Our Trustees / Patrons

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Our Trustees

David Jordan

David JordanChair

My keen interest in animal welfare has seen me involved with many animal charities over the years in various capacities. I also bring a professional background which gives me an insight into the needs of the organisation to ensure it can deliver its services for the animals in our community.

As a trustee working to support the charity I would like to see Oak Tree inspire members of our community, to raise awareness of the needs of animals and to support the important work that the charity does for those animals that need its help.


Rachel Griffiths

Rachel GriffithsTrustee

Having been passionate about animals and their welfare since childhood, becoming a Trustee seemed a good way of helping to make a difference to lives of animals in our local area, as well as the people who care for them.  It is of course a role with considerable responsibility and there have been many challenges and much to learn. 

Whilst I hope my role has helped the Charity, the animals and the staff, the rewards for me have been really positive too.  I have learnt so much about the welfare of our animal companions, and have challenged myself to take on tasks I would not have thought I could do.

The result of my time as a Trustee is immensely rewarding, sometimes a real challenge, often very enjoyable and best of all making decisions that benefit our animal friends.

Peter Armer

Peter ArmerTrustee

As a keen dog owner, we are delighted to have Peter Armer as a Trustee of Oak Tree Animals’ Charity. When not out and about with Willow and Leo, his two fabulous cocker spaniels, Peter is a Partner at RfM Chartered Management Accountants.

Peter brings much corporate experience to our board having made his fair share of big boardroom decisions in his roles as Director of Finance and IT at European Metal Recycling, Director of Finance and Estates at the University of Cumbria, and Director of Supply with BAE Systems.

As if all that doesn’t keep him busy enough, Peter has recently taken up a role as Chair of Audit Committee and Chair of the Quality Improvement Group at a local Clinical Commissioning Group, after six years as a Non-Executive director with an NHS Foundation Trust, where he was Chair of the Audit Committee and the Organ Donation Committee.

Peter is keen to see Oak Tree Animals’ Charity thrive, helping as many animals as possible within our community, while recognising the need to become sustainable to ensure that Oak Tree is able to keep helping future generations of animals and their owners in our region.

Martin Squires BVM&S MRCVS

Martin Squires BVM&S MRCVSTrustee

Martin is a veterinary surgeon and practice owner at The Green Veterinary Surgery, Skelton, where he has worked since 2006. He is a mixed practice vet, and hopes to contribute to the work of the trustees by offering a broad insight into the range of activities that Oak Tree is involved with. Martin's first contact with the charity was in the early 1990's, when he worked for Craig Robinson & Partners, and they were veterinary surgeons for The Animals' Refuge. While many things at the charity have changed since then, and Martin has held other posts in Skipton and Wooler, he still feels that people are core to the proper treatment and wellbeing of the animals under our care. By working together, we can reach our goals.

Scott Wells

Scott WellsTrustee

Scott Wells is the General Manager at Gretna Gateway for a company called JLL which is one of the largest property management companies in the world.  He is responsible for all aspects of the Centre – commercial, legal, environmental and overall leadership and management of staff, consultants and contractors. We are thrilled that he has joined the Board at Oak Tree with his wealth of experience in retail, marketing, health and safety and sustainability. A keen animal lover, with four dogs, including Rebus the rescue Rhodesian Ridgeback; one goose and ten ducks, Scott has a strong affinity with the charity’s mission, vision and values and is keen to use his skills to help animals and their owners in our region.

Emma Hoyles

Emma Hoyles

I live in the small village of Kirkoswald in the Eden Valley with my husband and our 3 dogs (Buster, Rose and Poppy) and 2 cats (Mollie and Trixie). I am originally from Lancashire but have always had a personal connection to the Lake District and jumped at the opportunity to live and work here in 2012. Living and working in Cumbria for the last 9 years has allowed me to get a sense of what it means to be part of a community. I have I have 24 years of experience within the NHS, as both a clinician and a Senior Operational Manager working within a Mental Health Trust and more recently within Education and the Third Sector.

I am animal mad, and love any opportunity to make new fury friends, I love horse riding when I get the time. We even got married at Chester Zoo in 2012 because of my love for animals! Therefore, I am really excited about the opportunity to assist the charity in developing its strategies for future sustainability, I hope to help increase awareness of animal welfare and to play a part in supporting the needs of our Communities.

Our Patrons

Frank Tebbutt

Frank TebbuttPresident

We are delighted that Frank Tebbutt agreed to become our first Honorary President in 2016.

Frank Tebbutt first became involved with our Charity in 1953 when he was asked by Alfred Brisco to volunteer for the Charity.

After ten years as a committed volunteer, Frank was asked to join the staff team as General Secretary, taking responsibility for the small animal section and developing the charity's veterinary service. Frank worked alongside Alfred Brisco for eight years, both being strong and active advocates of animal welfare.

Following Alfred Brisco's death, Frank was appointed by the Board to succeed him and carry on his work as Organising Secretary. Frank worked tirelessly to support animal welfare and raise much needed funds. In November 1979, Frank went with five members of the Executive Committee to view Oak Tree Farm and they decided that this would be the home of our charity which was by now too big to be comfortably situated in Carlisle city centre.

Frank's extensive network of contacts proved invaluable to raise funds and develop the site to make it suitable for the animals in the care of the charity. Frank's faith kept him going and he and his team established Oak Tree farm. He continued to make a difference to hundreds of animals' lives right up until his retirement in 2002.

Frank remains a keen advocate for our Charity. Speaking in 2017, he said "I hope that the charity continues to be as successful as it was in the 40 years I spent as General Secretary. I lend my support to the charity and believe that the changes that have been made over the past year have allowed it to build on my work and the work of Alfred Brisco to improve the lives of animals."

Baroness Fookes of Plymouth, DBE, DL

Baroness Fookes of Plymouth, DBE, DLPatron