BVRA Team and BVRA Council

Welcome to the heart of the British Veterinary Receptionist Association! Our dedicated team and council are passionate professionals committed to supporting veterinary receptionists across the UK. With a diverse blend of knowledge and experience, our team work tirelessly to enhance the professional development, recognition, and well-being of veterinary receptionists.

BVRA Team

After beginning her career in veterinary nursing, Kay moved into veterinary education, supporting veterinary professionals across the UK and Europe achieve postgraduate qualifications. She has significant expertise in education, accreditation, awards and certification within the veterinary sector. Kay founded the BVRA in October 2017 and is passionate about supporting and raising the status of veterinary receptionists through training and education.

I started working with animals when I was 17, where I volunteered at a Zoological Park for two years. I then took two years out and travelled Australia, before returning home to England in 2016. Once home I worked for a cats and dogs rescue centre, before moving on to my first job in the veterinary Industry as a veterinary receptionist. This was a whole new world for me, I knew I wanted to work with animals but no one had warned me of the extent my role would actually take. I learnt very quickly that answering the phone and booking appointments was only a very small part of my role, which extended into kennel hand, care assistant, animal handling and practice tea maker! I became aware of the BVRA and crammed as many courses as I possibly could to improve my efficiency within my role, completing my BVRA levels and becoming the practice’s first Associate Veterinary Receptionist (AVR). Having completed my AVR I was promoted to the role of Head Receptionist in July 2020. In March 2021 I was invited to become a BVRA ambassador, which lead to me joining the BVRA team as Operations Manager in February 2022. Since then we evolved our ambassadors and created the first BVRA Council, of which I was voted in as the first BVRA President! Though this is a new role to both myself and the association, I am very excited to see where this leads and how I can help raise the status for veterinary receptionists within the industry across the country.

John has a wealth of experience in the veterinary and education sector and is keen to support the ongoing development of BVRA. Previously, as a Director of Improve International, the worlds’ largest provider of high quality veterinary postgraduate training, John helped it grow into a renowned multinational organisation operating in over 20 countries. Prior to joining Improve International, he worked in the creative industries before moving into training and education where he now has over twenty years’ experience.

Danni Poole

I have been lucky enough to have animals around me my whole life having grown up in the beautiful Dorset countryside with horses, donkeys and a plethora of pets. I wanted to work in the veterinary industry from a young age and did my school work experience with the local vets and always had part time jobs throughout school that involved working with animals. Having completed my A-levels I went to Nottingham University to study Animal Science with a year abroad in Spain through the Erasmus program to gain my BSc in Animal Science with European Studies.

Having completed my degree I took two years out to travel the world and then returned to the UK to take a role in sales for an equine start-up. I then moved into the veterinary industry a few years later. I have 13 years of experience in the industry in sales, customer relationship management and strategic account management.

I have always championed the development of our veterinary reception teams and have previously worked in partnership with BVRA to support this goal. Having joined BVRA as Business Executive, primarily supporting our relationships with our corporate partners and their teams in practices I am excited to continue to support the development of these crucial members of our practice teams across the UK.

Outside of work I spend my time (pretty much all of it!) with my 3 horses Henry, Ginny and Dude or at the beach paddle-boarding and sea swimming or walking (in the winter). I also have two cats which take up much less time than the horses but are no less loved; Wimbles, a very large and very fluffy ginger tom and Belle, a very petite, short-haired little lady!

Amanda Whymark
Having joined the team at BVRA as Partnerships Manager, I am proud to be developing relationships with our members and learning about the diverse practices and reception teams we support nationwide. This role allows me to merge my extensive experience in sales and customer service with my passion for animals, making it an incredibly fulfilling position within the veterinary practice sector.

Outside of work, I have a grumpy cat named Moose who occasionally graces us with his presence. Additionally, my 7-year-old twin boys keep me on my toes with their boundless energy, which might explain Moose’s selectiveness with his time! I also cherish spending time with friends and finding moments of peace and quiet whenever possible.

BVRA Council

Abbie Wilson - BVRA President

My career in the veterinary industry started in 2019, working as a receptionist in Cherrydown Vets in Basildon. It entailed so much more than I imagined, and I have enjoyed every minute and continue to learn more each day. I started to regularly carry out training for new and existing team members and was the practice IT champion and go-to person for any technical problems. Then in August 2021 I became a lead receptionist with my focus area being administration. I completed my BVRA’s training and became an Associate Veterinary Receptionist  in March 2022 and became the first AVR at my practice. This has enabled me to offer support, guidance, and motivation to my team, as well as help them complete their awards. I take real pride in helping achieve those goals. I enjoy expanding my skills and knowledge to allow me to provide as much care and support as possible to my colleagues and our clients. I have enrolled and completed as many courses as I can, including IFSM Cat Friendly Receptionist, Pet Bereavement and Pharmacy Dispensing. I joined the BVRA council in August 2022 and I am very excited for the opportunity to be another voice for all Veterinary Receptionists and spread the word about what a lifeline they are to a practice – whilst also still learning more each day. I have a little black cat and she loves all other creatures big or small, so I am usually the first call when someone needs a pet sitter.

Jaime Kiem - Senior Vice President & Secretary

I started working with animals when I was 17, where I volunteered at a Zoological Park for two years. I then took two years out and travelled Australia, before returning home to England in 2016. Once home I worked for a cats and dogs rescue centre, before moving on to my first job in the veterinary Industry as a veterinary receptionist. This was a whole new world for me, I knew I wanted to work with animals but no one had warned me of the extent my role would actually take. I learnt very quickly that answering the phone and booking appointments was only a very small part of my role, which extended into kennel hand, care assistant, animal handling and practice tea maker! I became aware of the BVRA and crammed as many courses as I possibly could to improve my efficiency within my role, completing my BVRA levels and becoming the practice’s first Associate Veterinary Receptionist (AVR). Having completed my AVR I was promoted to the role of Head Receptionist in July 2020. In March 2021 I was invited to become a BVRA ambassador, which lead to me joining the BVRA team as Operations Manager in February 2022. Since then we evolved our ambassadors and created the first BVRA Council, of which I was voted in as the first BVRA President! Though this is a new role to both myself and the association, I am very excited to see where this leads and how I can help raise the status for veterinary receptionists within the industry across the country.

Danielle Bowers AVR - Junior Vice President

I joined veterinary practice at the start of July 2017 working as a ‘float’ receptionist working in all 5 branches and our main hospital at Drove Vets in Swindon. After a year I found my feet at one of our branches and worked there consistently as one of the main receptionists for 4 years. Working as a part of a small team could be challenging but great as no two days we’re the same. My passion for coaching and supporting our team had led me to land the role as staff trainer within our client care team and now, a lead receptionist over at our Main Hospital. I find it very rewarding being able spend time with my colleagues and see them grow within their role. I completed my BVRA training and became an Associate Veterinary Receptionist in September 2020 which is a title I am very proud of. I have recently become a Level 3 Customer Service specialist after carrying out an NVQ with Paragon Skills and love putting my new skills into practice. The BVRA asked me to join them as an ambassador early 2021 and I’m lucky enough to now be on the council where my passion to raise the status of veterinary receptionists is shared by all. The BVRA play a critical part of supporting us in the profession and my main goal on the council is to scream, shout and raise awareness about the importance of our role and how it should be established as a career option. I like to spend time with my pets when I’m not working as well as my friends and family.

Louise Hudson - Council Member

I started working at Glaven Veterinary Practice in Norfolk in 2007 and I still like my job there after 15 years. I began as a member of the cleaning crew, but after a few months, a position at the front desk became available, and I leapt at the chance and have never looked back. I am also the PHC Champion for our practices, which means I am responsible for all of the clients on the plans and write any training sheets needed to assist other members of staff in this role. I am also the Purina Nutrition Champion, which adds to my responsibilities, so there is never a dull moment for me. Since starting at the clinic, I become an AVR in April 2022. Courses are my middle name, and I’m always looking for ways to increase my knowledge and care; I’ve also recently obtained my ISFM to work as a cat-friendly receptionist. Customer service is really crucial to me in my job, as are enormous doggy and cat cuddles! It’s also been noted that I’m definitely part of the Glaven veterinary furniture and fixtures, and it’s wonderful to witness all the animals grow up from puppies to old age. When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time at home with my husband, children and granddaughter. My major pastime is learning to do gel nails as a backup plan for when I retire in the future, particularly over coffee or drinks with friends. Padme, my sweet kitty friend, loves to assist me when I dig out my nail kit, and she manages to coat herself and the house in glitter!

Nickie Harris - BVRA Council Member

I started working at Lingfield Equine Vets in 2013 after leaving Lingfield Park Racecourse as deputy Stable yard manager. Growing up on a working farm I have always had a passion for the larger animal and obviously always wanted to be a Vet….and went into hairdressing instead. An opportunity arose to help out at Lingfield Park and I grabbed it with both hands. Working alongside the stable’s hands, trainers, BHA and vets it was a very varied role which I enjoyed greatly. I was asked to attend an interview for a position in the office at Lingfield Equine Vets. A dream come true. The role is forever changing, and super face paced with no two days the same. Bringing professional service and personalised care. I love helping the clients and seeing the horses come into the clinic, it’s great to meet the face and horses behind the voices. I’m a sucker for a shire, always up for a cuddle. My passion to evolve equine training for reception/ office teams is just beginning after being awarded the British veterinary receptionist of the year. Let the journey begin… When not at work I love to spend my time with my family and two dogs Cooper and Dougie.

Marianna Mazza AVR

I joined Acorn House Veterinary Hospital, an RVC practice, as a Client Care Advisor in September 2019.  Before this I had spent 16 years as a stay at home mum and joint partner in my husband’s business.  It was great being back in the external working environment and I finally felt like I had regained my identity.  I quickly settled into my role and loved every single second.  I was introduced to, and completed, the BVRA courses, which gave me the Associate Veterinary Receptionist (AVR) accreditation.  A first for our practice.  I learned so much from these courses and couldn’t wait to do more.  I enrolled in whatever next course was available and found them so interesting, giving me a wealth of knowledge. My enthusiasm for my role didn’t go unnoticed and within 18 months I had been promoted to a newly created role of Deputy Client Care Manager to assist the Manager with the ever growing client care team.  Fast forward to June 2023 and I am now the Client Care Manager with a team of 11 Client Care Advisors. I am absolutely delighted to be chosen as a BVRA council member and I’m looking forward to championing our profession.  We play a pivotal role in the running of a veterinary practice and we are more than ‘just a receptionist’.

Outside of work, I share my home with my husband, two adult children and Willow our family Cockapoo.  I don’t have much spare time, but when I do I love spending it with my extended family and friends.

Anna Shadforth - BVRA Council Member

I’m Anna, I’m married with two sons, two cats, one at the grand age of 19, and an 11 year old Jackchi (who is my little girl). 

I started in the veterinary industry just over 3 1/2 years ago. Previously, I was an operations manager for a building company, then I decided a change was needed. I started work as a veterinary receptionists at Pennards Vets in 2020, a small practice in Kent. I can honestly say, I love my job, my clients and their fur babies.

I was nominated as BVRA’s Veterinary Receptionist of the Year 2023. I was so overwhelmed and it was a really proud moment to be rewarded for doing what I enjoy. I don’t like to see people sad and always endeavour to help if I can, I’m grateful that my job gives me this opportunity to help when it is needed. 

Want to join the BVRA Council?

Council members, whether elected or appointed, are expected to attend between 3 and 4 Council meetings every year where they will be responsible for making a variety of decisions. Including;

  • Holding consultations and making decisions on matters of importance on behalf of veterinary receptionists nationally.
  • Representing BVRA at outside organisations (such as congresses) and at meetings, as requested or agreed with the BVRA President or Directors.
  • To represent BVRA members, in a polite, professional and supportive manner.
  • Attend the annual BVRA Congress.
  • To vote on agenda items.

Applications for BVRA Council are now CLOSED