Trustees and Executive Team

Sarah Jane Williamson

Sarah Jane Williamson

Chief Executive
Sarah Martin

Sarah Martin

Director of Finance/Company Secretary
Jerry Longrigg

Jerry Longrigg

Director of Human Resources and Compliance
Liz Gaffer

Liz Gaffer

Chair of the Trustees
Nigel Brown

Nigel Brown

Trustee
Rob Lovell

Rob Lovell

Trustee/Vice Chair
James Fitzpatrick

James Fitzpatrick

Trustee
Louise Sharpe

Louise Sharpe

Trustee
Syra Bowden

Syra Bowden

Senior Director of Equine
Maureen Rolls

Maureen Rolls

Trustee
Donna Hallett

Donna Hallett

Trustee
Katriona Rich

Katriona Rich

Trustee

Sarah Jane Williamson

My career has spanned education, public health management and the charity sector at national level. I have extensive experience of leading innovation and improvement in health services and in organisational design, transformation and governance.

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary's work in equine welfare is more relevant than ever from an ethical, environmental and ecological viewpoint and we are in a unique position to contribute to the global conversations about these.

The charity was founded on the principles that horses and ponies, as sentient beings and close companions to humans over the centuries, have a value and a purpose. We - and our wonderful supporters - believe this continues to be relevant in the 21st century, if not more so as people of all ages risk becoming disconnected from the natural world.

Having specialised in the mental health of children, young people and adults throughout my career, our work to reconnect horses, ponies and people to benefit each other’s health and wellbeing, is close to my heart.

Sarah Martin

After 12 years working in accountancy practices as a charity specialist and ten years in the public sector I became a member of the Mare and Foal Sanctuary Team in October 2014. It is a great responsibility to have control of the purse strings and ensure every penny of our supporters' money is used to best deliver our charitable objectives to rescue, retrain and rehome as many horses and ponies as we can,

The best thing about the Sanctuary is the fantastic team of staff I get to work with and the wonderful care they give to horses and ponies who have not had the best start in life. We are all so grateful to our amazing supporters who make our work possible.

I am privileged to be part of a charity with such a great heritage and I am looking forward to the future.

Outside work I like to spend time with friends and family, especially my four grandchildren. We like to swim in the sea all year round and get the most out of the beautiful part of the world in which we live.

Jerry Longrigg

I concluded my university education by undertaking a post graduate diploma in Human Resource Management which took me very briefly into the public sector.

I then joined a regional PLC supplying contractors plant, spending several years there as HR Manager before moving on to work in a variety of other roles including general and operational management in industries as diverse as catering, vehicle rental and e-commerce.

I came to the Sanctuary in 2011 intending only to broaden my horizons by experiencing the third sector then moving on. However, I was so taken by the extent of the charity's work and the commitment and dedication of the people that I decided to stay!

My role is often challenging but always rewarding and the views of ponies from my office window a constant reminder of the wonderful work that our staff do in their rescue care and rehabilitation work.

Liz Gaffer

Animals have been an interest, maybe I should say 'passion', of mine ever since I can remember - I think I organised my first table top fundraiser aged 11!

Whilst my very enjoyable marketing and PR career has been within commercial organisations, selling everything from carpets to frozen foods, I have given time also to voluntary roles where I can use the experience that I have gained to help charities, small and large. I am currently Director of Marketing and Charity Services for an organisation that both provides charitable support and runs independent schools.

I applied to be a Trustee of the Mare & Foal Sanctuary and was particularly impressed by how professional the charity is run and the impact its work is having on so many horses.

Now Chair, I am so proud to work with the great team the charity has across all of its sites and a highly skilled and generous trustee body.

I hope my passion, combined with my business skills will help the charity achieve its aims of securing a better future for more horses and in enlightening people of the benefit of having a world with horses in it.

Nigel Brown

My interest in horses stems from my wife and younger daughter, who have owned horses for about 25 years. Shortly after I retired from NatWest in 2011, after nearly 40 years in banking, a former colleague aware of this interest, who also happened to be the Sanctuary's bank manager, contacted me to say we were looking for new trustees.

So I got involved with the charity more than six years ago, including almost five years as Chair - a period which has seen us buy and develop Beechtrees and Upcott Park, as well as take fundraising in-house and expand our management team.

These steps have put us in a great place to do even more, creating opportunities for our people, enhancing not only horse care and research but also how these wonderful animals can help people in so many ways. Outside of my trustee role, we have four young grandchildren who keep us busy, and I also enjoy gardening, the natural world, walking, railways and watching sport.

Rob Lovell

I’ve always been fascinated by wildlife and being at one with nature gives me huge satisfaction. Perhaps that was why I started my career teaching biology, but I soon discovered the draw for being outside.

After a couple of years at an outdoor pursuits centre I applied for a job as education officer at Paignton Zoo. Little did I realise at the time how this would lead to 35 years filled with the most wonderful and
ever changing experiences and challenges. Initially, I saw the zoo as a stepping stone rather than, as it transpired, a launchpad into a deeper understanding of people, animals, plants and global issues.

Both my wife and daughter were very successful at national level in Endurance riding and over the past 30 odd years we’ve inevitably shared the joys, sadnesses and everyday matters with a number of our equine friends.

Since retiring I’ve realised how much there is to learn about horses. Previously I thought little of a 50 mile ride, now I have a horse capable of 100. I just need to sharpen up a bit! There’s no such thing as problem horses - it’s the problem horses have with people.

James Fitzpatrick

I’ve been passionate about animal welfare - and in particular horses - from a very early age. As I was growing up, I was lucky enough to learn how to care for horses and having the chance to be around them made me appreciate what wonderful and beautiful animals they are.

Having worked in the third sector several years ago, I’ve seen first-hand what a positive impact good trustees can have on an organisation and I wanted to find a way to combine my experience, my love of horses and my passion to give something back.

Whilst I have held many different public engagement roles over the years, including communications, government affairs, fundraising and patient engagement, I’m currently lucky enough to work for Jonson & Johnson. J&J allow employees a few days a year to volunteer for charities and causes that they choose themselves and so I was delighted to join the Board in the summer of 2017!

At this key stage in the Mare & Foal Sanctuary’s history, I believe we have the opportunity and obligation to really grow and become a greater force for good in the equine world. I’m a firm believer that charities have the responsibility to be the voice for those that can’t speak for themselves and I know that we can continue to care for hundreds of horses whilst finding our voice to speak out when we need to.

Louise Sharpe

My background is horses, horses and more horses! I competed nationally and trained internationally. I competed BS and BE to Foxhunter and Intermediate level and trained my own horses. I now continue to train young horses in a consistent, natural way, with no force or gadgets.

My family run business produces horses of quality and with the right temperament for the riding market. I also coach all disciplines including Dressage, Show Jumping and cross country. My emphasis is on confidence building and I teach all ages.

I worked for Cornwall College for 10 years as an Outreach Programme Manager and Liaison Officer for young people embarking on a career with horses. I have also worked as a Therapy Instructor for the Donkey Sanctuary, which was extremely rewarding work.

I hope my passion for horses and education is reflected and valued as a Trustee for the Mare & Foal Sanctuary. It's valuable work associated with animals and changing lives. I hope I can support this area of the Sanctuary and highlighting the need for education in breeding horses fit for purpose.

Syra Bowden

As my mother founded the Sanctuary, I have been privileged to follow the journey of every horse and pony we have rescued, from the moment they come in.

In the early days where we struggled to make ends meet; ‘making do’ and stretching every penny to its limit, where we often shared yards and relied on people’s kindness to get by. Now, the support for mum’s legacy has grown and developed into a successful charity thanks to the extensive support we have from our loyal donors.

Throughout I have got to know and work with some incredible people. Their commitment and dedication is truly humbling and inspiring. I love what we do, the difference we make and I am looking forward to what the future holds, as I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.

Maureen Rolls

I had a career in sales and management at all levels, starting at the bottom and being promoted to senior management, which included training and managing a team of staff all over the country for a large multi national company.

I have always had an infinity with animals of all kinds, moving out on to Dartmoor in my younger years and starting up a riding centre was the start of my passion with helping not only the wild life but also the feral ponies in urgent need of help on the moor. This was the start of South West Equine Protection, my charity founded more than 40 years ago.

I have helped literally hundreds - if not thousands - of horses and ponies, as well as managing the charity and staff, where my years of management training came in handy.

I was a great admirer of the Sanctuary's founder Rosemary Kind, as we started rescuing horses at about the same time, so when I decided that I needed to retire, but wanted to ensure the safety and future for our SWEP ponies, it was a natural decision to ask the Trustees at the Mare & Foal Sanctuary to merge with SWEP. And, now I sit on the Board of Trustees.

My passion will always be with the feral ponies on Dartmoor and Bodmin moor.

Donna Hallett

My connection with the Sanctuary started when I was a teenager when I used to attend the annual horse show that was held every September in aid of the charity. Rosemary loved my palomino mare - and my mum's cakes and jams!

Over the years my family and I became firm supporters and friends of the charity and to this day sponsor the mountain and moorland classes, in memory of my mare, at the annual show now held at Coombe Park. When the opportunity arose some three years ago to become a trustee I could think of no better way to further my involvement of this wonderful organisation.

I think one of the best things about the Sanctuary is that it has a real family feel and a core set of values set up by Rosemary that still ring true and is evident in everything the teams do day in day out.

Outside of my trustee role I have had a 20 year management career in the retail sector and more recently have moved in to the logistics industry, managing operations and working within compliance functions. My spare time is spent fulfilling my love of being with horses, travelling and helping my husband with his woodworking business.

Katriona Rich

I have been with SWEP for 13 years and started off working at the yard as a volunteer. I was then asked to run the charity's shows, which was exciting but a lot of hard work - getting people to help, advertising the shows and hiring venues.

I am a trained kennel maid and worked at Castle Vets in Launceston for 10 years. While I worked at the vets I raised money for several charities including Send a Cow to Africa, Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and Riding for the Disabled, mainly through saving and selling old glass with all the local pubs donating old bottles.

From the vets I then worked for ten years as a teacher at Duchy College and taught special need students animal care. While at Duchy College I was lucky to gain a job at Tesco and have been there 24 years and counting.

I enjoy helping charities and find it very rewarding. After a bad riding accident I felt I need to help a horse charity - as well as Launceston Guide Dogs and Childrens Hospice South West. I feel this is my way of saying thank you for getting threw my accident.