, for the last sixteen years. Sue has been a Trustee Director since 2014 and chairs the Fundraising and Communications committee.