Meet our Board

Commitment to Care

Stephen Kennedy

Stephen was elected as Chair of the Board in January 2021 and has served on the Board since October 2018.

Stephen’s background is in facilities management and he had a long career with Belfast City Hospital where he also was a member of the Executive Council of a large Trade union.

Stephen has loved animals all his life and currently he and his wife enjoy the companionship of two dogs and two cats.

His key priority is on improving education on animal welfare and animal wellbeing.

Vincent Heffron

Vincent is currently Vice Chair of the Board.  He joined the Board in October 2017, however has been actively involved in supporting the Sanctuary for over 15 years.

Vincent’s background is in business development and relationship management.  As an advocate of animal welfare, he completed a National Diploma in Animal Management in support of his role at the Sanctuary.

Vincent loves animals and enjoys spending time in his garden with his wife and young family and Sanctuary ex resident Belle, the cocker spaniel.

Freda Waite

Freda joined the Board in October 2019 and has also volunteered her time in Reception at the Sanctuary since 2016.

Now retired, Freda has had a varied career working in communications and business management as well as running her own business.

Freda has owned dogs for over 50 years and is passionate about animal welfare.  At present she shares her life with a chihuahua and three Yorkshire terriers, one of whom was adopted from the Sanctuary.

Ian Dodds

Ian is currently the Treasurer of the Board, having joined  November 2021.

Ian has a background in the voluntary sector working regionally, nationally and internationally in project management, strategic management as well as providing operational support often during times of humanitarian crises.  His work has supported a number of animal welfare and nature conservation operations internationally.

Ian loves nothing more than experiencing the freedom of the hills and the natural environment with Willow, his adopted Sanctuary dog.

Patricia Ball

Patricia joined the Board in November 2021 and has been a supporter of the Sanctuary for many years.

Patricia’s background is in education and she was a qualified science teacher before moving into Special Needs Education where she remained until she retired.

Animal welfare has always been of paramount importance to Patricia and she is keen to raise awareness of animal welfare through education.

Danielle Hollinger

Danielle joined the Board in February 2022 and she has a background is in governance and policy management within local government.  Danielle also has previous experience working in the voluntary sector in both income generation and event management.

Danielle loves spending time with her husband and their Newfoundland, Bomber.

Animal welfare and education are matters close to her heart.

Robin Bates

Robin became a Board member in February 2022 and has been a supporter of the Sanctuary for a number of years.

Robin has over twenty years’ experience as a dog trainer and behaviourist, running classes and one to one sessions to help dogs with behavioural issues.  Robin more recently has started to deliver courses in dog training skills.

He has supported the Sanctuary in rehoming long-term dogs and is an advocate for animal welfare.

Nicola Graham

Nicola joined the Board in January 2021 and is the current Secretary.

Nicola has a background in HR and Training with 30 years’ experience.  Nicola has been a supporter of the Sanctuary for a number of years and animal welfare is her key focus .

Nicola loves animals and has always been fortunate to have dogs as part of her life and she has a particular fondness for german shepherds, and has an adopted a german shepherd, Jade.