Our Valuable Team Members

VETS

Nicholas & Giovanna Hartley
Nicholas & Giovanna HartleyRole: Principle Vet & Practice Manager
Giovanna is originally from a small village called Otavalo in Ecuador, she moved to the UK after landing a job in London working as a stylist in high fashion for Harvey Nicholls and Joseph.

Nick grew up in Neston near Corsham and after graduating from Jesus college in Cambridge decided that starting his own practice was the way to go.

Shortly after this in 1986 the childhood sweethearts established Thameswood Vets where Giovanna began her nursing training with Nick as her teacher. In turn she taught him about business management and together devoting their time and sticking to family values they grew Thameswood in to the award winning practice it is today.

Of course Nick and Giovanna are not alone at home they share their home with two dogs Milo a GSD x Boxer and Scarlet a German Wire Haired Pointer. As well as Sisco a stunning chocolate short haired cat who was found abandoned with his litter at Honda and Bumble a black and white cat who was brought in with his mum and his 4 other litter mates.

In their spare time they are both keen dancers and Giovanna is currently learning Kizomba a dance which originates in Angola. Nick is a keen Swindon Town supporter and on his weekends off can often be found in the stands. Together they are not ones to sit around and they love nothing more than heading off to the slopes snowboarding.

Lauren Williams
Lauren WilliamsRole: Vet
Lauren was born in Northern Ireland and qualified in 2012 from RVC in London.

She previously worked in a small animal practice in Bath and spent time at a charity clinic in Carriacou, West Indies.

At home she has Pixie, a street dog from the Caribbean and outside of work Lauren enjoys playing the violin, yoga and travelling.

Miklos Varga
Miklos VargaRole: Vet
Miklos is originally from Budapest where he qualified in 1984 pursuing a love of horses and dogs.

He previously practiced as a farm animal vet before continuing in small animal practices.
Miklos is joined at home by Lena, a Borzoi, who you can see in the photo, and also on the side of our Thameswood van!

Aside from his beautiful dog, Miklos’ hobbies include horses and an active lifestyle..

Nicola Valentine
Nicola ValentineRole: Vet
Nicola was born in Glasgow and pursued her chosen carer as a vet studying animal science at reading university and Veterinary science and Liverpool University qualifying in 2015.

Before settling down and joining us in late 2015 Nicola combined her love for traveling with her veterinary qualification by carrying out voluntary work in Ghana, India and Spain. While in Spain she also came across Luna, the gentle giant, a Spanish mastiff cross and it wasn’t long before Luna joined her in the UK.

In her spare time when not out walking Luna she enjoys cooking and swimming.

Trisha Parr
Trisha ParrRole: Vet
Trisha grew up in Dublin but was born in Cape Town South Africa. She has always had an affinity with animals and it seemed every lost, stray, sick or injured animal managed to navigate their way to her house as a child. Before she returned to university to gain her Doctor of veterinary medicine in 2015 she had many jobs including banking, music and retail.

Within the veterinary profession she has a keen interest in small animal medicine, behaviour and exotics which explains why she is joined at home by Arriba a leopard tortoise and Leo & Gonzo two Mediterranean tortoises who we are informed respond to their names being called. Not forgetting the very gentle and loving Irish setter called Bodie who completes the line-up.

In her spare time she loves spending time horse riding and has a particular interest in side saddle which she competes in at shows. She also enjoys getting outdoors from hill walking and snowboarding in the winter to sailing whenever she can in the summer.

Dimitra Boile
Dimitra BoileRole: Vet
Dimitra was born in Greece where she studied and qualified in 2013. Following her graduation she worked in a small animal practice in Athens for 7 months and then moved to Germany where she stayed for 3 years while working and studying Ophthalmology.

She gained her ophthalmology certificate in 2016 and then moved to the UK in 2017. Dimitra loves listening to music, travelling and volleyball. She is the proud owner of a 6 year old Jack Russell called Kylie.

Weronkia Gwiazda
Weronkia GwiazdaRole: Vet
Weronkia graduated in 2008 in Poland and moved to the UK with her family in 2003.

She has a special interest in Emergency Critical Care (ECC). At home she is joined by her husband, son and cat Aisclia, who makes an appearance with Weronika in this great photo.

NURSES

Sarah Banks-Coffey
Sarah Banks-CoffeyRole: Head Veterinary Nurse
A Liverpudlian, Sarah moved to Swindon at the age of 5. She has aspired to be a veterinary nurse ever since leaving school, and after years of study at Lackham & Berkshire colleges she passed her final exams to become a fully qualified VN. She is now working towards her assessor qualification, which will enable her to assess trainee veterinary nurses at Thameswood.

Sarah has also developed a keen intrest in animal physiotherapy, she currentley works alongside our in house osteo Pauline as well as attending and completing external training courses.

In her spare time Sarah enjoys going to the gym and can be found kicking back at music festivals.

Tracey Dobney
Tracey DobneyRole: Deputy Veterinary Nurse
Tracey started life in the beautiful county of Lincolnshire. This is where she trained and qualified as a Veterinary Nurse at Milton College, Cambridge in 1998. Since this time her work has gradually brought her down south with a move to Cheltenham and then finally to Swindon in 2002.

The impending sound of tiny feet meant that Tracey took a year out on maternity leave to have and care for her son Liam. However one year on and Tracey missed her nursing and returned to work on a part time basics with locum work and was finally persuaded to join Thameswood in June 2010.

Since joining Thameswood Tracey has qualified as a Clinical Coach, so passing her knowledge down to the students. Tracey has also had a second child in February 2013 and beautiful baby girl called Charlotte. Tracey is now back to work and juggling family life and working.

Tracey doesn’t really get much spare time for hobbies outside work with 2 small children to keep her occupied. She has 2 cats, Minstrel and Hulkster, one goldfish –splash. However when she does get a free five minutes Tracey likes nothing more than putting her feet up and watching her favourite soap on the T.V or reading a book.

Gemma Lockwood
Gemma LockwoodRole: Veterinary Nurse
A true native of Swindon, Gemma has worked in Veterinary Practice since she was at school and has always aspired to work as a Veterinary Nurse. Gemma studied at Hartpury College where she qualified in 2009. Gemma has since gone on to gain her coaching qualification and has a successful history of training student nurses.

Gemma joined Thameswood as a locum nurse and enjoyed working here so much that she agreed to stay on as a permanent member of the team. She enjoys medical nursing and nursing clinics most, probably because of her love of talking and meeting new people and animals!

Gemma lives in Swindon with her partner Lee and two rescue dogs, Dylan, a Bedlinton x Whippet and Miri, a Collie x. They have made friends with many of our Greenbridge client’s and their dogs as they bump into each other on walks regularly! On her days off you will find Gemma walking or running with her dogs, cycling or going on camping weekends away.

Gail Smith
Gail SmithRole: Veterinary Nurse
Gail was born in South Africa and finished school in Brazil.

She completed an equine degree in the UK and then travelled to the USA to work in a horse referral veterinary centre. Gail moved to the IT industry for a short while, but decided to pursue her career with small animals and subsequently qualified as a veterinary nurse in January 2016.

At home Gail has a 16yr old cat, Jezabell and a very daft 4yr old oriental cat called Neo who is always getting up to mischief.

Gail has a keen interest in anaesthesia, emergency and critical care, and in her spare time she is also training to become a judge for British Carriage Driving. Gail can often be found judging or volunteering at Horse Driving Trial events.

Abigail Harland
Abigail HarlandRole: Veterinary Nurse
A Cardiff born Abi joined the practice in September 2013 after being introduced to the profession by a friend. She is currently in her second year at college working towards her veterinary nurse qualification.

At home Maurice and Chester two lazy lurcher’s keep her company oh and not forgetting her husband who she married on the bonny banks of lock Lommond. As well as a passion for animals she also has a degree in fine art tucked up her sleeve and spends her spare time reading and is currently learning the ukulele!

Michelle Anns
Michelle AnnsRole: Animal Nursing Assistant
Michelle joined Thameswood 2017 and is training to become a Veterinary Nurse. She is joined at home by a lively border collie called Obi and two cats, Gizmo & Elsa.
Elspeth Hocking
Elspeth HockingRole: Animal Nursing Assistant
Elspeth was born in Swindon and studied Animal Management at Cirencester College before joining Thameswood in 2017.

She is hoping to progress to veterinary nurse training and specialise in exotics species.
Elspeth currently has a dog called Sam, 2 guinea pigs and some stick insects!
In her spare time she enjoys reading and drawing.

Harriett Sweeny
Harriett SweenyRole: Student Nurse
Harriett joined Thameswood as an animal nursing assistant in 2012, then in 2015 she started vet nurse training at Abbeydale Vetlink .


In her spare time she enjoys riding her horses and relaxing at home with her cat & dog whose picture takes pride of place on one of our ambulances.

Hannah Fathing
Hannah FathingRole: Student Nurse
Originally from Swindon she had previously worked in hospitality and kennels before joining us in October 2015 as an animal nursing assistant.

She also spent three weeks in South Africa on a volunteer program where she helped care for new born lion, hyena and Cheetah cubs as well as being lucky enough to be involved with Giraffes and Meerkats.

Hannah will soon begin her veterinary nurse training with us hopefully becoming a fully-fledged nurse in a few years. In her spare time she is joined at home with her two rabbits Biscuit and bumble and has admitted to being a massive Disney fan!

Amie Wretham
Amie WrethamRole: Nursing Assistant
Amie original from surrey settled in Royal Wootton Basset at the age of 4.

After leaving school she began working in local kennels and pet sitting before joining us as an animal nursing assistant.

In her spare time she loves reading and is currently working towards her girl guiding leadership qualification.

Kirstyn McIlroy
Kirstyn McIlroyRole: Nursing assistant
Kirstyn joined us late 2016 as an animal nursing assistant with the view to progress to enrolling and completing her veterinary nurse training.

Originally from Swindon she completed an extended diploma in animal management and horse management in 2014. Once she finished college she set off on a three month adventure to Cape Town where she worked on a cheetah conservation project learning all about cheetahs and conducting public tours of the centre. Alongside the cheetahs she also became a handler to the cheeky meerkats on site.

A home she is joined by Twiggy and jrt x whippet who is surprisingly laid back unless it comes to playing fetch! Marmalade the cat who enjoys cuddles but as with most cats has a hidden diva side when it suits. Along with Buster and fang the leopard geckos.

In her spare time she enjoys outdoor activities such as kayaking, horse riding and attending motocross and speedway events.

Daniel Biran
Daniel BiranRole: Nursing assistant
Daniel is originally from London Daniel qualified as an archaeologist from the University of Nottingham and spent some time working before deciding he wanted a more fulfilling direction in his life and decided to train as a Vet Nurse. He is currently in his second year of veterinary nurse training at Sparsholt College. At home, he is joined by Cats Poliwhirl, Aang and sister Korra.

Outside of work he has recently bought a house with his wife in Newbury which they are slowly redecorating room by room.
A love or reading (real books over e-readers) sees his home slowly filling up with books! Last year he spent 5 weeks travelling around New Zealand and fell in love with the country and its Lord of the Rings obsession, he also enjoys, gaming with friends, listening to music, doing up his house.

RECEPTION

Chris Stagg
Chris StaggRole: Clinic Manager
Chris Joined Thameswood in 2006 as a fresh faced youngster straight from college where she completed A levels.

Chris took the reins as Client Care Manager in 2010 before taking time out in 2017 to have her little boy. Chris returned to the clinic as Clinic Manager recently.

Chris is joined at home by her husband, little boy, dogs Taxi the Labrador, Scooter the Staffi Cross and Augustas, a mischievous ginger cat.

Sarah Hitchcock
Sarah HitchcockRole: Client Care Manager
Sarah has been a member of the Thameswood team since 2003 where she has progressed her way up the career ladder to become our senior Client Care Manager. 


Sarah is also a fully trained Bereavement Councilor.

In her spare time she has had many pets (mainly taken in as strays from the clinic!) but currently has 2 rabbits, 2 cats and her dog Spud who many of you would have seen. He is a unique (accidental) mating of Rotti and CKCS!

Sarah’s hobbies include walking and enjoying the finer things in life now her two boys have grown up.

Louise Marshall
Louise MarshallRole: Client Care Manager
Louise is originally from Royal Wootton Bassett and worked at local kennels to acquire a National Diploma in Animal Management before joining Thameswood in 2014 as member of the Client Care Team before taking over as Client Care Manager In 2017.

Louise owns a Great Dane called Jazz, an energetic cat Sprocket and her fiancé!

Lisa Morrison
Lisa MorrisonRole: Client Care
Lisa is a Surrey Girl at heart but has lived in Swindon for thirty years so can be classed as local after all this time.

Lisa joined Thameswood after being made redundant from media advertising. With her love of animals and emjoyment of working with people, she has found what she says is her dream job.

Her two barmy whippets Misty and Maya keep her fit. trying to keep up with those speedy hounds every morning is enough to keep anyone slim. However she does get to relax with Kitty, her tortishell cat.

Lisa is a bit of a rock chick and has always enjoyed music and can often be seen bopping away at music gigs. She is a keen West Ham football supporter but is also faithfull to Swindon and supports her local team. Her other pastime is darts, she has a steady hand and a keen eye with the possible exception of when she has a tipple to many!

Dani Carver
Dani CarverRole: Client Care
Dani’s is a reading born lass who’s passions have always involved animals and in 2006 she completed her national diploma in animal management and started working on a rare breeds farm.

From there she soon settled at the Dogs Trust in Burford where she was involved in all aspects of kennel life from cleaning and walking the dogs to interviewing and home checking potential new owners, until she came to thameswood in April 2011.

Of course working in a rehoming centre means new editions to the family are a must and these came in the shape of Chloe a Bassett x Spaniel and a cheeky Border Terrier called Robbie, and two bunny’s (as pictured above) who all keep dani on her toes.

Hannah Walker
Hannah WalkerRole: Client Care
Hannah was born in Scotland and moved to Swindon with her family at the tender age of 9 years old.

She started working at a kennel before completing her NVQ2 in Health and Social Care and became an auxiliary nurse at GWH.

Hannah joined Thameswood in 2013 and is joined at home by her partner, two young children and an adorable Bassett Hound called Betty.

Josie Hearne
Josie HearneRole: Client Care
– Josie joined Thameswood in 2015 having previously worked in the retail fashion industry.

Josie is joined at home by her husband, her 10 month old son and Lilly the Springer Spaniel. She also owns a troublesome black cat called Salam.

Nicki Richards
Nicki RichardsRole: Client Care
Originally from Cricklade Nicki joined Thameswood in last 2015 after spending most of her working career in client care roles. She has always had a love for animals and has previously shown at Crufts.

Currently she is joined at home by Bob the rather nervous cat and Honey the very lovely chilled out hamster (as pictured above) along with her husband and two children. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and like most of us enjoys nothing more than jetting abroad to discover the world.

Toshi Wilkins
Toshi WilkinsRole: Student Vet
Toshi joined the Thameswood team in April 2009 whilst completing her degree in science at Hartpury College. After 18 months in the practice Toshi began her training to become a Veterinary surgeon at Liverpool University spending her holidays and placements back with us.

Joining her at home and Uni is a very cheeky Airedale terrier called murphy and in her spare time she enjoys playing mixed hockey along with taking every opportunity to hit the slopes skiing or disappearing on exercise with the TA.

Pauline Mathers
Pauline MathersRole: Physiotherapist
Pauline came on board with Thameswood in 2013, she is a registered Osteopath and has a successful business treating humans. Pauline has always had an interest in working with animals and wanted to transfer her skills to allowing her to do this.

She started treating horses with great results and then came on board launching our A.R.K clinics incorporating physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, laser therapy and acupuncture for pets care. Typically treatment involves manipulation accompanied with a rehabilitation exercise programme which isn’t painful and is drug free.

In Pauline’s spare time (when she gets some) she loves nothing more than getting out and about with her own horse.