Meet the team

Pulling in the same direction!

Our dedicated veterinary team

Here when you need us

  • Veterinary surgeons
  • Veterinary nurses
  • Veterinary technicians
  • Business support team

We at Paragon Veterinary Group are independent and locally owned.  Our team provide a compassionate and caring service for all kinds of animals with comprehensive and up-to-date treatment in all fields of veterinary medicine and surgery.

We are continually improving and updating our facilities and the high standards we've achieved have been officially recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

We are also registered as a Veterinary Nurse Training Practice (TP) for student nurses and we are associated with Myerscough College which is an Approved Centre.

Filter staff

David Black


Veterinary Surgeon and Senior Director

As a vet I have worked with small animals, and equine, and most recently I was involved with the farm animal side of the practice. These days, as Managing Director of Paragon,  I am responsible for the overall coordination and running of the practice, and spend time working within other aspects of the veterinary profession.

I hold a Diploma in Bovine Reproduction (DBR), and have been recognised for over 15 years by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a Specialist in Bovine Health and Production, and am currently studying for a further qualification at the University of Nottingham. I have a a particular interest in cattle breeding and fertility, including Advanced Breeding and recently have been responsible for the establishment of a company called Activf-ET which delivers cattle breeding services, and especially IVF for cattle nationwide.

Paragon was one of the founders of XLVets, and I spent 11 years as Managing Director of that organisation before stepping down from the Board in the Summer of 2017. XLVets is a nationally distributed group of independent veterinary practices working together to achieve our joint aim of "Excellence in Practice”. I am Treasurer of the World Association for Buiatrics (which means "Cattle Health") and have a great interest in international collaboration amongst vets and farmers. I am married to Sue and have 3 daughters.

Bruce Richards


Veterinary Surgeon and Managing Director

I joined Paragon in May 2004, achieved my Diploma in Bovine Reproduction in 2006 and have worked primarily in the Farm animal sector. I now dedicate roughly half of my time to clinical work and the other half managing our practice and business in my role as Business Director. I still thoroughly enjoy the challenges and ever changing clinical role but also take great pride working for and with a fabulous team of colleagues at Paragon. I am married with 3 children who all do their best to keep me on my toes!

Anne Abbs


Veterinary Surgeon

I have been at Paragon Veterinary Group for over 30 years, initially in both small and large animal departments but with a heavy emphasis on large animal. I am responsible for the practices’ TB matters, keeping colleagues and farmers up to date with the latest policies and testing procedures. I am also a Director of XLFarmcare North, the company that has responsibility for allocating TB testing, payments and testing quality over the whole of North England. On the small animal side, I still see most of the unusal and exotic pets that are presented for the practice and have a large input into the training of student veterinary nurses.

When not a work I have a wide range of interests including listening to classical music and outdoor swimming in the Lakes (and occasionally the sea). I am also very interested in natural history, particularly dragonflies, bees and moths and I am treasurer of the local natural history society.

Ann Noble


Veterinary Surgeon

I qualified in 1985 and after 2 years working in an Equine Hospital, I moved into rural mixed practice.

I joined the PVG Small Animal team in 2001, and have been part of the development of the wonderful team of staff we have, and the design and build of the current facilities we have.

I particularly enjoy the day to day interactions with our clients (many of whom I have seen through more than one generation of pets) – and working with them and their beloved pets through the challenges of trying to find resolutions to their problems that work for all concerned.

At home we have a Hill farm on which we run 450 lambing ewes – mainly Swaledales.

My main interest outside of work is horses. We own a Fell Pony and two Show horses – an ex-racehorse and a Small Hunter.

Graham Lewis


Veterinary Surgeon

I worked in small animal practice in Lancashire after graduating from the University of Glasgow in 2008 before moving up to Cumbria to join the team at Paragon in early 2012. Since then I have put down roots having fallen in love with the local area and the Lake District.

Having now been at Paragon for some time it is fantastic to see so many caring and friendly pet owners on a regular basis and the relationship with the clients and their pets is one of the aspects that makes the job so worthwhile for me.

At Paragon I have been allowed and encouraged to develop my interest in small animal medicine and this led to me being awarded the BSAVA Certificate in Small Animal Medicine in early 2019. It has been great to see the team grow during my time at Paragon and watching people flourish in new areas is inspiring. I was also involved in the building of the new facilities throughout 2018 and recognising what a difference this has made to the service we can offer is very satisfying.

I met a local lass, Rachael, (through Paragon!) and we got married in 2019 and now live with our daugther Ailsa, 3 cats and our dogs Clova and Skye. The dogs and I enjoy spending much of our spare time running on the fells of the Lake District and every once in a while I will sign up for some challenges that always seem like a good idea at the time. When not running Rachael and I enjoy exploring the trails around the Lake District at a more leisurely pace with Ailsa in tow.

Philip Wilkinson


Veterinary Surgeon and Director

I joined the practice in August 2011 as a large animal vet, after graduating from University of Nottingham. After 3 years at Paragon I took time out for 18 months to travel and work in New Zealand to see another aspect of large scale dairy practice. After travelling in South East Asia I returned to Paragon in January 2016. I am now sector lead for the farm department.

My main interest is in dairy practice finding ways to improve dairy herd efficiency by working with clients to improve productivity, welfare and the health of their herd.  I also have an interest in block calving systems and the effects of improved fertility on their production.

Outside of work most of my time is currently spent with my family – wife Lorna, sons Oliver & Finlay & Indie our Labrador.

Rob Simmons


Veterinary Surgeon and Director

Rob has worked as a farm clinician in Cumbria since 2012, having previously worked down South. Since joining Paragon in 2016 he has become the lead vet for the Advanced Breeding department, whilst still maintaining some clinical workload. He has a keen interest in OPU/IVF, and has spent time in Canada with our partners to help develop this.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family, and running in the fells.

Ben Dustan

BVSc, Cert. CHP, BSc (Hons), MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Honorary Secretary to the Goat Veterinary Society (GVS)
I grew up on a dairy farm in Somerset and always knew I wanted to be a farm animal vet. After 6 years at Liverpool vet school (the best in my opinion), I qualified and have worked with large animals ever since. Initially my time was split between teaching vet students within the farm animal practice at Liverpool Uni and also working in private practice in Cheshire.

In 2009 I moved to the Lakes and completed my post-graduate certificate in cattle health and production from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

​I am the honorary secretary of the Goat Veterinary Society and find all aspects of goat health, welfare and medicine really interesting. I have also published research on the goat and sheep disease Scrapie, similar to BSE in cattle.

​When not “at work” I enjoy playing squash and I’m always ready to accept a challenge if you fancy a game. With our little ones George and Evie, family time is really important and when we can we like to get out and about in the hills.

Paul May


Veterinary Surgeon

I am a large animal practitioner, with a particular interest in equine.  I am based at our Newbiggin centre, and have responsibility for the purpose built equine centre. I have a keen interest in Fell ponies and the Fell Pony Syndrome and have been involved in several research projects on the subject. I also particularly enjoy lameness and racing work.

In my spare time I am a keen artist and sculptor.

Victor Oudhuis


Veterinary Surgeon

I am a farm animal practitioner and head up the clinical farm animal team at the Newbiggin Surgery.  After graduating from Ghent University (Belgium) I worked in Luxembourg, Ireland and Wales before joining Paragon in 2003. I completed my DBR (Diploma in Bovine Reproduction – MSc) in 2008. I enjoy the clinical work and have a special interest in dairy herd health and productivity. Since 2015 I have been heavily involved in developing our veterinary dairy consultancy branch, doing consultancy work all over the world on large dairy farms and training farm staff in key areas. 

I live in Appleby, where my wife is a small animal veterinary surgeon and have 4 children.

Samantha Harding


Veterinary Surgeon

I qualified as a vet in 1996 from Liverpool University and spent 2 years in a mixed practice in Lancashire before I joined Paragon in 1998. With Paragon's support, I studied further to gain a certificate in veterinary anaesthesia. I thoroughly enjoy my role as a small animal vet, based mainly at Newbiggin, where I enjoy good continuity of care for the pets in my local area. Outside of work I enjoy sailing on Ullswater and supporting my 2 sons.  

Jemma Reed


Veterinary Surgeon

I qualified from The Royal (Dick) Veterinary College in 2000 and worked in mixed practice for 8 years before coming to Paragon in the Summer of 2008 to join the farm animal team. I enjoy all aspects of farm animal work but especially anything to do with dairy cows! I am particularly interested in herd health management and believe that a ‘happy cow is a healthy cow’ and ultimately a much more profitable animal for our clients. Out of work life is pretty hectic with 2 children and a dairy farming husband to run around after!!   

Laura Binnie


Veterinary Surgeon

I joined the Paragon small animal team in September 2011. Prior to this I worked at a practice in Northumberland and as a locum vet in various practices all over Yorkshire; before finding myself here in Cumbria.

Of all the jobs a vet gets to do, I particularly enjoy operating and have a keen interest in soft tissue surgery, but I also get a lot of satisfaction in sending a once poorly animal back home and seeing the delight on their owner’s face! I have a qualification in acupuncture and I like that this gives clients another option alongside medications in some conditions.

I am the lead on Paragon’s Sustainability Project where we are making changes to become a more sustainable business, reduce our impact on the environment and improve our local biodiversity. This is something I feel passionately about and am proud to work somewhere that is acting on our moral responsibility to do what we can to help. 

I am originally from Edinburgh but my family moved out to Hong Kong when I was very young. I left Hong Kong to do my Zoology degree in Aberdeen, and then I went on to do my veterinary degree in Edinburgh.

In my spare time I like spending time with family and friends and going away in our campervan. I try to keep fit by cycling and walking. I love taking my camera on walks to capture some pictures of wildlife and scenery. I live locally to Dalston with my husband Colin and our two sons.

Ruth Simmons


Veterinary Surgeon

I grew up in Perthshire and graduated from Glasgow University. I joined the Small Animal team here at Paragon in 2012, having previously worked in small animal practice in Worcestershire before relocating to scenic Cumbria.

I enjoy all aspects of my job as a general practitioner, from treating a diabetic cat to operating on a rabbit. I have a keen interest in medicine cases and nothing beats the satisfaction I get when, working with the owner, we are able to improve a pet's quality of life.

Outside of work, I have 2 young boys who keep me on my toes! We also have a black Labrador, 2 cats and some hens. My hobbies include fell walking and running in the beautiful Lake District.

Lorna Wilkinson


Veterinary Surgeon

Having qualified in 2011, I worked in mixed practice in Yorkshire for a few years before spending some time working and travelling in New Zealand.  Upon moving back to the UK,   I settled at Paragon in January 2016. Since then my partner and I have bought a house, got married and acquired a naughty Labrador puppy! We are expecting a, hopefully better behaved (!), human addition to the family in the spring!

I do solely small animal work now and enjoy both the surgery and medicine aspects of the job. I enjoy building bonds with clients and their pets and being able to make a difference.

Charlotte Pennington

BVetMed(hons) MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2010. I previously have spent 6 years working as a farm animal vet in Cumbria, predominantly specializing in dairy cattle and poultry. Latterly I worked as a UK dairy technical specialist for a Global animal health company before starting at Paragon in February 2017.

I am married to a local dairy farmer. Outside of work I have a keen interest in horses. I own two (Romeo and Custard) and enjoy taking them both eventing and to local competitions.

Shona Mouncey


Veterinary Surgeon

I have worked as a farm animal vet since graduating from the University of Glasgow in 2009, joining the Paragon farm team in August 2017. My interests include dairy cow fertility, surgery, flock and herd health planning and I completed my certificate in advanced veterinary practice in 2018. When I am not working I enjoy cooking and exploring the Lake District with my husband, young daughter and 2 dogs.   

Annie Kerr


Veterinary Surgeon

I joined Paragon in November 2018. I graduated from Liverpool Vet School in 2017 and then worked in mixed practice for a year and a half.  I grew up in the flatter east of the country on a dairy and arable farm. I enjoy all aspects of farm practice and have a particular interest is calf health. I am currently studying towards a certificate in advanced veterinary practice. Outside of veterinary I enjoy playing netball for a local team in Carlisle, walking in the hills, wild swimming (when it isn’t too cold) and baking.  

Paul Kirkwood


Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the University of Nottingham in July 2018 and started as a farm vet at Paragon soon after.  My interest in farm animals stem from growing up on a family run dairy farm in County Down, Northern Ireland.  I enjoy all aspects of farm veterinary work but my main interests are herd and flock health - working with clients to ensure their farms are sustainable by having healthy, productive animals.  Outside of work I enjoy anything outdoors, keeping fit and spending time with family and friends.  

Chris Bailey


Veterinary Surgeon

Graeme Hutchison

BSc (hons) MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Mollie Rudd

BSc (hons) MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Sarah Wallace


Veterinary Surgeon

I qualified in 2012 and worked for 6 years as a mixed practitioner in North Wales. I have a passion for emergency medicine and subsequently became more involved with the small animal aspect of work. I started a certificate in Emergency and Critical care. I decided to specialize in small animals and moved to a 24 hour small animal hospital in Shrewsbury covering 9 branches and referral work from surrounding practices and was fortunate to have a CT machine on site. Although I gained a lot of experience there I was drawn back home to Cumbria to be closer to family. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family, exploring the lake district with my Collie Jess and cooking  

Laura Foddy


Veterinary Surgeon

I had graduated from the University of Liverpool and started work with mixed practice before deciding to focus on small animal practice. I started working at Paragon Veterinary Group in January 2023. Since then I have loved getting to know Paragons clients and their pets. I really enjoy the surgical side of Veterinary. 
My happy place is being outdoors in the countryside, whether it's hiking, cycling, swimming or climbing!  

Freya Wood


Veterinary Surgeon


I qualified from the University of Liverpool in 2020 and returned to my home county to join the equine team at Paragon. I am interested in all aspects of equine veterinary work but have a particular interest in dentistry, internal medicine and anaesthesia. I also find huge enjoyment from the summer breeding work, especially seeing returning mares with their foals at foot the following year. I am currently studying for a certificate in advanced veterinary practice in equine practice through the University of Liverpool.
Outside of work I enjoy fell walking, horse riding and scuba diving, and am involved with a local church in Carlisle.

Emma Stuart

Veterinary Surgeon

  I qualified from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 and spent some time in New Zealand and back home in the Republic of Ireland before moving to Cumbria in 2016. I initially worked in mixed practice in Brampton but gradually transitioned to a farm-animal only role. I then did a stint working as a farm business consultant for a large firm but missed the clinical side of the job so I returned to farm practice. I have developed a number of interests over the years but my main ones are ruminant nutrition and sustainable farming. I currently spend half my week on the farm animal team and the other half with the Advanced Breeding team learning the main IVF techniques. I'm massively enjoying the challenge and can't wait to see what the future holds! Outside of work, I can usually be found somewhere on the fells. I compete in ultramarathons at a reasonably high level so spend most of my spare time training.

Diane Watson


Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the University of Liverpool in July 2022 and joined the Paragon farm team a couple of months later.  I am a farmer's daughter from North Yorkshire, where we have a broiler chicken unit. I enjoy all aspects of farm veterinary work, particularly herd health and maximising the productivity and welfare of livestock. Outside of work I have a keen interest in shooting, fell walking and playing hockey and netball.   

Daniel Lawson


Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the University of Bristol in July 2022 and joined the Paragon farm department in August 2022. I developed an interest in farm animals from growing up on the family smallholding near Ripon. I enjoy all aspects of farm practice especially herd and flock health. Outside of work I enjoy playing hockey, fell walking and am a keen DIYer.

Bethan Harper


Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the University of Surrey in July 2023 and joined the equine team at Paragon shortly after. Being from Northern Ireland, I knew a move north was inevitable after 5 long years just south of London! I have always loved working with horses and am currently enjoying all aspects of my role. Moving forward I hope to find an area of equine medicine that inspires me to pursue further learning. 

Outside of work I enjoy reading, cooking, and taking in the beautiful local sites with my dog Rosie, especially with a coffee in hand.   

Katrina Ellams


Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the University of Liverpool in July 2023 and joined Paragon in September. I was pleased to come back to my home county having grown up in Cumbria and going to school in Dalston. 
I am just at the start of my veterinary journey, but I have a keen interest in surgery and enjoy working up a medicine case. I am very much looking forward to meeting new furry faces and their owners.
Outside of work I enjoy everything outdoors, currently trying to tick off all the Wainwrights and have recently taken up paddleboarding with my cocker spaniel Pepper.  

Catherine Davies


Veterinary Surgeon

Karen Macdonald


Head Registered Veterinary Nurse

I am a Registered Veterinary Nurse I qualified in 2001 and have worked at Paragon since 1995. I was promoted to Head nurse in 2007 and as part of this role I oversee the nursing team, assist with nurse training and the running of the hospital. I completed the small, equine and large animal ‘Suitably Qualified Person’ qualification which allows me to dispense a range of medications to our clients. I have a particular interest in exotic animals and enjoy surgical nursing, getting involved and assisting with operation procedures.

Outside work I enjoy spending time with my family and travelling. I have visited India, Borneo and Sri Lanka.  I have seen a lot of wonderful wildlife including Leopards in Sri Lanka, Tigers in India and Orangutans in Borneo.

Kelly Armstrong


Deputy Head - Registered Veterinary Nurse

I started my nurse training at Paragon in 2010, I then gained my Veterinary Nursing Qualification in September 2012. I work between both the Dalston and Newbiggin surgery. 

I have a particular interest in intensive care nursing and enjoying working alongside the vets with medical cases. I also enjoy doing nurse clinics, in particularly Mobility and Weight clinics. I love seeing clients and their pets back on a regular basis and helping them out.

In my spare time i enjoy going to the gym, helping out on my partner's dairy farm and walking our 3 dogs - Fizz, Belle and Peanut.

Donna Hall


Registered Veterinary Nurse & Rehabilitation Therapist

I started working at Paragon in July 2016 where I finished my training and became a fully qualified veterinary nurse. I have a particular interest in pet’s mobility and have completed a qualification in canine exercise rehabilitation therapy. I run mobility and laser clinics to aid pet’s returning to their normal function whether it is after surgery, a new or old injury or osteoarthritis. I have always found veterinary nursing interesting as every day is different with new cases and new operations, keeping the job exciting. 

Outside of work I enjoy riding my horses and doing the local common ridings, as well as finding new walks with my Border Collie, Midget, who I rescued at a young age. 

Ayesha Watson


Registered Veterinary Nurse

I started at Paragon Vets in October 2015  after moving to the area from Beverley, East Yorkshire, to start my second year of training.  I studied the Veterinary Nurse Degree at Myerscough college, which I graduated with in July 2017. Once qualified I decided to stay in Cumbria and I continued working at Paragon as a Registered Veterinary Nurse based at the Dalston branch. I enjoy all aspects of my job especially nurse clinics and inpatient care. Outside of work I enjoy socialising with friends and swimming.    

Bronwyn Kendall


Registered Veterinary Nurse

I started working at Paragon in July 2013 as a trainee nurse. I completed my full training here and I am now a qualified Veterinary Nurse as of June 2017.

I am mainly based at Dalston and I am at Newbiggin once a week. I really enjoy working here as it is like a family and everyone helps each other out. I enjoy working with the animals and looking after them before, during and after operations. I help out with puppy parties and I really enjoy meeting everyone and their new pets.

We have recently taken on a border collie puppy called Buddy and we are loving every minute with him!

Eve Dennison


Registered Veterinary Nurse

I recently joined Paragon Veterinary Group as a student veterinary nurse. I will be starting college in September at Myerscough College in order to become a qualified veterinary nurse. I have previously completed a Level 3 Animal Management course at Kendal college. I am from a farming background but also have a keen interest in small animals.I have a Border Collie called Skye and a small flock of different breeds of sheep. Outside of work I enjoy attending young farmer events and participating in stock judging, competition days and charity fundraisers  

Vevila McGeoch

Trainee Veterinary Nurse

I joined the paragon team in May 2022 as an Animal Care Assistant. I spent 5 years working in Glasgow and relocated back home to the Scottish borders. I enjoy all aspects of my job and I love that everyday is different. Veterinary nursing is something I've always wanted to do so my next step is to start my Veterinary nurse training. 

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with friends and family , baking and travelling. I have also started riding lessons again after moving back home and I enjoy walks around the Scottish countryside with my springer spaniel.

Louise Watson


Registered Veterinary Nurse

I qualified in 2006 and after working locally I moved to Paragon in 2022. I mainly work in Dalston and enjoy working in the hospital, looking after inpatients & anything to do with cats!

I have a Springador called Finn and a cat called Mork. Outside of work I enjoy fell walking, following the British Superbikes and days out with my husband and young daughter. 

Mia Richards

Animal Care Assistant

In September 2023 I joined the Small Animal team as an Animal Care Assistant after working Saturdays for two years. I love every aspect of my job and I especially enjoy how every day is different! I have always wanted to become a Veterinary Nurse and hope to start my nursing course in September 2024. 

Outside of work I enjoy walking my two dogs around local areas and taking part in Young Farmer events and competitions. I also have a love for travelling and have spent a month in Zimbabwe where I saw lots of amazing wildlife on safaris. 

Hayley McVicar

Equine Technician & Coordinator

I have worked at Paragon since June 2019 and over that time I have worked at both Dalston and Newbiggin practices doing various roles including coordinating, reception, equine and admin work. In January 2023 I moved across to work mainly on the equine team assisting the vets with clinical work, looking after inpatients and helping in the office.
In my spare time I enjoy looking after my horse Johnny, spending time with my family and socialising with friends.  

Sian Edwards


Equine Technician & Administrator

I joined Paragon in November 2017 to work within the equine department.  I am responsible for the day to day care of any inpatients at Newbiggin and assist the vets with any clinical work. I also help to organise the equine diary, liase with clients and complete paperwork. 

  Outside of work my little boy Hari, dog Missy and horse Flea keep me busy.   

Mel Gray

Equine Technician & Administrator

I joined Paragon to cover Sian's maternity leave and work within the team as an 'Equine Technician'. 

I have always been around horses and am currently a member of the CFHS pony club. I spent around 6 years working within the racing industry before moving home to have my now 3 year old daughter who is showing great interest in riding already!

Currently, I have a retired racehorse that I lightly compete and hack over the fells on. The remainder of my time is spent enjoying time with my family.

Mark Boland

Lead Embryo Technician

I joined Paragon in 2017 after 32 years working in the Advanced breeding industry.

Over this time I have carried out Embryo Transfer work both in the UK and overseas and have been involved in training work in the ET and AI sector.

I have estimated that over the years i have flushed over 10,000 donors, Implanted over 40,000 embryos and travelled over 1.8 Million miles!!

I enjoy trying to play Golf when time allows and have just become a Grandfather!

Tom Redmayne

Embryo Technician

I joined Paragon advanced breeding team in February 2018. My role in the team is an Embryo Transfer technician, where most of my time is spent out on Farm carrying out cow side assistance, embryology and embryo flushing and transfer.

Brought up on a beef and sheep farm in the Lake District I now spend time outside of work farming a small holding of pedigree Suffolk and Ryeland sheep.

I have always been interested in a number of sports, but my main sporting passion is competing at Tug of War for Upper Eden Tug of war Club, this has seen me compete at national and European level. 

Emily Arter

IVP Laboratory Manager

I joined Paragon's Advanced Breeding team in November 2016. My current role is IVP Lab Manager. It’s an exciting, varied and rewarding role; I particularly enjoy receiving client feedback about embryo calves being born, it really puts the work we do in the lab into perspective.

Outside of work I enjoy fell walking, running and mountain biking in the Lake District with our springer spaniel Beanie and black lab Rubha. I also compete in local triathlons as well as eventing my horse. 

Charlotte Morphet

IVP/ET Laboratory Technician

I joined Paragon in the summer of 2013 as part of the activf ET team after finishing my studies in Biomedical Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University. I am part of the commercial and research teams that deliver bovine IVF and Embryo transfer.

I live at my family home on a hill farm. I enjoy many sports and social activities but mainly pursue passions in Horses and Rugby.

Imogen Threlfall

IVP Lab Technician

I joined the advanced breeding team in February 2020. My main role is Assistant IVP Lab technician and I support the other advanced breeding members. The work we do here is very rewarding and its great to hear the results we achieve as a team. 

Outside of work, I spend most of my time on the farm with my flock of pedigree Blue Texel sheep, a hobby of mine which involves showing and selling them. 

I also have my dog Luna, who is a companion to pretty much everywhere I go. I have an active social role in the local young farmers club.   

Liz Lester

Advanced Breeding Coordinator

I joined Paragon in February 2018. My role is Advance Breeding Co-Ordinator. I oversee the day to day running of the Advanced Breeding office. Alongside this I also co-ordinate the embryo exports that we ship all over the world.. I enjoy my role within the ET team as I see undertake a large variety of different jobs within my role, no two days are the same

Outside of work I enjoy walking my dog in the Cumbrian countryside. I also enjoy exercising and competing my two ponies. We compete at local level dressage and have competed up to County level Showing.

Alice Harrison

Veterinary Technician Trainee

Karen McNeil


Farm Administrator and Vet Tech

I joined Paragon in 2016 originally as a coordinator and I have recently taken up a new role within the practice as Farm Administrator & Vet Tech. I am now qualified as a Farm SQP (suitably qualified person) so I am able to advise and supply VPS products such as wormers, flukicides and fly control.

Outside of work I enjoy helping out on a local dairy farm and am kept busy looking after two young children and a hyperactive labradoodle. Any spare time I get I enjoy hitting the tarmac and getting out for a run exploring the local countryside.

Leanne Graves

Farm Administrator and Vet Tech

Paul Robinson

Large Animal Technician

I joined the Paragon team in 2014 in a Large Animal Technician role after many years experience working as a herdsman on mixed farms. My role includes care of the resident farm livestock at the Newbiggin centre and IVF cowside technician. A native of Cumbria, I am married with two children and two grandchildren. My interests outside of work include music, travel, landscape photography, football and American Football.  

Peter Cullen

Foot Trimmer

Heather Sowman

Bsc Midwifery, Bnurs Nursing

Veterinary Administrator and VetTech

I'm originally from Suffolk having recently left the NHS as a qualified nurse and midwife and wanting to take my career in a direction that has always interested me.

I hope to be able to pull on some of my experience to help me within this new role. I have lived in different parts of the country with jobs and am currently getting some hands on experience on a goat farm in Cumbria as well as starting at Tarn Farm Vets.

​ Back in Suffolk I would often be out on the water with my paddle board and doggy companion to help me navigate the rivers. I look forward to meeting you all as well as discovering some lovely walks and waterways with the paddle board.

Jacqui Dodds

Practice Personnel & Client Care Lead

I have worked with Paragon Veterinary Group since 2003 within the Support team as Practice Manager.  My role mainly revolves around people by supporting my colleagues throughout the Practice (currently there are 62 of us employed) as well as providing Client Care to our valued clients and their animals.  We have a busy home looking after our horses, dogs, hen and Charlie the cat.  We enjoy competing with the horses via British Eventing where we visit venues throughout the UK and occasionally beyond as well as spending valuable time with our family and friends, consequently we have no spare time!  

Suzanne McCamish

Business Finance Lead and Director

I joined Paragon in August 2008 having worked at a local Accountancy practice. I started my role as Accounts Assistant and over the years my role has progressed and evolved into a Management position of Business Finance Lead. In January 2023 I became a Director of Paragon. 

In my younger days I was an active member of Raughton Head Young Farmers and held various posts within the Federation at District, County and Northern Area level.  My highlight was performing in the National Entertainment Finals at the Winter Gardens Theatre in Blackpool. 

Outside of work I enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband Kev, walking and cycling. I also enjoy baking and socialising with friends and family.

Diane Armstrong

Centre Manager

My name is Diane Armstrong and I am Centre Manager at Dalston I have been with Paragon since March 2002. My role is varied and involves reception duties, stock control, staff training, building maintenance and I am the XL Vets Co-Ordinator for Paragon.

Outside of work I love travelling in this country and abroad. I have 2 wonderful grandchildren who I spend as much time as I can with and they keep me on my toes. I also have a beautiful dog called Brier.

Jen Hewitt

Business Operations Lead

I joined Paragon in January 2023 after previously working as an Executive Assistant at Cumbria LEP.   I have enjoyed previous roles as a Personal Assistant in addition to Office Management and Secretarial roles within the NHS, Secondary Education and Local Council.
My role as Business Operations Lead is a new central role to Paragon which will provide further support to the Business Support team.  I will also work across all the sectors and teams within Paragon, attending all three premises at Dalston, Newbiggin and Shap. 
Outside of work I enjoy walking and canoeing with my husband Chris as well as home renovation, crafts and baking.  We have several pets including our dogs Willow and Harper, our cat Tinker and the chickens and ducks.

Julie Crawford

Coordinator / Credit Control

I came to work for paragon in 2009 as a practice co-ordinator.  I moved up here in 2004 from my hometown of Liverpool. Yes I am a red!  I  previously worked in a veterinary hospital in Liverpool on reception. I adopted my lovely Bosnian rescue dog  'Vincent ' in 2017 and have done a lot of work with him, to bring him out of his shell. I enjoy family time, dog walks with friends, and Tequila.    

Sarah Liddle

Head Receptionist

  I have been a client of Paragon for 14 years and started work here as a receptionist in July 2021 after spending most of my working life in retail, so a total change. I love that every day is different and enjoy meeting all the clients and of course all the pets!
Outside of work I live with my husband, 2 teenage children and my elderly dogs Cocker Spaniel Buddy and West Highland Terrier Daisy. I love spending time with family and friends especially if it involves any kind of food or drink :)  

Alison Taylor


  I Joined Paragon in November 2011 and work on reception at Newbiggin and Dalston, I live on a farm and enjoy the showing of sheep and cattle with my husband and 3 children, we show all different breeds and manage to collect rosettes along the way, we also now have 5 small dogs which I love having, even though 3 of them are supposed to belong to the children.  

Dawn Allonby


I started working for Paragon in January 2010 and I am a Receptionist at the Dalston

surgery. I come from a farming background - my Dad and Grandad were both Fell Farmers in South Lakeland, and several members of my family have been involved in Fell Pony breeding.

My own career started in the tourism sector, so this is quite a change, but one that I really enjoy.

In my spare time I enjoy walking my Cockapoo Winnie.

Joanne Laidlow

Accounts Assistant

I joined Paragon in May 2014 as a part-time Accounts assistant.  My hobbies include cycling, swimming & spending quality time with my two daughters.  

I have a gorgeous chocolate brown Cockapoo called Milo who I love taking out for walks and a lop eared rabbit called fudge.

Gina Davidson

Accounts Administrator

I joined Paragon in March 2018 as a part time Accounts Administrator.  I grew up on our family farm and have worked in accountancy practices for the last 14 years preparing accounts and tax returns.  I have also gained my Association of Accounting Technician (AAT) qualification.

In my spare time I enjoy running, cycling and spending time with my partner Warren, teenage step daughter Kaylee and our baby girl Anna.

Kerry Joyce

Receptionist / Coordinator

I joined the Paragon team as a receptionist at Dalston & Newbiggin in August 2021 after previously working in an Estate Agents for 7 years, a total change but I love it. 

In my spare time I enjoy walking my dogs, a Border Collie & a Chocolate Labrador, baking and socialising with friends.

Stacey Strick


I started at Paragon in October 2021 after previously working at a local agricultural supply company in the accounts department.I come from a farming background, my family has a small herd of Saler suckler cattle and I often get roped in to help move and sort them! Horses have always been a big part of my life, I started riding from the age of 3 and I now spend a lot of my spare time with my horse Paddy.  

Megan Williamson

Executive Officer (Vet Salus & Vet Sustain)

I joined the Paragon team in April 2022, working as an executive officer for VetSalus and Vet Sustain. VetSalus is an international network of farm vets, connecting international food producers with local veterinary expertise to improve animal health, welfare and sustainability across the global food chain. Vet Sustain is a not-for-profit social enterprise supporting veterinary professionals to become leading forces for sustainability. 

I graduated from University of Liverpool with a degree in Bioveterinary Sciences in 2007, then worked in project management within the Retail Display Installation industry, launching new products for some renowned international brands. Outside of work I enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband Mike and our two young sons, teaching them about where their food comes from and the importance of caring for the natural world around us

Sarah Ward

Receptionist / Coordinator

I joined the Paragon team as a receptionist in September 2022 having worked in admin for APHA for 26 years.
I have two teenage daughters who keep me busy with taxi and cleaning services! But in my spare time I enjoy taking our dogs, Dolly and Penny for lovely walks, socialising with family and friends, cooking and baking when I get a chance. I also love reading - preferably on a sun lounger somewhere warm!   

Kelly Stott

Veterinary Receptionist

I joined the Paragon team as a receptionist at Dalston and Newbiggin in January 2024, after  previously working at a livestock auction mart for 8 years.In my spare time I help out on my family farm, we have a herd of pedigree Charolais cattle and a flock of Cheviot Mule & pedigree Kerry Hill sheep. I enjoy working amongst the cattle on the farm, showing them at shows & sales and helping out at lambing time.   

Hannah Lightburn

Veterinary Receptionist

Kelly Smith

BSc (hons) SQP-J

Equine Technician - On-Call Support

I have worked at Paragon since October 2008 as part of the equine team. Having worked mainly on site at Newbiggin assisting with the equine in-patients and clinical work, I have now changed my role to spend more time at home on the farm, but continue to support the on-call rota at nights and weekends.

Outside of Paragon I work at home on our Dairy farm alongside my partner Mark.  We have two young boys; James and Charlie who are farming and football mad.  

I have a few horses at home; ranging from a youngster to an old pensioner and try to compete at a few BS shows a month.