Emergencies 01934 712229
 

Meet your Blackford team

Axe Valley are fortunate enough to have a supportive team of vets, nurses and administrative staff, many of whom have been with us for an extended period. All our staff are here to help with all your pets needs and are happy to help in providing a 24 hour service 365 days a year.

Dave Kemp

Director

More about Dave

Dave Kemp

Director

Originally from a farming family in Norfolk, I moved to the West Country to attend the Vet School at Bristol in 1989. After graduating I spent three years in the Forest of Dean and then three years broadening my experience locuming in practices in South Wales and Gloucetershire. A chance phone call from Lousie in 2000 brought me to Axe Valley for a five week locum. I immediately felt at home in this community and was delighted to be offered a permanent position and then partnership in 2004. I feel very lucky to have been able to carve out a career, living and working, in this unique part of the country. Outside of work I enjoy (!) athletic events which challenge both body and mind. We presently have 3 dogs Kevin,Pongo and Nala, 2 ginger ninja cats Herbert and Gus and three guinea pigs.

Harriet Luker-Coombs

Vet Clinical Manager

More about Harriet

Harriet Luker-Coombs

Vet Clinical Manager

Emily Syms

Veterinary Surgeon

More about Emily

Emily Syms

Veterinary Surgeon

Emily graduated from the university of Bristol in 2013 and has been with Axe Valley vets ever since. She is a self-confessed ‘crazy cat lady’ and has a very spoilt cat, Beatrice, but is also head over heels for her golden retriever, Elsa, who you can meet at the Cheddar surgery.

Jo Wagstaff

Veterinary Surgeon

More about Jo

Jo Wagstaff

Veterinary Surgeon

Jo qualified from the RVC with Lou and Rachel Smith having previously gained a degree in anatomy from Bristol University.

Jo began her Veterinary career working at a mixed practice in Chepstow for 5 years before moving to Somerset. She worked at a mixed practice in Cossington before joining Axe Valley in 2010. She now works mainly in our Woolavington Branch, although she is a true mixed practitioner Jo also has a keen interest in ophthalmology.

In her spare time Jo likes to keep herself busy, spending time with her family which includes her son Josh, terrible terriers Kev and Pong. She is also very sporty enjoying ski-ing, water ski-ing, scuba diving and is also a member of the local triathlon club.

Jo is on the board for the local Labrador rescue and has raised money by taking part in triathlons and also the Alcatraz swim.

Jenny Simmons

Veterinary Surgeon

More about Jenny

Jenny Simmons

Veterinary Surgeon

Jenny grew up in North Bristol and spent time with Axe Valley as a student. She graduated from The University of Bristol in 2016, and has been working with us ever since.  When she's not at work, Jenny likes to fill her remaining time by volunteering as a staff member in the Air Training Corps and also enjoys cooking, shopping, and spending time with family and friends.

Millie Roper

Veterinary Surgeon

More about Millie

Millie Roper

Veterinary Surgeon

Millie qualified from Bristol University in July 2017. She is enjoying settling into Somerset life with her large pointer since moving from Essex. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary life so far especially surgery and out of hour work.

Imogen Purvis

Veterinary Surgeon

More about Imogen

Imogen Purvis

Veterinary Surgeon

We’re hiring!

Do you fancy becoming part of the Axe Valley team? We currently have vacancies within our Veterinary team.

If you want to be part of the next generation of the Axe Valley practice, get in touch!

We’re hiring!

Do you fancy becoming part of the Axe Valley team? We currently have vacancies within our Veterinary team.

If you want to be part of the next generation of the Axe Valley practice, get in touch!

Lizzie Woszczyk

Nursing Clinical Manager

More about Lizzie

Lizzie Woszczyk

Nursing Clinical Manager

Lizzie is our Nursing Clinical Manager. She started working for Axe Valley as a Kennel Assistant in 2007 and worked her way through the ranks.

She can usually be found helping with the small, nervous dogs or working her way through insurance forms in the office, she also enjoys radiography.

She has a Chihuahua cross called Desmond who can often be found yapping at people in the car park and also often has various other dogs which she fosters for local charities.

Amanda Churches

Veterinary Nurse

More about Amanda

Amanda Churches

Veterinary Nurse

Amanda joined the nursing team in February 2015 after working at an animal charity. Amanda has a variety of pets at home including 2 rabbits called Spud and Turnip and her rescue Chihuahua Lexi.

In her spare time Amanda likes to keep fit cycling the countryside and enjoys spending days on the beach. 

Claire Palmer

Veterinary Nurse

More about Claire

Claire Palmer

Veterinary Nurse

Claire qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2008 and joined Axe Valley Vets in November 2017.  Claire is interested in emergency nursing and holds a certificate in Emergency and Critical Care.  In her spare time, Claire enjoys rock climbing and walking her two dogs Harry and Molly.

Emily Bear

Veterinary Nurse

More about Emily

Emily Bear

Veterinary Nurse

Emily joined the Practice in August 2011 as a Nursing Assistant and went on to become a Qualified Veterinary Nurse in December 2015. She is now a Clinical Coach and is currently training Lacey in practice. In her spare time Emily plays hockey for Cheddar and enjoys spending time with her dog and 2 cats.

Hazel Byland

Veterinary Nurse

More about Hazel

Hazel Byland

Veterinary Nurse

Hazel was born and bred in Manchester, and after qualifying over 30 years ago has spent most of her working life there before relocating to Somerset in 2009. She has a keen interest in small furry's and exotics, having owned and loved many species throughout the years from Chinchilla's, Ferrets to Snakes and Parrots. Away from work she enjoys Scuba Diving whenever possible and walking her 3 dogs.

Kath Laycock

Veterinary Nurse

More about Kath

Kath Laycock

Veterinary Nurse

Kath started here at Axe Valley in June 2014 after qualifying in 2000. She enjoys all aspects of nursing especially emergency nursing, critical care and nursing consultations. Kath is currently running puppy, Junior and Adolescence groups from Winchester farm in Cheddar on a Tuesday.

Away from work Kath has a busy home with 2 young children, a fiancé, 2 Labradors and chickens and enjoys horse riding and walking with the dogs.

Katie Keen

Animal Nurse Assistant

More about Katie

Katie Keen

Animal Nurse Assistant

Katie is an Animal Nursing Assistant and joined the team officially in 2017 after completing work experience for a couple of years. Katie's Interests are husky racing with her family and she loves photography.

Lacey Eveleigh

Student Vet Nurse

More about Lacey

Lacey Eveleigh

Student Vet Nurse

Lacey joined the practice in January 2015. She is currently studying for her Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at Cannington College. She has had previous Business Admin roles but has always found animals was her passion. She has interests in small and large animals, but most importantly French Bulldogs!

Liz Lewis

Veterinary Nurse and Insurance Clerk

More about Liz

Liz Lewis

Veterinary Nurse and Insurance Clerk

Liz started at Axe Valley in 1980 and after completing her nurse training she qualified in 1990 becoming head nurse in the same year. She has a vast knowledge and experience of all areas of veterinary work.

In her spare time she enjoys reading and various crafts as well as walking her 2 dogs Colby and Danno.

Nicole Handley - Maunders

Veterinary Nurse

More about Nicole

Nicole Handley - Maunders

Veterinary Nurse

Nicole joined the practice in 2008 after moving to the UK from Canada, where she worked in a Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Ontario for 7 years.

Nicole is now studying for her Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and her interests lie in exotic pets, ultrasonography and radiography.

In her spare time Nicole loves to spend time with her dog Stanley and 3 cats.

Susie Whitcombe

Veterinary Nurse

More about Susie

Susie Whitcombe

Veterinary Nurse

Susie has worked at Axe Valley since 2012, she passed her veterinary care assistance (VCA) course and progressed onto her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and qualified in December 2017.

Susie has an interest in orthopaedics and in her spare time is a baton twirler.

Sarah Davis

Animal Nusring Assistant

More about Sarah

Sarah Davis

Animal Nusring Assistant

Sarah started doing two days a week work experience with the Axe Valley team in August 2017, however due to an exciting opportunity arising she was able to start working full time as part of her Veterinary Care Assistant college course in the hope that she will be able to stay with the Axe Valley team and become a fully qualified nurse in the near future. In her part time Sarah enjoys riding horses and spending time with her family boxer dogs, Bennson and Bonnie.

We’re hiring!

Do you fancy becoming part of the Axe Valley team? We currently have vacancies within our Nursing team.

If you want to be part of the next generation of the Axe Valley practice, get in touch!

Alice Smith

Business Manager

More about Alice

Alice Smith

Business Manager

Alice joined the Reception team at Blackford in October 2012 and has worked her way through the ranks and is now our Business Manager.

Alice has an interest in both small and large animals, in her spare time Alice is a keen member of Young Farmers, enjoys the gym, all country pursuits where ever possible with her border terrier Flora.

Rowena Hann

Head Receptionist

More about Rowena

Rowena Hann

Head Receptionist

Rowena joined the team at Blackford at the beginning of 2015 as a full time receptionist. Rowena has a keen interest in both large and small animals, having worked on mixed farms in the past. Rowena has her own flock of sheep, border collie named Flo and jack russell called Pig.

Rowena enjoys keeping fit in her spare time and walks in the countryside.

Faye Sewell

Receptionist

More about Faye

Faye Sewell

Receptionist

Dawn Mckinley

Receptionist

More about Dawn

Dawn Mckinley

Receptionist

Dawn started work as a receptionist at Axe Valley Vets at the beginning of August after 15 years as an infant school teaching assistant.
She has lived across the road at Hugh Sexey Middle School for 23 years so hopefully will be a familiar face to a lot of clients.
She loved walking her dog Harvey although as he is now nearly 16 years old he is not able to walk too far these days. She uses any relaxation time catching up with her reading.

Eliza Boyce

Receptionist

More about Eliza

Eliza Boyce

Receptionist

Eliza has recently joined the receptionist team August 2018. She has a keen interest in both small and large animals. Eliza has previously worked on a dairy farm.
In her spare time she enjoys horse riding, dog walks, attending young farmer's events and variety of countryside pursuits.

Faye Tilbee

Receptionist

More about Faye

Faye Tilbee

Receptionist

Faye joined the Axe valley reception team in August 2018

She has an interest in both small and large animal and when not on the reception Faye works alongside her husband on their family run dairy farm.
In her spare time she enjoys long walks with her labrador Barley, spending time with family and friends and going to the beach.

Helen Tripp

Receptionist

More about Helen

Helen Tripp

Receptionist

On leaving school Helen trained as a veterinary nurse working in a mixed animal practice. Once qualified she took a job in Denmark in an equine hospital. After a change of career, working in the leisure industry, she came back to veterinary work 18 years ago and joined Axe Valley in April 2018 from the equine department at Langford. Helen now works on the reception primarily at the Bleadon branch. Helen's time off is spent looking after her two horses, walking her labrador cross and she practices yoga several times a week. 

Helen loves theatre of any kind and is an avid reader.

Dave Kemp

Director

Originally from a farming family in Norfolk, I moved to the West Country to attend the Vet School at Bristol in 1989. After graduating I spent three years in the Forest of Dean and then three years broadening my experience locuming in practices in South Wales and Gloucetershire. A chance phone call from Lousie in 2000 brought me to Axe Valley for a five week locum. I immediately felt at home in this community and was delighted to be offered a permanent position and then partnership in 2004. I feel very lucky to have been able to carve out a career, living and working, in this unique part of the country. Outside of work I enjoy (!) athletic events which challenge both body and mind. We presently have 3 dogs Kevin,Pongo and Nala, 2 ginger ninja cats Herbert and Gus and three guinea pigs.

Harriet Luker-Coombs

Vet Clinical Manager

Emily Syms

Veterinary Surgeon

Emily graduated from the university of Bristol in 2013 and has been with Axe Valley vets ever since. She is a self-confessed ‘crazy cat lady’ and has a very spoilt cat, Beatrice, but is also head over heels for her golden retriever, Elsa, who you can meet at the Cheddar surgery.

Jo Wagstaff

Veterinary Surgeon

Jo qualified from the RVC with Lou and Rachel Smith having previously gained a degree in anatomy from Bristol University.

Jo began her Veterinary career working at a mixed practice in Chepstow for 5 years before moving to Somerset. She worked at a mixed practice in Cossington before joining Axe Valley in 2010. She now works mainly in our Woolavington Branch, although she is a true mixed practitioner Jo also has a keen interest in ophthalmology.

In her spare time Jo likes to keep herself busy, spending time with her family which includes her son Josh, terrible terriers Kev and Pong. She is also very sporty enjoying ski-ing, water ski-ing, scuba diving and is also a member of the local triathlon club.

Jo is on the board for the local Labrador rescue and has raised money by taking part in triathlons and also the Alcatraz swim.

Jenny Simmons

Veterinary Surgeon

Jenny grew up in North Bristol and spent time with Axe Valley as a student. She graduated from The University of Bristol in 2016, and has been working with us ever since.  When she's not at work, Jenny likes to fill her remaining time by volunteering as a staff member in the Air Training Corps and also enjoys cooking, shopping, and spending time with family and friends.

Millie Roper

Veterinary Surgeon

Millie qualified from Bristol University in July 2017. She is enjoying settling into Somerset life with her large pointer since moving from Essex. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary life so far especially surgery and out of hour work.

Imogen Purvis

Veterinary Surgeon

Lizzie Woszczyk

Nursing Clinical Manager

Lizzie is our Nursing Clinical Manager. She started working for Axe Valley as a Kennel Assistant in 2007 and worked her way through the ranks.

She can usually be found helping with the small, nervous dogs or working her way through insurance forms in the office, she also enjoys radiography.

She has a Chihuahua cross called Desmond who can often be found yapping at people in the car park and also often has various other dogs which she fosters for local charities.

Amanda Churches

Veterinary Nurse

Amanda joined the nursing team in February 2015 after working at an animal charity. Amanda has a variety of pets at home including 2 rabbits called Spud and Turnip and her rescue Chihuahua Lexi.

In her spare time Amanda likes to keep fit cycling the countryside and enjoys spending days on the beach. 

Claire Palmer

Veterinary Nurse

Claire qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2008 and joined Axe Valley Vets in November 2017.  Claire is interested in emergency nursing and holds a certificate in Emergency and Critical Care.  In her spare time, Claire enjoys rock climbing and walking her two dogs Harry and Molly.

Emily Bear

Veterinary Nurse

Emily joined the Practice in August 2011 as a Nursing Assistant and went on to become a Qualified Veterinary Nurse in December 2015. She is now a Clinical Coach and is currently training Lacey in practice. In her spare time Emily plays hockey for Cheddar and enjoys spending time with her dog and 2 cats.

Hazel Byland

Veterinary Nurse

Hazel was born and bred in Manchester, and after qualifying over 30 years ago has spent most of her working life there before relocating to Somerset in 2009. She has a keen interest in small furry's and exotics, having owned and loved many species throughout the years from Chinchilla's, Ferrets to Snakes and Parrots. Away from work she enjoys Scuba Diving whenever possible and walking her 3 dogs.

Kath Laycock

Veterinary Nurse

Kath started here at Axe Valley in June 2014 after qualifying in 2000. She enjoys all aspects of nursing especially emergency nursing, critical care and nursing consultations. Kath is currently running puppy, Junior and Adolescence groups from Winchester farm in Cheddar on a Tuesday.

Away from work Kath has a busy home with 2 young children, a fiancé, 2 Labradors and chickens and enjoys horse riding and walking with the dogs.

Katie Keen

Animal Nurse Assistant

Katie is an Animal Nursing Assistant and joined the team officially in 2017 after completing work experience for a couple of years. Katie's Interests are husky racing with her family and she loves photography.

Lacey Eveleigh

Student Vet Nurse

Lacey joined the practice in January 2015. She is currently studying for her Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at Cannington College. She has had previous Business Admin roles but has always found animals was her passion. She has interests in small and large animals, but most importantly French Bulldogs!

Liz Lewis

Veterinary Nurse and Insurance Clerk

Liz started at Axe Valley in 1980 and after completing her nurse training she qualified in 1990 becoming head nurse in the same year. She has a vast knowledge and experience of all areas of veterinary work.

In her spare time she enjoys reading and various crafts as well as walking her 2 dogs Colby and Danno.

Nicole Handley - Maunders

Veterinary Nurse

Nicole joined the practice in 2008 after moving to the UK from Canada, where she worked in a Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Ontario for 7 years.

Nicole is now studying for her Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and her interests lie in exotic pets, ultrasonography and radiography.

In her spare time Nicole loves to spend time with her dog Stanley and 3 cats.

Susie Whitcombe

Veterinary Nurse

Susie has worked at Axe Valley since 2012, she passed her veterinary care assistance (VCA) course and progressed onto her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and qualified in December 2017.

Susie has an interest in orthopaedics and in her spare time is a baton twirler.

Sarah Davis

Animal Nusring Assistant

Sarah started doing two days a week work experience with the Axe Valley team in August 2017, however due to an exciting opportunity arising she was able to start working full time as part of her Veterinary Care Assistant college course in the hope that she will be able to stay with the Axe Valley team and become a fully qualified nurse in the near future. In her part time Sarah enjoys riding horses and spending time with her family boxer dogs, Bennson and Bonnie.

Alice Smith

Business Manager

Alice joined the Reception team at Blackford in October 2012 and has worked her way through the ranks and is now our Business Manager.

Alice has an interest in both small and large animals, in her spare time Alice is a keen member of Young Farmers, enjoys the gym, all country pursuits where ever possible with her border terrier Flora.

Rowena Hann

Head Receptionist

Rowena joined the team at Blackford at the beginning of 2015 as a full time receptionist. Rowena has a keen interest in both large and small animals, having worked on mixed farms in the past. Rowena has her own flock of sheep, border collie named Flo and jack russell called Pig.

Rowena enjoys keeping fit in her spare time and walks in the countryside.

Faye Sewell

Receptionist

Dawn Mckinley

Receptionist

Dawn started work as a receptionist at Axe Valley Vets at the beginning of August after 15 years as an infant school teaching assistant.
She has lived across the road at Hugh Sexey Middle School for 23 years so hopefully will be a familiar face to a lot of clients.
She loved walking her dog Harvey although as he is now nearly 16 years old he is not able to walk too far these days. She uses any relaxation time catching up with her reading.

Eliza Boyce

Receptionist

Eliza has recently joined the receptionist team August 2018. She has a keen interest in both small and large animals. Eliza has previously worked on a dairy farm.
In her spare time she enjoys horse riding, dog walks, attending young farmer's events and variety of countryside pursuits.

Faye Tilbee

Receptionist

Faye joined the Axe valley reception team in August 2018

She has an interest in both small and large animal and when not on the reception Faye works alongside her husband on their family run dairy farm.
In her spare time she enjoys long walks with her labrador Barley, spending time with family and friends and going to the beach.

Helen Tripp

Receptionist

On leaving school Helen trained as a veterinary nurse working in a mixed animal practice. Once qualified she took a job in Denmark in an equine hospital. After a change of career, working in the leisure industry, she came back to veterinary work 18 years ago and joined Axe Valley in April 2018 from the equine department at Langford. Helen now works on the reception primarily at the Bleadon branch. Helen's time off is spent looking after her two horses, walking her labrador cross and she practices yoga several times a week. 

Helen loves theatre of any kind and is an avid reader.