Patrons and Trustees

We are delighted that HRH The Duke of Gloucester is our Patron and plays an active part in the Charity’s life.  Our Trustees are selected for the specific expertise that they bring to Canine Partners along with their enthusiasm and vision for the Charity’s continuing growth and success.

Our Royal Patron

HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO

We are honoured that HRH The Duke of Gloucester has been Patron of Canine Partners for many years and holds our charity close to his heart, regularly supporting a variety of events. His Royal Highness officially opened our Southern Centre in 2005 and visited our Midlands Centre in 2014, when the project was still in its development stage. He is an active supporter of the cause of Canine Partners and particularly enjoys meeting our partners and their dogs.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO, Royal Patron of Canine Partners

Vice Patrons

Roger Jefcoate CBE DL Hon DSc

Roger has been instrumental in the foundation and development of Canine Partners from the outset, exemplified by his generous sponsorship of the Charity’s first dogs Alex, Angus and Alfred in 1994, and continued regular sponsorship via his charitable trusts right up to the present day. As Vice Patron, Roger acts as ambassador for our charity, bringing our work to the attention of influencers across the length and breadth of the country. Roger works tirelessly for our cause and many others in the field of disability, all as a volunteer, and in 1998 was appointed CBE in recognition of his services to disability. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Buckinghamshire New University and in 2011 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. He is also a liveryman of the Drapers’ Company.

Roger Jefcoate

The Dowager Countess of Clarendon DL

Jane has been an enthusiastic and influential supporter of Canine Partners for many years, in her role as Vice Patron, hosting a variety of events in the grounds of Holywell Estate, her family home. The Canine Partners Annual Driven Clay Challenge, Jane’s brainchild, moved past its 11th anniversary in 2015, raising significant funds for our charity year on year. Other events hosted at Holywell include bluebell walks, cream teas and evenings of music. A keen dog lover herself, Jane has sponsored the training of many Canine Partners puppies. She was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire in 2006.

The Dowager Countess of Clarendon DL

Tita Lady Kindersley

Tita has been a devoted advocate and supporter of Canine Partners since first attending one of the Charity’s fundraising events in the mid 1990s alongside her husband, Lord Hugo Kindersley, who for many years chaired our London fundraising committee and acted as Vice Patron. It was in memory of Hugo, who passed away in 2013, that Tita took over the baton as Vice Patron, a role that she throws herself into with gusto, assisting in a hands-on capacity at a whole range of the Charity’s events whilst also introducing us to a variety of new contacts in society. 

Lady Kindersley and her black labrador

Vice Presidents

Elizabeth Ormerod BVMS MRCVS

Liz qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Glasgow in 1975 and has a particular interest in the human/animal bond. Chair of The Society for Companion Animal Studies for many years, Liz has acted as an advisor to numerous Animal Assisted Therapy projects, and was instrumental in the founding of Canine Partners in 1990, recognising the special relationship between a disabled person and their assistance dog. She has acted as Vice President of our charity ever since.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE

Renowned Paralympic wheelchair racer, commentator and broadcaster, Tanni has held the position of vice president of Canine Partners since 2007, having first met the Charity’s dogs and trainers at an event in the Midlands. During her distinguished career, she won 16 Paralympic medals, held over 30 world records and won the London Marathon on six occasions.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE is on Canine Partners Board of Trustees

Trustees Council

Clive Elwood MA Vet MB MSc PhD MRCVS (Chair)

Clive was appointed as Chair of the Trustees in May 2021. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Cambridge University in 1989 and became a specialist in Internal Medicine following a postgraduate degree at The Royal Veterinary College. In 1998 he joined the private referral practice Davies Veterinary Specialists, becoming Managing Director in 2010. Clive brings veterinary expertise to our trustee board whilst also bringing experience of managing a complex organisation. Clive is also Treasurer of the British College of Veterinary Specialists.

Clive Elwood MA Vet MB MSc PhD MRCVS

Gideon Schulman (Vice-Chair)

Gideon is Chief Executive of a Home Care agency and a Corporate Services Company delivering accountancy, HR, financial and payroll solutions. Gideon brings to the board expertise gained as an International HR Director and has decades of experience of managing companies and leading teams. Gideon is passionate about using his skills, knowledge and energy to support community organisations. In addition to his voluntary Trustee role at Canine Partners he is Chair of Governors at Stanmore College. He has previously served as a Trustee for the MS Society and Shift MS in addition to sitting on advisory boards for welfare charities. Gideon has Rabbinic ordination, holds an MA in HR and is a Fellow of the CIPD, CMI FInstLM and RSA. He lives in London with his wife, cat and Canine Partner Lawton.

Gideon Schulman, trustee

Caroline Hoare BSc MBA (Honorary Treasurer)

Caroline joined Canine Partners as a trustee in 2016 soon after she retired from corporate life and a career in corporate finance. Her last role was head of M&A for Anglo American, a large global mining company. Prior to that she has worked for Diaego, Eli Lilly and Goldman Sachs in various finance roles and has an MBA from Manchester Business School. She is also a non-executive director of Bibby Line Group, a Liverpool based diversified family owned business.

Caroline Hoare, trustee

Jackie Staunton FCIPD BScHons MA

Jackie has been a trustee since 2008 and previously held the office of Chair from April 2017 to May 2021. Her career has been in Human Resources and she has worked for a variety of organisations. She is an executive coach and trained mediator, and has provided HR expertise when volunteering on the trustee board of Canine Partners.

She lives in Fleet, Hampshire and is married with three children ranging in age from 15 to 26. Jackie is a lifelong Labrador lover, but she currently has to be content with a cat until she retires from corporate life. Yoga and tennis keep her sane.

Jackie Staunton FCIPD BScHons MA (Chair)

Mark Richardson MCICM

Mark has been a trustee of Canine Partners since 2008 and was previously Chairman before stepping down in 2016. A former corporate banker, Mark has served on a number of boards, both in the business and charitable sectors. He is married with four children and seven grandchildren and relaxes by taking long walks on the South Downs.

Mark Richardson MCICM (Honorary Treasurer)

Claire Graham

A wheelchair user herself, Claire was paired with canine partner Ulli in 2005. Her current canine partner is successor dog Frankland. Claire’s working background is in banking and finance. When relaxing, she enjoys nothing better than walking Frankland along the seafront or around the harbour in Eastbourne.

Claire Graham, vice chair

Jon Flint

Jon was previously paired with canine partner Varick who sadly passed away in 2015, and now has successor dog Jester. Jon comes from a military background, having served in the Royal Marines in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. Jon sustained a spinal injury whilst in service, and took part in the Invictus Games in 2014 as a member of the GB squad. Jon also took part in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics alongside our friends at Help for Heroes. He is currently studying for a further education degree, before embarking on a new career outside of the armed forces.

Jon Flint

Joanna Hill

Jo has been using a wheelchair since being in an accident in 2006. She was partnered with Derby in 2014 and has been involved with the Charity since then as a speaker and supporter. She is delighted to be able to further this involvement by joining the Trustee Council. Her current partner is Barrington (known mostly as Barry).

Following her degree from Oxford, Jo worked in brand management, including time at Unilever and Superdrug, before setting up her own business development company specialising in challenging paradigms and looking creatively at strategy. She has also led and worked within, various voluntary organisations including community ventures and in schools.

Jo lives in rural north Buckinghamshire, and has four children, three of whom still live at home. She enjoys various consultancy and voluntary commitments. Outside of these, Jo and Barry love mooching, exploring the countryside, going to concerts, the theatre, the cinema, music and yoga.

Joanna Hill, trustee

Lady Suzetta Rankin

Suzetta worked in the retail fashion business for many years and, since retiring, has taken part in various charity fundraising committees. In addition to Canine Partners, she is also a trustee of the Cancer Vaccine Institute, a cause close to her heart since the passing away of her husband Sir Alick Rankin in 1999. Living in Perthshire, Suzetta ensures that the Scottish section of our Canine Partners family are represented on the trustee board and she also sits on our Scottish Fundraising Committee.

Lady Suzetta Rankin