Introducing Our Practice Team
Chris Darke Director & Veterinary Surgeon BA VetMB PGCert DI MRCVS
Chris qualified from Cambridge University in 1995. Chris began working at Brookfield in 2004, became a partner in 2005 and now co-owns the practice with his wife Victoria. Chris is an Advanced General Practitioner with a Certificate in Diagnostic Imaging which includes ultrasonography & radiology (x-rays). He also offers in depth consultations for dermatology and canine behaviour. Chris spends a lot of time managing the day to day running of the practice. You may also spot Chris running when he’s out training for a marathon or two !
Victoria Darke Director & Veterinary Surgeon BVetMed MRCVS
Victoria is Herefordshire born & bred and qualified from Royal Veterinary College London in 1996. Victoria began working at Brookfield in 2004 and now co-owns the practice with her husband Chris. Victoria enjoys surgery. She also has a particular interest in veterinary dentistry. In 2015 she introduced digital dental radiography and has taken our dental care to new heights. As well as four sons at home, Chris and Victoria have two ginger cats; Geri & Hugo plus two labradors Derek & Woody that they individually rescued in 2013.
Amanda Kitching Veterinary Surgeon BSc MA VetMB MRCVS
Amanda qualified from Cambridge University in 2004. Amanda has been working at Brookfield since 2007. Amanda developed her interest and knowledge in poultry medicine and in 2017 trained to be able to perform veterinary acupuncture. Amanda has 3 dogs (Bobbins, Pip & Trevor), 1 cat (Rodney) and some chickens.
Charles Brice BVM BVS MRCVS
Charles has been working with Brookfield Vets since he qualified, starting with us in August 2016. Charles now shares his time between both our branches, tending to spend one day a week in Ledbury and the rest of his time in Hereford. In his time off Charles enjoys renovating his first home in the centre of Hereford, and walks with Dora, his Norfolk love!
Eden Tanner BVSc, MRCVS
Eden has been in veterinary practice in the Ledbury area for many years and is very much part of the local community. Interested in all rural pursuits he is acknowledged as a photographer as well as a dedicated veterinary surgeon
Louise Howarth BVetMed MRCVS
(On maternity leave in 2019)
Louise worked at Brookfield for nearly 4 years, she then moved away and had a daughter. 2017 she moved back to Hereford, and then started back at Brookfield.
She was working part time and loved looking after the patients and spending time with clients. Her particular interest lies in medicine, she is close to completing a Medicine Certificate. Louise has a blind Ginger cat at home called “Mole” who was found as a stray kitten 7 years ago. In her spare time her enjoys playing Netball and spending time with her friends and family
2019 started with adding a son to their family -we look forward to welcoming Louise back after her maternity leave.
Kelly Manning BVSc CertSAM MRCVS
(On maternity leave from September 2019)
Kelly started in January 2018 and is with us two days a week. She graduated from Liverpool university in 2010, and has worked in Herefordshire ever since. She holds a certificate in internal medicine which she completed in 2015. When she is not at work she enjoys being out and about in the countryside with her daughter and dogs (Rupert and Bear). She also has Neville the cat who was a stray that turned up at work 7 years ago.
Rebecca Sedman BVSc MRCVS
Becky graduated from the University of Liverpool in July 2018 and took the summer off to travel and volunteer at a neutering clinic in Thailand. After being at Brookfield for only a month she had already adopted her first three-legged cat called Andie! Becky is originally from Yorkshire and enjoys running, playing netball and running a flock of sheep with her boyfriend in her spare time. At work, she particularly enjoys surgery and cardiology, and as a very keen green advocate, Becky is currently working on Brookfield’s Sustainability Programme (keep an eye out for updates!!)
Lucy was an experienced receptionist who always had a smile on her face. We were very pleased to be able to appoint her as Practice Manager in 2016. She has contributed to many of Brookfield’s achievements, including becoming a Cat Friendly Practice and setting up a branch in Ledbury. This year she completed a qualification in Leadership and Management.
Lucy has a soft spot for cats which sees her having two of her own – Esme and Phoebe. Lucy obtained Phoebe when she was brought into Brookfield as a stray kitten involved in an RTA, she made a full recovery and now rules the roost.
Lottie Bradley CertVN ECC RVN
Lottie joined Brookfield in 2010 and started her Veterinary Nurse training while going to Abbeydale Vetlink College one day a week. Lottie qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2013 and since then has had a keen interest in emergency nursing and critical care, she was awarded her Nursing Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care in March 2018. As well as getting stuck in with emergencies you will find Lottie spending a lot of her time organising and running Puppy School and currently studying for the Nursing Certificate in Animal Behaviour. Lottie was appointed Head Nurse in 2016 which involves working closely with the Vets and Nurses to help give our patients the best possible care while they stay with us.
Trish Helme RVN NCert (AnBeh), MT (Master Trainer), CCFT (Certified Canine Fitness Trainer)
Trish undertook her Veterinary Nurse training at Brookfield starting 3rd April 1994 qualifying a couple of years later.
In June 2016 she was awarded her Nursing Certificate in Animal Behaviour. And then went on to get her training qualifications. Trish is definitely an all rounder, using her years of experience in every area of the practice. Trish used to be a member of “Paws for Thought” dog display team but now co runs the Awesome Paws Performance dog training school when not at Brookfield and so can always offer some useful advice on dog training. She is also in charge of client accounts. Trish owns a family of miniature Schnauzers and has recently added a “Epic” her new cocker puppy to the crowd !
Charlotte Prothero RVN
Charlotte previously worked in a small animal rehabilitation clinic in Cardiff before training as an Animal Nursing Assistant and then on to study and qualify as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2013.
She is currently studying towards her dentistry Oral Care Certificate and will soon begin her Merit Award in Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy. She particularly enjoys nursing inpatients, geriatric dogs and is a Clinical Coach helping to train up new veterinary nurses.
She lives in Herefordshire with her husband and 2 young sons and run a family business in first aid training. She loves all varieties of animals but particularly German Shorthaired Pointers, of which Charlotte has 2 of her own, as well as guinea pigs.
Melissa Griffiths RVN
Mel joined the practice in October 2015. Mel was a fantastic locum nurse at Brookfield the previous summer so we were very happy that her name appeared on an application for a position. Mel qualified from a Veterinary Nursing Degree course in 2015. She particularly enjoys nurse clinics. Mel says she has been too busy for hobbies, but enjoys walking with her collie cross Lucy.
Natalie Holder RVN
I did my training here at Brookfield then qualified in 2008! I left for 2 years and worked in emergency clinics and various locum positions across the country to gain lots of experience! I returned to Brookfield in 2011 and after a couple of maternity leave stints I now work part time!
I live with Archie the golden retriever, Dobbie the lurcher, Edward and Peggy the cats, Albert and Mavis the rabbits and I also own two small humans, Jack and Hattie!
I love every single part of veterinary nursing but if I had to choose one favourite it would be nursing the geriatric dog! I'm also quite partial to taking any waifs and strays home.
Amy Newman RVN
Amy came to Brookfield as a work experience student and then we saw her through her Veterinary Nursing BSC degree placement blocks. In 2018, she completed this degree from the Royal Veterinary College and became our RVN in the Ledbury branch! However you will still catch her in the Hereford branch one day a week! Since then, she has obtained qualifications in Oral Care Nursing and ISFM cat friendliness. She has a keen interest in anaesthesia and outside of this oversees all of the work experience placements in Ledbury!
When she isn’t at work, you will find her on a Netball court or walking her sprightly Dalmatian, Louis. They also take part in Agility!
Kelly Wilkes GradDipVN RVN ISFMCertFN
(On maternity leave from November 2019)
Kelly started her veterinary career in a large mixed first opinion practice in Hampshire, where she qualified as a registered veterinary nurse (RVN) in 2010. She then went on to work in a multidisciplinary referral centre specialising in surgical nursing. In September 2014, she gained the Graduate Diploma in Professional and Clinical Veterinary Nursing.
In 2015, Kelly worked as a nurse manager at a first opinion hospital organising the running of the day, training staff and helped with the set up and running of the CT scanner. Alongside this role Kelly started working for a telemedicine company as a clinical case manager.
Kelly joined Brookfield part time in October 2016. Kelly has many interests in addition to being our cat advocate but to pick a few would be surgical nursing and anaesthesia.
Rachel Ford RVN
Rachel qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2010, she joined Brookfield in January 2017. She enjoys nurse clinics, especially weight management and dental home care consults. She also oversees all of our work experience students and has a keen interest in small furries and exotics. Rachel has five guinea pigs and a tortoise at home along with her 2 children.
Rachel completed her Oral Care Nurse Certificate in 2018.
Nikki Watkins RVN
Nikki qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2018 from Abbeydale Veterinary College after studying for her Veterinary Nurse Diploma for 2 years. Since qualifying Nikki has started doing nurse consultations, she enjoys weight clinics and meeting new puppies and kittens.
Nikki has recently completed a dental oral care course aswell as her ISFM Cat Friendly Nurse Course.
Nikki has two dogs of her own, Shadow, a working sprocker spaniel and Roo a fox red Labrador. In her spare time, Nikki enjoys going to agility with Roo and walking the dogs.
Floss Kennedy RVN
Floss joined Brookfield Vets as a receptionist in May 2015 with the aim of becoming a Veterinary Nurse. She has now qualified with a diploma in Veterinary Nursing from Abbeydale Veterinary College in 2019. Floss enjoys anaesthesia and medical nursing where she can really get to know her patients and spend quality time with them.
Floss has two dogs at home Bonnie the ‘goldendoodle’, Charlie a lurcher who she fell in love with at work when he was brought in by a rescue centre and a ginger tom named Ronald who came from Swansea cats protection.
Tracy Haines RVN EVN Clinical Coach
Tracy started her veterinary nursing career within a mix practice in Hertfordshire qualifying as a RVN in 1997. She subsequently went on to train and qualify as a clinical coach in 2000. Tracy spent twelve years within small animal and mix practice before moving to Newmarket to embark on her equine nurse training where she qualified from Hartpury in 2006. Tracy and her husband Colin then moved back to Colin's home county where Tracy took up an EVN post at a local equine referral hospital moving into a senior position.
During her spare time she loves ride and one day event her pony Little Blue Paint Works with support of her husband and Banjo their border terrier. They also love to walk the Malvern Hills.
TRAINEE NURSES & ASSISTANTS
Tracey completed her Animal Care Level 1 & 2 at Holme Lacy College In 1996, alongside a placement at Brookfield for 6 months doing voluntary work. Shortly afterwards she was employed at The Argus Veterinary Surgery in Ledbury, where she worked for the next 19 years!
Tracey has a 9 yr old border collie called Kodi, a 10yr old Australian labradoodle Pinto and 2 cats Bodi and Peaches.
When Brookfield took over the Argus Veterinary Surgery in Nov 2016, Tracey continued her role as veterinary nursing assistant and is based at our Ledbury branch.
Tracey completed her Level 2 Certificate in Anaesthesia in 2017, and more recently her ISFM Cat Friendly Handling course, Cat Friendly Receptionist Certificate and BVRA receptionist award levels; Bronze and Silver. She hopes to complete her BVRA Gold award in the near future.
Charmaine joined the team in May 2016 as part of her Business Administration Apprenticeship. After a few weeks she had fitted in so well with the Brookie team that we offered her a permanent position. She is a fond lover of cats, so when an 8 week old kitten came in needing a home, Charmaine was quick to snap her up, helping to hand-rear her back to full health. She and her partner have also rescued a Beagle X, called Tillie, from the Hereford & Worcester Animal Rescue.
Charmaine has recently completed her ‘ISFM Cat Friendly Receptionist Course’ and is currently working towards her Gold Award within the British Veterinary Receptionist Association.
Mary began working at Brookfield in 1993 as receptionist at the same time as Alison. Mary left us for a short while, but has now come back behind the reception desk, so many of our older clients will see a familiar face. Mary owns two little dogs Beazy and Molly.
Georgia joined the Brookfield team in February 2017 as part of our reception team. It was clear from the start that Georgia was keen to be more hands on with all cats and dogs alike, therefore Georgia is now attending Abbeydale Vetlink Training, working towards a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing.
Outside of work Georgia enjoys boxing, dancing and climbing, but most of all, spending time with her best buddy, Paddy. Georgia rescued Paddy from Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue in 2017, it was an opportunity she couldn’t miss as ‘Sprockers’ have always had a place in her heart.
(On maternity leave from November 2019)
Maddy joined the team in March 2018, fitting in so well with her bubbly personality. She has always worked within the pet industry, but her love for animals brought her to Brookfield where should could work closer with our four legged friends.
Maddy has completed her ‘Cat Handling Course’ which helped contribute to our achievement of becoming a Gold Cat Friendly Practice. She is also working towards her Gold Award within the British Veterinary Receptionist Association.
At home, Maddy is kept busy with her 4 dogs; Bean, Bruce, Jess and Nelly. She enjoys taking them all out on a woodland walk amongst the Forest of Dean, along with her husband and daughter, Lexi.
Nicola first worked at Brookfield when it was still owned by Norman White. She left to join the Royal Air Force where she became a ( human) Dental Hygienist, finishing after 24 years and returning to Hereford.
Nicola completed her Animal Care level 1 & 2 at Cornwall College as well as continuing to work within the Dental world and working for Guide Dogs.
She is working towards her Bronze award within the British Veterinary Receptionist Association.
Outside of work Nicola enjoys attending music concerts and travelling in her camper van " Florence THE machine". She is also kept busy with her daughter, an ageing Border Collie called Tad, 2 Chinchillas and feeding numerous Hedgehogs who appreciate the fast-food restaurant of her garden.
Lindsay Benjamin - Maternity Cover
Details to follow