Meet the Team

At Woodlands Animal Sanctuary our dedicated team are invaluable in rehabilitating and caring for our animals.

All of our team members are qualified in animal management or animal care and together dedicate over 500 hours a week to caring for our animals.

Animal Care Managers

Alex Fisher
Alex FisherAnimal Care Manager

I am an Animal Care Manager and I have been at Woodlands since 2006.

I have a national diploma in animal care and NVQ level 1 and 2. I have a love of all animals and I own a German Shepherd called Alfie.

Sally McDerby
Sally McDerbyAnimal Care Manager

I have been at Woodlands since 2011, I have overall charge of all equines and their training along with my duties of personal development management for the staff. I also live on site at Woodlands along with my husband and sister in law Vickie.

As a family we live and breathe Woodlands. My true love though is horses.

My qualifications are BHS II, Pony club accredited instructor and UKCC Level 2. I have my horse, cat and several dogs!

Animal Care Team

Abigail Bancroft
Abigail BancroftAnimal Care

I started at Woodlands in April 2018, and I am currently in the process of completing a level 2 animal care apprenticeship at the sanctuary. All my life I have been surrounded by animals, and ever since I was little, I have always wanted to help them in every way I could; from collecting the baby toads in my back garden and putting them in Mere Sands Wood, to adopting our dogs, and fostering rabbits when we could.

I love working at Woodlands, as it has helped me learn so much more about animals I hadn’t had much experience with, and given me a chance to meet the amazing staff and volunteers that keep the sanctuary up and running.

Alisha Fry
Alisha FryAnimal Care

I used to volunteer at woodlands back in 2014 but it wasn't until I left school that I became an apprentice.

I am now working towards achieving my level 2 diploma in animal care.

I love all animals and working at Woodlands to care for, rehabilitate and re-home all of the animals is so rewarding!

Grace Cookson
Grace CooksonAnimal Care

I started volunteering at Woodlands in 2014 and have been welcomed into the Woodlands team early 2018. I am currently in the middle of completing a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management. At the sanctuary my role is to help rehabilitate the sick animals and re-home the unwanted, abandoned or rescued animals.

In the years to come I hope to fulfil my dream of helping as many animals as possible and to venture into the world of conservation.

Louise Hamer
Louise HamerAnimal Care

I started at Woodlands in 2016 as a volunteer and have recently completed my BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare degree at Myerscough. I have always loved animals and have worked hard to build a career with them!

Though I have a love of all animals, I have a soft spot in my heart for birds, especially budgies as a have two called Casper and Skittles.

I am excited to grow with the sanctuary and hope to save and look after many animals along the way!

Louise Doyle
Louise DoyleAnimal Care

I started at Woodlands in 2015 as a volunteer on the stables side of the sanctuary. I have recently completed a BSc (Hons) degree in Equine Science after completing my Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horse Management.

I am hoping to complete all of my British Horse Society stages in the future, which will allow me to teach riding lessons.

I have a passion for animals of all shapes and sizes, but I have a particular love of horses. I started riding when I was 6 and haven’t looked back since! Outside of work I have a Welsh pony called Deago and a labrador x old English sheepdog called Jasper.

Rachel Williams
Rachel WilliamsAnimal Care

I’m currently in my 2nd year of university, I’m currently studying an Honorary degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Myerscough College

I have a passion for working with animals in need and hope to improve and develop my animal skills while at Woodlands.

My job role is to help with the daily routine at the weekends and night check the animals during the week.

Office and Reception Team

Amanda Killingbeck
Amanda KillingbeckAccounts

I have worked at Woodlands since 2009. I started as a volunteer but soon became an apprentice and achieved my NVQ level 2 and level 3 in Animal Care.

My role at Woodlands is Animal Sanctuary is Care Manager meaning I am responsible for the day to day care of the animals, in particular the hedgehogs.

I also occasionally foster animals that need a bit of extra TLC from young hedgehogs that require feeds through the night to poorly or very young kittens!

Terry Parry
Terry ParryOffice and Reception

I have only been at Woodlands for a short time. I am employed as part time receptionist working weekends.

Like all the staff at Woodlands, I have a history of loving animals. Beginning early with guinea pigs and rabbits, later dogs and cats, and presently chickens and bees.

After a 30 year career in nursing (the last 10 years spent nursing palliative patients and those with life limiting conditions) I felt the need for a change and applied for the receptionist post.

The Trustees

Liz Gould
Liz GouldTrustee

I have been involved with Woodlands since 2010 when I was asked to help out at a Christmas collection in a local supermarket.

I became a trustee in early 2012. My particular responsibilities are around the never ending battle to raise sufficient funds for the sanctuary.

I work with an amazing team of fundraising volunteers without whom our fundraising activities would be impossible.

Alison Speakman
Alison SpeakmanTrustee

I was appointed as a trustee in 2017, I am a veterinary surgeon with 27 years’ experience and currently work at Rufford Veterinary Group.

I am responsible for the care of cats and hedgehogs at the sanctuary whilst my equine colleagues care for the equine/farm animals. I have a PhD in feline infectious respiratory disease and my particular area of interest is feline internal medicine.

Alison Speakman BVMS Hons PhD MRCVS

Stuart Irons
Stuart IronsTrustee

I became a Trustee at Woodlands Animal Sanctuary in 2009, after having adopted three cats from the charity the previous year.

I am a Solicitor and Partner of Brabners LLP and assist the Charity with its legal issues.

I love all animals, but cats are my passion!

Lynn Saunders
Lynn SaundersTrustee

I became a Trustee for Woodlands Animal Sanctuary in 2011.

I have extensive experience of both the business and charity sectors from working for over twenty years in International Banking, followed by 17 years in Design.

In addition I spent four years working voluntarily as a Treasurer and Event Organiser for a local branch of the British Heart Foundation.

Vickie Maude
Vickie MaudeTrustee

I have been with Woodlands since the beginning! Before Woodlands was founded by my mother and myself we ran a branch of the Cats Protection.

I was born into animal care and have very clear recollections of cleaning out cat pens aged 4!

I live on site at Woodlands in the family home with my husband, brother and sister in law. The charity is a huge part of my family, we live and breathe it!

Steve Saunders
Steve SaundersTrustee

I am Jacqui McDerby's brother and was brought up with a wide variety of animals.

I became a trustee in 2011. I have close to 30 years business experience, culminating in Director positions, with blue chip International companies, followed by 12 years as an independent Business Consultant specialising in Supply Chain operations.

The Volunteers

We also have a large number of reliable volunteers helping us with animal care and fundraising. If you would like to get involved please let us know.

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