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 Team

Izzy Lewis
Izzy LewisAnimal Care
I started working at Woodlands in September of 2019 as an apprentice studying level 2 Animal Care and Welfare and aim to go onto studying veterinary nursing in the future.

I have loved animals ever since I was a toddler and have always dreamed of working with them!

Alongside caring for the animals at the sanctuary and studying for my course, I have a ginger cat called Hugo at home that I absolutely adore!
Kirstie Sherman
Kirstie ShermanAnimal Care
I started working at Woodlands in April of 2019 alongside studying for a level 3 in equine management at Myerscough College. I have always loved horses and started riding when I was 7. I have a cat at home called Rose who we rescued as a stray.

I grew up working with farm animals and bringing in sick or injured animals so Woodlands has been the ideal opportunity for me to develop my skills and experiences. I find it very rewarding and I'm excited to learn more!
Sam Smith
Sam SmithAnimal Care
I started working at Woodlands Animal Sanctuary in June 2021 and it has been my dream to work with all kinds of animals. I came to woodlands for an apprenticeship to help me become what I want in the future. I’m studying level 2 animal care and i'm hoping in the future I can be a veterinary nurse.

I have grown up with all kinds of animals like dogs, owls, fish and lots more, at the moment I have a dog called Rocco and he is my favourite animal in this world. I have got far to go, however I have learnt a lot so far!
Rachel Williams
Rachel WilliamsAnimal Care
I graduated in 2019 with a First Class in BSc (Hons) 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. During working at Woodlands, I have rehomed a beautiful black cat Izzy!

I have been working at Woodlands since May 2018 as an animal carer, I was then promoted to Animal Care Manager in August 2020 where I underwent a leadership course to extend my knowledge in managing! I still enjoy the animal care part of my job but I am very proud of my time here at the sanctuary!
Jude Garlick
Jude GarlickAnimal Care
I started my dream job in July 1999, having attained a Diploma in Feline Welfare & Behaviour Lv3. I was very apprehensive how I would get along with the equines, but I needn't have worried ; I love them as much as the hogs and the kitties! I have since attained the more versatile Diploma in Animal Nursing & Welfare Lv3, and continue to adore not only the animals in Woodlands care, but my job!
Louise Doyle
Louise DoyleAnimal Care
I started at Woodlands in 2015 as a volunteer on the stables side of the sanctuary. I completed a BSc (Hons) degree in Equine Science in 2016 after completing my Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horse Management.

I am currently studying towards a post graduate diploma in animal therapy, which will allow me to become an animal physiotherapist.

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, a labrador x old English sheepdog called Jasper and a staffie cross called Hugo.
Lucy Carver
Lucy CarverAnimal Care
Working at Woodlands has helped to improve the skills and knowledge that I have gained throughout my life and I'm excited to continue improving!!

I started at Woodlands as a volunteer in January 2018 and am currently working towards my GCSEs. My goal is to study Veterinary Science at university. Growing up I have always loved animals, especially my 2 cats Dora and Dexter.

I enjoy working on all aspects of the sanctuary and recently discovered my love for equines and goats! Woodlands has been the ideal place for me to develop my skills in animal care and I am looking forward to learning even more.

Office and Reception Staff

Alex Fisher
Alex FisherOffice Coordinator
I have been at Woodlands since 2006, my role includes overseeing the care of all animals onsite and take charge of the majority of admin tasks.

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 McDerbyOffice Coordinator
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 oversee all public relations and some admin tasks such as the newsletter. 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!
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 maintaining, processing and keeping up to date with the charity accounts.

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 Coordinator and Receptionist
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.
Sharon Starrett
Sharon StarrettOffice Coordinator and Receptionist
I started my Woodlands volunteering 25 years ago & have such pride at being associated with this amazing family run charity. I started as a cat cuddler on a Sunday afternoon but now I have branched out to fundraising work such as bag packs & collections as well as completing home visits for potential fosterers.

Whilst I enjoy all aspects of my volunteer work, my favourite part is the cat cuddling as it is a lovely way of de-stressing after a full week at work! It is incredibly rewarding to see a change over the weeks from a very timid cat or kitten, to one that enjoys affection & is ready for it's forever home.

My Sunday afternoon job is simply the best time of my week!

Maintenance Staff

Mathew Jordan
Mathew JordanMaintenance Man
I do the maintenance here at Woodlands and have done since November 2015

I have an NVQ at Level 2 in Building Maintenance which I gained whilst working here.

At home I have a dog called Otis who is a Jack Russell Terrier and I also keep tropical fish

The Trustees

Mark Sowerby
Mark SowerbyTrustee
I first volunteered back in 2009 helping paint the cat shelter and to support the open days. Once I left full-time employment, to become self-employed, I was able to commit to volunteering twice a week and became a Trustee in February 2020.

After our tabby cat, Ruben, passed away in 2015 a stray came into Wooldands. William was so timid I spent extra time with him and eventually he would watch me at the pen door as I left. I think he chose me and to this day he's my shadow at home.

It is like an extended family at the sanctuary, it means an awful lot to me in many ways. It's a place where you see dedication, to save and nurture every little life, in a world that is often lacking compassion. Dedication by the staff, trustees and volunteers is clear to see and it's wonderful to be a part of the team.
Alison Speakman
Alison SpeakmanTrustee
I was appointed as a trustee in 2017, I am a veterinary surgeon with 27 years’ experience.

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 assist the Charity with its legal issues.

I love all animals, but cats are my passion!
Lynne Saunders
Lynne 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.
Caroline Simpson
Caroline SimpsonTrustee
I was appointed as a Trustee in February 2021, having been a volunteer at Woodlands for over 3 years.

I’m a Procurement Manager for a large manufacturing company with sites in the UK, Europe and Middle East. I’ve been with the company for 45 years, gaining a lot of experience in business and within the industry.

I started volunteering at Woodlands when I reduced my hours and working with animals for a couple of days a week really helps my work-life balance. I’ve always shared my home with cats and in 2019 I adopted two from Woodlands – Elvis and Charlie. They joined our resident cat, Horace, who had adopted us the previous year having spent about 12 months living rough. Elvis and Charlie are real lap cats whereas Horace is a streetwise, battle scarred hunter. Despite their differences they all get along together, most of the time.

The Volunteers

We also have a large number of reliable volunteers helping us with animal care and fundraising. We absolutley would not be able to survive without our dedicated volunteers. If you would like to get involved please let us know.
Here are some of our long standing volunteers!

Jan Roe
Jan RoeVolunteer
My name is Jan Roe, l have worked at Woodlands volunteering since 2016. I suffer from M.E. and needed something to help me feel useful in life.

Working with the hedgehogs gives me so much pleasure and l feel like l'm part of a really worthy cause. Once you get behind the scenes at Woodlands you realise what an enormous task it is to manage.

The staff and other volunteers have made my life feel complete. It's a wonderful, big, happy family environment where everyone works together as a team. I love being a part of it!
I own my design business, PJG Creative and it seemed natural for me to combine my love of animals and design. I create promotional materials for Woodlands and also volunteer as a cat cuddler.

I’ve never volunteered before, but we got our first two cats Pip and Tig from the sanctuary when it first started, so it seemed obvious to give them my time. I get great satisfaction knowing that by volunteering I am helping a cat or kitten that has fallen on hard times find their forever home.
Suzanne Cohen
Suzanne CohenVolunteer
Originally from Waterford in Ireland, I live in Ormskirk with husband, Elliott and our three cats, Dingle (pictured), Miley and Terry McCann.

I started at Woodlands in February 2020 as a volunteer cat cuddler and love it. Although there have been one or two teary goodbyes, it is wonderful to see them go to a new home and then see the updates on the Woodlands Facebook page. I’ve always loved animals so this is a perfect way to make a difference.

As a result of volunteering at Woodlands, I’ve also learned more about hedgehogs and we have a little hog hotel and highway at the end of the garden. The team at Woodlands are just the best – lovely caring people that do all they can for every little creature in their care.
Nicola Maguire
Nicola MaguireVolunteer
I have volunteered at Woodlands since October 2021, coming in on a Saturday morning to see to the cats is the highlight of my week! I also try to get in as much cat cuddling as possible on any days I have off work. Woodlands do incredible things for the animals in their care and being able to help them out is a dream come true for an animal lover like me, it’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done.

I work in legal accountancy 9-5 so being able to get away to Woodlands for a few hours a week is the best.
Emma Warriner
Emma WarrinerVolunteer
I started volunteering at Woodlands in April 2021. I came across the sanctuary when looking to rescue another cat after loosing my dear Soph at the start of lockdown and saw they took on volunteers to help out. I reserved not one but two fur babies who have made my home complete again, no home is complete without the pitter patter of kitty feet.

At woodlands I work with both the cats and hedgehogs which I really enjoy, I had never had any interaction or been close to a hedgehog before and now I clean, feed & weigh them and love learning all about them.

I do also work full time as Airline Cabin Crew and have been lucky to travel to some really amazing places over the 17yrs I have been in this job. Being furloughed it really has been my pleasure to be able to help out & do something different & I will continue with my volunteering role here as I absolutely love it
I’ve volunteered at Woodlands for just over a year and have loved every minute of it. During lockdown the sanctuary has been the highlight of my week and I think I’ve got as much out of cat cuddling as the cats! I would urge anyone to volunteer.

The animals only ask for food, a warm bed and cuddle or a kind word to make them happy and that’s so easy to give. I’d warn you that there are some cats that steal your heart, but knowing you have helped them find their families is an amazing feeling!
Hi I'm Hayley & I started volunteering at Woodlands just before lockdown began in 2020. It amazed me that even at such a difficult time, the staff & volunteers continued to do all they could to keep the sanctuary running so that animals could be rescued. I am so happy that I can now be a small part of that.

I love the time I spend at Woodlands & have met some wonderful people. I have always had pets & currently have two cats. Getting my fill of cats & kittens at Woodlands stops my little cat family at home getting out of hand!
Elliot Cohen
Elliot CohenVolunteer
Woodlands staff do amazing work in rescuing, healing and re-homing cats and kittens that desperately need a loving home, and a hooman family to preside over. Some cats arrive at Woodlands with little experience of dealing with the hoomans, and they don’t know how to interact and be loved by the hoomans….that’s where we can help.

As a ‘cat cuddler’ I spend time with the little, furry (often feisty) kitties, and help them to learn to love and be loved by people. Other cats are already hooman-friendly, but may have lost their home, and so they also need cuddles and playtime to help them adjust to their new circumstances. It’s fun and rewarding work, especially when we get to see the cats eventually settle in their new forever homes.
Jacky Houghton
Jacky HoughtonVolunteer
I’m a relative new girl to Woodlands having started in June 2021. I’m primarily a cat cuddler (salary nil, job satisfaction off the scale!) but have also had the pleasure of releasing some hedgehogs into their new habitat on behalf of the sanctuary. I’ve honed my limited baking skills since starting too to help raise money at fundraising events.

It’s so rewarding when a cat goes to its new home, particularly when the new owners share updates of its progress. Seeing cats which may have been timid relax into their new surroundings really makes us smile.
Heide Crisp
Heide CrispVolunteer
I have volunteered at Woodlands Animal Sanctuary since 2008 after I retired in 2007. At the time, I owned 5 cats and enjoyed the aspect of caring, so I exchanged my skills from caring for people to caring for animals.

The first day of volunteering was particularly hard, as I couldn't believe how many animals were unwanted, but I am very impressed with the care and attention each animals receives before being rehomed or to live their lives at the sanctuary.

I have also seen the facilities for rehabilitating hedgehogs grow, from accommodating one hedgehog to one hundred and twenty!

Overall, I feel that we are a close community with teamwork playing an important role. I enjoy working at Woodlands looking after the cats and hedgehogs. I have made many new friends and enjoy all the social events and fundraising.
I've been volunteering for just over two years now, started after I adopted my cat from Woodlands. I helped with fund raising and became a cat cuddler last September, which I love and I'm now doing homechecks as well.

I grew up surrounded by animals of all varieties and have always loved animals so getting involved with Woodlands was a no brainer, I love being part of the team as the work that Woodlands do is so special and it is a special place to be part of. I volunteer because I want to help animals all find a loving home and get the help and support they need to get there, if I can just play a small part in that it's worthwhile.
Neil Wright
Neil WrightVolunteer
Hi, my name is Neil, I started volunteering at Woodlands in December 2019. My normal day job is as an Analytical Chemist, I work for a firm that makes printing inks.

My volunteering journey started in 2017, I took a career break doing voluntary work in Nepal, Namibia, Romania, and Zimbabwe. I had an amazing time and met lots of wonderful people and animals, one of the best things was to see wild animals released back into the wild after being cared for at the sanctuaries. The picture is me on top of Big Daddy dune in Namibia, so I admit it wasn’t all work!

At Woodlands, I work with the cats mainly cleaning up their enclosures, but sometimes simply spending time with them as it can be distressing to be removed from a home and family that can no longer look after them. It is very rewarding to see cats go from being scared or angry to being able to rehome them with a new, forever, family.
I am semi retired and also a carer for my elderly mum who is 93. I am married to Brian and we have a British Shorthair cat called Merlin who has made a huge difference to our lives.

I started volunteering at Woodlands in October 2021 as a cat cuddler on a Thursday afternoon. I absolutely love it and enjoy interacting with the cats and kittens who all have unique personalities. It's a lovely atmosphere and the people I have met are fantastic!

I look forward to helping with fundraising in the future.

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