Meet the Team

Welcome to the Little Valley Team, where our love for animals is the driving force behind everything we do! Our crew, comprising management, support staff, and around 15 skilled animal care assistants, is a close-knit group of passionate individuals.

What sets us apart? It’s our collective experience, dedication, and genuine care for our animal friends. Each team member brings their own expertise and a shared commitment to ensuring top-quality care for all our furry companions.

Why do we do what we do? Because there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of making a positive impact in the lives of animals. Whether it’s a comforting pat or a lively play session, we’re here to ensure every animal feels valued and well-cared-for.

Join us on our journey, where every day brings new challenges and rewards. At the Little Valley Team, we’re not just colleagues – we’re a team united by our love for animals and our dedication to their well-being.

Management Team

Hugh Lowson

Chief Executive Officer

Hugh Lowson, our CEO, brings decades of senior management experience in healthcare charities to RSPCA Little Valley. His passion for animal welfare and strategic vision drive our shelter forward. Hugh’s leadership fosters teamwork and excellence, ensuring every animal receives love and care. Beyond work, he finds inspiration in nature and cherishes time with loved ones.

Emily Mayer

Shelter Manager

Meet Emily Mayer, our dedicated team member hailing from RSPCA Thanet branch in Kent. With years of managerial experience and a background in veterinary nursing, Emily brings expertise and passion to our shelter. Outside work, she enjoys spending time with her two cats, house rabbit, and supportive family. Emily’s adventurous spirit shines through in her charity skydive, raising over £600.

Merryn Walker

Deputy Shelter and Outreach Manager

Merryn, our Outreach Manager, relocates from London after three years at the Mayhew Animal Home. Starting as a community-based Animal Welfare Officer, she later became Head of Kennels, Dog Adoption, and Fostering. With a degree in Animal Health and Welfare, Merryn’s passion lies in managing kennel stress in dogs. She eagerly anticipates contributing to Little Valley’s ongoing success.

John Coles

Retail Development Manager

With a rich background in retail spanning independent and multi-national groups, John brings his expertise to the Little Valley team since August 2021. His dedication to animal welfare shines through as he’s rehomed many rescue animals, including his beloved dog, Pepsi. John’s blend of retail acumen and people skills promises to enhance our charity shops, elevating stock diversity and customer satisfaction.

George Hill

Digital Communications and Publications Manager

George brings 22 years of design, print, and marketing experience to Little Valley. Leaving behind a studio management role, he’s eager to dive into shelter projects. George’s rescued Jagdterrier, Mala, hails from Hungary, but his heart belongs to Greyhounds.

Office and Admin Team

Anna Stentiford

Finance Officer

Anna, known for her diligence and meticulous nature, transitions to our team after years in a vibrant solicitor’s office finance department. Fascinated by accounts, she brings a deep-rooted love for animals nurtured through years of ownership and volunteer work, including immersive experiences in Borneo’s jungles and at wildlife sanctuaries in Namibia and Spain. Anna’s commitment promises to seamlessly integrate into our team, enhancing our animal welfare endeavours.

Debs Blandford

Corporate and Community Fundraising Officer

Debs Blandford is a dynamic corporate and community fundraising officer at RSPCA Little Valley Animal Shelter, blending her background in education from Exeter University and Exeter College with entrepreneurial experience running a cafe in Okehampton. With a vibrant personality and a knack for connecting with people, she brings enthusiasm and creativity to her role, driving impactful initiatives to support animal welfare causes.

Fiona Wyatt

Shelter Supervisor


Carol Allan


Carol Allan has been integral to the Branch since settling in Devon in 1985. Initially serving as Treasurer, she assumed the role of Chairman upon the completion of Little Valley 30 years ago. Alongside her husband Richard, who conducts PAT testing for shop items, Carol’s passion for animal welfare is evident through her longstanding RSPCA membership since her early 20s. Her enduring commitment reflects in the continual evolution of Little Valley, a cause she proudly champions.