Meet The Team
The team you can trust with your pet’s health
We’re all pet owners at Orchard House. We appreciate the love they give us and, of course, the care they need.
Tim Pearson BVMS, MVM, MRCVS
We have two slightly mad Border Collies, Ozzie and Drum (named after Hadrian’s Wall forts).
Jill Crawford BVMS, MRCVS
When not at work I enjoy swimming, cycling, riding my beloved Connemara pony Bertie and walking the slightly wayward Bruce, a Border cross Patterdale (his mother was a patient!). I cannot imagine my life without animals in it, and I firmly believe that the companionship of a happy and healthy pet enriches our lives.
Shona McKay BVM&S, MRCVS
She graduated from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh in 2001.
Shona worked in mixed practice in South Yorkshire before working in Australia with koalas and wallabies. She returned to the UK to work in practice in north Northumberland and in a Veterinary Hospital in County Durham. She joined the Orchard House family in 2012.
If she sometimes looks tired, it is because she and her husband Simon have two young boys Callum and Euan who don’t appreciate the value of sleep yet… wait until they are teenagers!
Rachel Brown BVet Med MRCVS
I work mainly between Bellingham and Hexham and in my free time I can normally be found enjoying the beautiful Northumberland landscape with my partner Jack and our bonkers German Pointer, Ned.
Jack Porteous BSc BVMedSci BVM BVS MRCVS
Born and bred in Northumberland, I graduated from Nottingham in 2016 and have spent the last 4 years in mixed practice in Cumbria.
In my spare time I enjoy archery, watching rugby and going for long hikes in the mountains (or at least being dragged up them by Ned the German Pointer).
Fiona Potts BVM&S MRCVS
She has just moved to Northumberland with her husband who has started a new job in the area.
She has a fabulous ginger cat called Harry and 4 lovely dogs; a few cocker spaniels and a patterdale terrier.
Outside of work she likes walking the dogs, reading, baking and visiting friends and family.
She will be working across all the practices depending on who is on holiday!
Kate Alexander-Redfern BVSc MRCVS
I grew up in Hexham and am very excited to be back in Northumberland; I will be mainly based at Stocksfield and Hexham, but will be covering holiday at all the branches. After graduating from Liverpool University in 2020 I moved to West Yorkshire with my partner and worked at busy small animal hospitals.
I have 2 cats - Fergus who I rescued after he came in as stray and Fern. As well as 2 horses - Ginger and her daughter Luna.
Outside of work I can usually be found outdoors either schooling my young horse Luna or in the Lake District hiking, open water swimming or rock climbing.
Dr Hannah French BVMS MRCVS
I am sure this is where my passion started, I knew I wanted to be a nurse and to care for anything that moved! I did my Veterinary Nurse training at Myerscough College. I qualified in 2003 and worked in local practices before joining the Orchard House team in 2006. My special interests are anaesthesia and pet psychology.
When I am not a veterinary nurse I’m a busy mammy to my young daughter and two rescue cats Joseph and Merlin. I enjoy reading, swimming and cooking for my family.
I have always wanted to work with animals and grew up surrounded by them. I have many animals including; a Pygmy Hedgehog called Bob, a bird, chickens, ducks, many cats and two beloved dogs – Billy the Poodle and Meia, my Dachshund who was rescued after being brought to the practice as a stray. Outside of work, I enjoy exploring the countryside with my dogs.
I have two children and a rescue dog named Layla. When I am not at work caring for animals, I enjoy family time. One day I hope to visit family back in Australia and maybe get the opportunity to travel a bit more.
When I am not working, I am generally found with my ponies Tinka and Mavis or on a walk with my standard Dachshund Winston.
I started working at Orchard House Vets in 2019, where I started off as a Veterinary Care Assistant, in the time I have been here I have completed 3 years of Veterinary Nursing training and qualified as a RVN in Feburary 2023. Prior to my training I worked in Health and Social care while doing as much voluntary work in veterinary practices as I could to gain experience. I am so relieved to have finally qualified and can't wait to gain more experince throughout my career.
When I am not working, I am usually out walking, hiking or running with my four beautiful babies, Benson the Labrador and 3 little chugs Alfie, Phoebe and Indie.
My job is to assist Angela, the practice manager, to ensure the practice runs smoothly and efficiently.
My first contact with vets started at school – a Saturday job caring for animals as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award. I have a wide ranging experience in all aspects of veterinary practice including nursing and reception duties. I also have a Bachelor of Law LLB (Hons) degree.
I have a Border Terrier called Poppy, if you have been to our Hexham branch you will no doubt have heard all about her! I also have a cat called Jess who lives with my dad, as Jess and Poppy don’t see eye to eye! Outside of work I enjoy watching and playing football, hill walking with my terrier and spending time with my wife too – not necessarily in that order!
I have two mischievous Labradors called Hattie and Maggie May.
Based at Hexham, my primary role is on reception but I also processes insurance claims and all of the ad hoc tasks of a veterinary practice!
In my spare time I enjoy walking in the countryside with my energetic Cocker Spaniel Woody (or maybe that should say ‘being walked by Woody’…). I also have two moggies – Alfie and Hamish who enjoy their days doing as little as possible other than eating and sleeping, of course.
I joined the team at Bellingham as a Client Care Advisor in September 2020. I had no previous experience working in veterinary practice but have always been an animal lover and grew up on a farm surrounded by livestock and a diverse variety of pets. Although veterinary practice was a new employment setting for me, I have been able to draw on skills gathered in previous roles and have been very much supported in developing the new skills and knowledge required for this role.
I originally moved to Northumberland in January 2000, along with my horse, to join the team at Park End Equestrian as a working pupil. It was never the intention to stay south of the border permanently, but 20yrs later I was still calling Northumberland home! In that time I have gone on to gain experience working in a variety of equine disciplines and spent a number of years working in the aviation industry, initially as Cabin Crew, before moving into training and eventually a management role for an airline. In 2012 I left aviation and set up my own business as a Freelance Groom/Rider and I continue to run this business alongside my role with Orchard House Vets.
In my free time I enjoy being outdoors and spend much of it clay pigeon shooting with friends.