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.

Andrew Stringer

Andy Stringer

Andy Stringer has a veterinary degree and spent the initial years of his career volunteering for a veterinary non-profit organisation in Morocco, completing an equine veterinary internship and in equine primary care practice. He returned to the UK to study for a PhD focused on evaluating the efficacy of knowledge-transfer interventions for communicating animal health messages to rural farmers in Ethiopia using a large randomized controlled trial. Andy joined a British non-profit organisation in 2010 as Director of Veterinary Programmes, where he was responsible for managing global veterinary programmes aimed at improving the health and welfare of working animals, before taking up a position as Director, Global Health Education and Clinical Assistant Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, NC State. In these roles, he leads the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Global Health and International Programmes. Andy Stringer also holds the positions of Board Chair of the Triangle Global Health Consortium, a non-profit organisation based in North Carolina, and Board Trustee of The Donkey Sanctuary. In addition, he is also an Honorary Lecturer in International Animal Health at the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool.

Christine Purdy

Christine Purdy

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

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.

Natalie Cook

Natalie Cook

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.

Patrick Pollock

Patrick Pollock

Patrick is a veterinary surgeon graduating from the University of Glasgow in 1998 and is Director of the Equine Hospital and Practice at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh. With a lifelong interest in working equids, he has worked across the globe developing training programmes for local veterinary surgeons and animal owners, and was responsible for setting up some of the first internships and student rotations for veterinary students in low and middle-income countries. Patrick is interested in telemedicine and the provision of clinical care to donkeys and other equids wherever they may be.

He is a European and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons recognised specialist in equine surgery and a fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

A keen bagpiper, runner and kayaker, Patrick lives in Scotland with his partner Kristina and their three children.

Pramada Shah

Pramada Shah

Pramada Shah is a social activist and animal lover from Nepal. In 2009, she co-founded Animal Nepal as an NGO and since then the organisation has launched long-running programmes to help working equines and stray dogs. Animal Nepal has led and become part of several campaigns that have highlighted gross abuse of animal welfare such as abuse of working equines, religious sacrifice of animals, plight of stray cows, elephant abuse, mass poisoning of stray dogs, etc. Animal Nepal and The Donkey Sanctuary UK teamed up in 2009 and over the past decade, this partnership has been vital in improving the lives of working donkeys and mules in Nepal.

Pramada was part of the Animal Welfare Directive drafting committee which was formed by the Ministry of Livestock Development – the first policy level document in Nepal to ensure the welfare of working animals.

Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford

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

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

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.

Tom Mitchell

Tom Mitchell

Tom Mitchell is a Chartered Accountant with more than 25 years’ experience across many sectors, including the charity sector. He has been a Trustee and the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, was Chair at Dunedin Canmore Housing Association and Treasurer at the Royal Scottish Forestry Society.

Tom is a partner in CGPM Consulting LLP, a firm of Chartered Accountants which works almost exclusively with charities across the UK. He currently sits on the charities technical committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, and he has sat on two reference groups of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator dealing with the redesign of Risk-based Regulation and the Incorporation process.