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Nursing Team

Lorna Smart

Lorna Smart

  • RVN BSc (hons) SQP MBVNA - Head Veterinary Nurse - Chesham

Lorna graduated from The Royal Veterinary College in 2008 as a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) having completed a foundation degree. She continued her studies and went on to Middlesex University and in 2010 graduated with a BSc (Hons) achieving a 2.1 degree in Veterinary Nursing. In December 2013 Lorna gained her Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) after sitting her exams in October 2013. This enables her to be an animal medicines advisor and entitles her to prescribe and/or supply certain veterinary medicines under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.

More recently Lorna has been promoted to Student Nurse Coordinator for the practice which means she is our  dedicated training coordinator and is also responsible for organising and overseeing all Work experience, Student Vet & Nurse placements.

Lorna has extensive experience working with animals in different environments including Whipsnade Zoo and Folly's Farm Donkey Sanctuary. She has worked in local veterinary practices including St Johns Veterinary Surgery in Berkhamsted and Chiltern Referral Services in Chalfont St Giles. She joined the Wheelhouse Veterinary Centre team at the beginning of September 2012.

One of Lorna's key interests is the care and health of rabbits and their welfare. She has supported Rabbit Ritz (a rabbit boarding and rescue centre in Weston Turville, Buckinghamshire) since February 2009 where she gives help and advice to rabbit owners on a regular basis. Also as part of her BSc degree Lorna studied Exotics and Wildlife with an emphasis on rabbits. Lorna has visited local primary schools in Hertfordshire giving talks and presentations on small animal care to young children. At the Wheelhouse Lorna looks forward to introducing rabbit nurse clinics to educate owners and promote rabbit health.

She is a member of the British Veterinary Nurse Association (BVNA) and a member of The Rabbit Welfare Association which raises awareness on the health and welfare of rabbits. Lorna has a house full of pets including a recently rescued Basset Griffon Vendeen, a Basset hound, three  rescue house rabbits and two tanks of tropical fish which all keep her very busy. Lorna is an active member of a local Sport Centre and particularly enjoys swimming and the gym and finds yoga relaxing. She particularly likes to keep up-to-date with the latest films, enjoys live music and retail therapy!

Branch(es):

  • Chesham

Anna Rayne

Anna Rayne

  • RVN BSc(hons) MBVNA SQP - Clinical Purchasing Manager

Anna grew up locally only leaving when she started veterinary nursing in 2002 at Bristol University.
As a student veterinary nurse a large proportion of her vacation placements were spent at The Wheelhouse. After qualifying in 2005 and subsequently graduating in 2006, she worked in a small animal hospital in Wiltshire before returning home to Bucks as a locum in 2008.

Anna returned to the Wheelhouse in November 2010 as a permanent member of nursing staff. Her main areas of interest are medical nursing and critical care.

Anna initially moved to the Chalfont St Giles surgery when it was opened in 2011, she has since returned to the Chesham surgery to be Deputy Head Nurse, and is now the Clinical Purchasing Manager – sourcing anything from syringes to unusual medication or new clinical equipment. She still goes to the Pheasant to teach dog agility classes on Thursday afternoons.

She became Low Stress Handling Certified (Silver Level) in 2017.

Anna has a border terrier (Isla) and a border collie (Master Spryte) AKA the Kangaroo! Anna does dog agility, Isla is now retired and Spryte will be shortly starting his agility career. She is also an ‘Agility Club approved instructor’. Sadly Mungo her ginger & white rescue cat passed away in September 2017 but his spirit and cheeky personality on in Wheelhouse literature.

Branch(es):

  • Chesham

Stacie Smith

Stacie Smith

  • RVN - Head Nurse - Chalfont St Giles

When Stacie left school she went to work for the RSPCA as a kennel hand on the rehoming side and then was offered a place working at the clinic. This is when she decided she would like to become a veterinary nurse, and so the training began. Stacie was unable to complete her training fully at the RSPCA so moved to a private practice and qualified in 2012 as a Registered Veterinary Nurse. 

Stacie had previously been working at the College of Animal Welfare assisting with training the next generation of Veterinary Nurses between 2013-2017. This was a great learning opportunity for Stacie where she gained lots of other skills to add to her nursing skills. 

Stacie joined  The Wheelhouse team in Chalfont St Giles on 20th February 2017 and has loved every minute of it so far!

Out of work she enjoys spending time with her animals. She has a horse called Harry and a little pony called Dinky, as-well as 4 Rottweilers Freddie, Buddy, Freya and Lola, a Jack Russel called Oliver, Field Spaniel called Maddie and a Miniature Dachshund called Dobby.

Branch(es):

  • Chalfont St Giles

Teresa Barry

Teresa Barry

  • RVN - Deputy Head Nurse - Chalfont St Giles

Teresa joined the Wheelhouse in 2015 as a qualified veterinary nurse, she is now our deputy head nurse at the Chalfont St Giles practice and is also a clinical coach teaching our students and helping them to become the qualified nurses they aspire to be.


Prior to veterinary nursing Teresa had a career as a qualified dental nurse, so she is known as our tooth fairy within the Wheelhouse practice. 


Teresa has many animals including, dogs, cats and tortoises.

Branch(es):

  • Chalfont St Giles

Lauren Clark

Lauren Clark

  • RVN Deputy Head Nurse

Lauren is currently in her third year at Harper Adams University studying towards her Bsc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management degree. She joined the Wheelhouse team in April 2015 and is with us for a year to complete her practical training before returning to university to complete her degree and qualify as a registered veterinary nurse.

Lauren gained experience working with animals in her first job as a kennel assistant which fueled her interest into training as a veterinary nurse. Before going to university, Lauren spent part of her gap year in South Africa where she volunteered at a wildlife and big cat sanctuary. She hopes to go back there someday and do more volunteering once she has qualified.

Outside of work and studying, Lauren enjoys traveling and playing piano and saxophone in a local musical theatre band. She is also a student member of the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA). In the future, Lauren hopes to one day work abroad and further her veterinary nursing education after she has qualified.

Branch(es):

  • Chesham

Helen Cholawo

Helen Cholawo

  • RVN SQP

Helen began nursing in 2002 and gained her qualified nurse status in 2005. Helen joined the Wheelhouse team in August 2006 and was promoted to Head Nurse in 2008. She enjoys medical nursing and outside of work she enjoys running and is a keen horse rider, regularly competing at eventing. Helen also owns a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Labrador, a pug, 5 cats, 2 Horses and 9 chickens.

Helen lives with her husband and 2 sons.

Branch(es):

  • Chesham

Lucy Blackwell

Lucy Blackwell

  • BA(hons)RVN - Clinic Nurse Co-Ordinator

Lucy graduated from Writtle Agricultural College in 2005 with a Bsc (HONS) in Animal Science. She then went on to complete her NVQ in Veterinary Nursing at the College of Animal Welfare. 

After qualifying, Lucy  spent a year backpacking around the South East of Asia, Australia, New Zealand and America visiting all the wonderful creatures that inhabit these countries. 

Lucy Started working at the Royal Veterinary College in The Queen Mother Hospital as a Neurology Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Nurse. She then found her love for alternative therapy and also became a Queen Mother Hospital Hydrotherapy nurse gaining qualifications in this area. 

Lucy joined at the Wheelhouse team as our Clinic Nurse Co-ordinator in November 2014. 

Lucy has a Deerhound dog called Angus, who regularly donates his blood to needy patients and has saved many lives including a recent Wheelhouse patient. She also has re-homed a 3 legged stray ginger cat called Martin, brought into the Wheelhouse following a road traffic accident.

Lucy very much enjoys singing and attends a choir in which they perform all over London. Lucy has a passion for music and loves nothing more than a sunny day listening to live music.

Branch(es):

  • Chesham
  • Chalfont St Giles

Aila Afshari

Aila Afshari

  • RVN

Aila graduated from The Royal Veterinary College in Potters bar in 2014 where she completed a Foundation degree in Veterinary Nursing, she has worked hard for her qualification and is proud of what she has achieved.


Aila is our theatre nurse at the Chesham branch. She is responsible for organisation of theatre including surgical kits, surgical drapes and ordering of consumables. She also cares and maintains our multi-parameter machine that we use while we monitor the patients anaesthetics- she has named it Mona! 


Aila has written a folder of individual protocols for our machinery and equipment within the practice as she enjoys taking great care in maintaining and caring for these. Aila has recently rescued two cats from Nash cat rescue- they are mother and son and are names Harley-Quinn (Aila is a Marvel fan!) and Serj (named after Serj Tankian singer, songwriter and musician). They have their own dedicated cat room full of their toys in Ailas house and are spoilt rotten!!


Aila can be often be heard singing her favourite music this includes- Good Charlotte, System of a down, Linkin park, 80's music and 90's music and one of her favourite possessions is her ipod and mini speaker!
Aila enjoys spending her free time playing computer games- Pokemon and Legend of Zelda are her particular favourites. She also enjoys keeping up to date with TV series such as Bones, Columbo, Mentalist and always makes time to watch a Disney films!

Branch(es):

  • Chesham

Samantha Hope

Samantha Hope

  • RVN

Sam has worked in veterinary practice since 2006 and qualified at Harpury College in 2009 while working in a 24hour Hospital based in the Cotswolds, this is where she grew up and lived with her parents until she met her husband in 2010.

She then moved to his family farm in Oxfordshire and did locum work gaining more experience in lots of different practices.

Sam went on to gain her qualification as an SQP and Clinical Coach in 2013. She has particular interests in Radiography,  Physio & Hydrotherapy which stem from working with an orthopeadic surgeon whilst she was training.

She has a lot of experience working with horses and farm animals. Sams husband runs his own business as a contract shepherd and owns about 500 breeding ewes so she had to become a shepherdess very soon after meeting him.

Sam enjoys spending time riding her horse Mono who is a retired Polo Pony. They also have 4 dogs, Flo their main working collie and Sky their working Shetland Sheepdog. Flo had a litter of puppies in November 2016 and they kept 2 puppies Echo and Ghost to train up for sheep-work, and the other 3 puppies went to active homes including 1 who went to colleague Anna Rayne. All 4 dogs go to work with Joe every day.

After getting married in August 2015 Sam also received a little grey kitten called Nala as a wedding present from her husband.

Branch(es):

  • Chesham

Holly Cadman

Holly Cadman

  • RVN

In 2013 Holly attended Berkshire College of Agriculture where she obtained a Extended Diploma Level 3 in Animal Management.

She  began her employment at The Wheelhouse Vets in 2014. Just 2 weeks after finishing her course at college due to her work experience placement here at Wheelhouse, which led to the Wheelhouse offering her the job as Student Veterinary Nurse.

Holly is now attending College of Animal Welfare and studying for a Level 3 diploma in Veterinary Nursing. She has a keen interest in Surgery and Recovery.

At home, Holly has a 6 year old German Shorthaired Pointer that she takes to Flyball with Louise Clark, one of our other Nurses here at the practice and is an Explorer Scout leader. She gets to go on expeditions all round the world with them mountain and rock climbing.

Branch(es):

  • Chalfont St Giles

Matthew Rendle

Matthew Rendle

  • RVN

Matt started his veterinary nursing career at The Park Veterinary Centre, Watford in September 1989, a busy mixed and exotics 13-vet practice, where he completed his veterinary nursing qualification.
In 1994 he was made Senior Theatre Nurse. He left in 2003 to pursue his interest in zoo and wildlife nursing at the Zoological Society of London. Matthew left the Zoo in April 2017 to look for new challenges within exotic and wildlife nursing.

Matt has experience in the nursing care for many species from ants to elephants (and most things in-between) and has been fortunate to travel as part of his role.

He regularly lectures to veterinary nursing and veterinary surgeon undergraduates at the RVC as part of their core modules on topics such as herpetological husbandry, and some areas of zoo and wildlife diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia. He also lectures extensively on herpetology throughout Europe and America. 

Matt has completed a three-year term on the British Veterinary Nursing Association Council, which allowed him to help promote and raise the profile of veterinary nursing in the UK.
Matthew became an elected member of The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Veterinary Nursing Council in 2016. 
 

Branch(es):

  • Chesham
  • Chalfont St Giles

Natasha Tommey

Natasha Tommey

  • RVN

Natasha joined the wheelhouse veterinary centre in 2014 as a SVN before qualifying in 2015. Before starting training Natasha spent a month in Thailand volunteering at an veterinary clinic, which strengthened her dream of becoming a Veterinary Nurse. 

She currently works part time between both the Chesham and Chalfont St Giles Surgeries after having her little boy Oscar in 2015.


In her spare time Natasha enjoys painting, reading, floristry and travelling. At home she has two dogs Sam and Willow, and a rescue cat called Gigi Hadid. 

Branch(es):

  • Chalfont St Giles

Louise Clark

Louise Clark

  • RVN - Student Nurse Training Co-ordinator

Louise joined the Wheelhouse nursing team in April 2015 and is based at our Chalfont St Giles surgery. She qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in October 2012 and is also a Clinical Coach for Student Veterinary Nurses.

Louise enjoys all aspects of nursing, especially the hands on element of nursing inpatients. She has particular interests in Rabbits and Guinea Pigs, having owned a few in the past and she also enjoys dog training.


She has an 11 year old German Shepherd dog called Zara, who she participates in Flyball with, along with Agility in the past. Zara was originally rescued as a stray from Ireland.

Branch(es):

  • Chalfont St Giles

Louise Turner

Louise Turner

  • SVN

Louise started working at the Wheelhouse part time as a receptionist in May 2014.


Louise has always wanted to work with animals and in 2015 she started an online course to gain a formal qualification in veterinary care. Currently she is working towards a level 2 diploma for Veterinary Care Assistant, and in doing so is gaining the skills and knowledge needed to prepare herself for a career in the veterinary care profession. Louise is one of our older students showing you can still challenge yourself later on in life. 

At home Louise has 3 children and 3 cats to match. The cats were hand reared from 3 weeks old and she was only going to keep one, but after 9 weeks of raising them Louise decided to keep them all and they are now 2 years old, there names are Hugo, Belle and Cocoa.

Once Louise has completed her VCA course, she hopes to continue her studying and qualify with a level 3 diploma in Veterinary Nursing at the College of Animal Welfare.

Branch(es):

  • Chesham

Vicki Loose

Vicki Loose

  • SVN

Branch(es):

  • Chesham

Eleanor Martin

Eleanor Martin

  • SVN

Eleanor is a student on placement from Harper Adams university studying BSc in veterinary nursing and practice management. Her areas of interest are medical nursing and critical care and outside of nursing has a cockerpoo called Bruno, and a cat called Alfie. She also enjoys to dance and horse ride in her spare time.

Branch(es):

  • Chesham

Leigh Merrifield

Leigh Merrifield

  • RVN

Leigh joined The Wheelhouse in April 2014, and is really enjoying working with the team here. In 2015 she moved into the nursing team as a student and is looking forward to eventually qualifying a veterinary nurse.

In the past she has done a lot of volunteering with animals in veterinary practices, farms and wildlife hospitals. 

She has achieved a Level 2  BTEC in Animal Care and a Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management.
Leigh has a Dog called Missy, 2 Cats called Milo and Fidget, a Corn snake called Hugo and lots of tropical fish. 

Leigh also enjoys traveling (especially to South Africa to see family), Nature,  Photography, spending time with friends and family.

Branch(es):

  • Chalfont St Giles

Charlotte Beveridge

Charlotte Beveridge

  • SVN

Charlotte is currently studying a BSc (hons) in Veterinary Nursing at Warwickshire University and is about to finish her second year going into her third, where she will complete all her practical work ready for her dissertation. 
At work Charlotte has always had her eye on becoming a surgical nurse and helping out the vets during surgery. She has recently been involved in a lot of orthopedics (something she is very interested in).

At home Charlotte has a 15yr old Patterdale terrier called Titch who she have grown up with from a young age. In her spare time she rides mountain bikes and motocross bikes which has taken her all over the world and Charlotte also regularly play ice-hockey and snowboards.

Branch(es):

  • Chalfont St Giles

Elena Bullock

Elena Bullock

  • SVN

Elena started her training to become a veterinary nurse in September 2017, before that she spent a year working as a receptionist for the Chalfont St. Giles branch. She thoroughly enjoys working and training at the Wheelhouse, so much so, she doesnt like to take holiday!

Elena has a cat named Skipper who she rescued from the RSPCA.

Branch(es):

  • Chalfont St Giles

Kaz Dunlop

Kaz Dunlop

Kaz started her nurse training in 2004 working in general practice and studying at The College of Animal Welfare. She qualified in 2007 and started as a locum nurse around London and the South to gain more experience.

In 2009 Kaz joined VRCC in Essex, a cancer specialised referral centre. After working as a staff nurse for 2 years, she was promoted to Head of Surgery and Deputy Head Nurse of the hospital. Keen to explore more of the surgery and anaesthesia aspect of nursing, Kaz undertook a certificate in Anaesthesia and Critical Care.  In 2014 she joined The Royal Veterinary College in the Theatre and Anaesthesia departments. Whilst at the RVC, she also completed her Clinical Coach Training.

Kaz has a one eyed cat called Dexter who she rescued from Romania. She is also a member of The Streetvet Team, a new non profit organisation that treats homeless dogs on the streets.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, martial arts, volunteering with Streetvet and photography.

Branch(es):

  • Chesham