Our Team

Our Team at Portland Vets are all chosen for their genuine love and care of animals.
We all have our own pets in varying shapes and sizes and strive to look after your pets as if they were our own. We all undergo regular continuing professional development to ensure we offer you the most current treatment options and products in caring for your pet.

Learn more about our individual team members their special interests, pets and home life.

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Jenny Christopherson

Jenny graduated from the Veterinary School at Sydney University in 1995. She spent 2 years working in farm practice in the her hometown of Berridale in the beautiful Australian Alps before deciding to travel to the UK and concentrate on building her skills as a small animal veterinarian.
Oddly, she does not seem to mind the weather in the UK and her decision to stay here was both professional and personal. She has married her English ‘knight in shining armor’ and they decided to make their home in East Grinstead. In doing so she fulfilled her dream to build a caring family veterinary practice to the high standards to which she believes all pets deserve.
Jenny has worked in several practices in the UK on her way to opening her own practice, including several referral centres of excellence where she gained valuable experience.
Jenny has always been very patient and caring with her clients and especially takes time to help explain diagnoses, treatments and tests to owners. She believes that clients must be well informed to allow them to make the best decisions regarding their pets health.
In recent years, with such a good team in place at Portland Vets, Jenny has been able to spend more time with her 2 daughters and their 3 legged one eyed cat Trevor, but continues to work 3 days a week. She still finds time to be an avid sports fan (cricket at the Oval or a daughter’s netball match) and getting involved with school fund raising.

Kate Davis

Kate joined us at the start of 2014 and we are very lucky to have her as part of the Portland Vets team. She is one of those exceptional talents that is kind, thoughtful, extremely knowledgeable and loved by pets, clients and staff alike. She is studying for a certificate in small animal medicine and her depth of knowledge, current study and practical ultrasonography skill makes her an integral part of our team.

Kate is a keen crafter and often makes trophies and awards for staff and clients competitions. She likes to run in her spare time and has completed many runs for charity. She lives with her boyfriend Ben and their naughty little terrier Clover.

Kasia Kamieniarz

Kasia is the newest addition to our veterinary team. Graduating in Poland in 2016 she adds to the international flavour of the Portland Vets team. After graduating Kasia gained experience in orthopaedics by completeing an internship in Turkey. This has given her a keen interest in Orthopaedics as well as Radiology. She has been a fantastic addition and will always great you welcoming smile and your pet with a cuddle or a stroke.

Kasia enjoys travelling in her spare time returning to Turkey to visit her fiancé, Burak; and home to Poland to see her gorgeous cat Maurys. She also likes cooking, sports and learning new languages.

Laura Sulsh

Laura qualified from Bristol University in 2009, joining the Portland Vets team in December 2015. She brings with her a special skill set including, key-hole surgery experience, an interest in exotic and emergency medicine. She is furthering her studies and working toward her emergency medicine and critical care certificate. She is very passionate about veterinary medicine and her enthusiasm is infectious. She regularly shares her knowledge on local radio, Meridian FM.

Laura has an eclectic collection of pets; tortoises Kermit and Marshmallow, leopard gecko Indie (Indiana Jones) cat Kimi (Raikonnen) and several sheep. She also has an American Quarter horse called Cody who she shares with her twin sister (also a vet!) And on days off can be found down the stables with this gorgeous teenage delinquent of a horse!

Anna Garvey

Anna joined us in 2016 having qualified from the University of Nottingham. She gained lots of experience at a first opinion and orthopaedic referral practice in Wales. She compliments our team perfectly having a special interest in behaviour and ophthalmology. She has already proved a big hit with staff and clients alike with her calm and friendly nature.

She is a keen ice skater and even marshaled at a Christmas ice rink in Bristol. Tom her actor boyfriend has re located with her and they have brought their beautiful Dachshund, Nora, along too.

Megan Tucker

Megan graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2012, then volunteered in Malawi before bringing her skills back to the UK.  She has a keen interest in Cardiology and is hoping to start working towards her certificate in Cardiology this year. In her spare time she likes to cook and sew, and is also attempting to “relearn” the piano! She spends a lot of time walking Buster, her crazy Collie x Springer and training him to be a little less crazy, some hope! The 2 of them sharing a home with Paul, Megan’s boyfriend, in Burgess Hill.

Natasha Killick - Head Veterinary Nurse

Natasha joined Portland Vets in 2013 looking to broaden her horizons and advance her career after training and qualifying from a practice in Caterham. Portland Vets are so lucky she chose us to achieve this. Clients and colleagues alike benefit from her ever ready smile and ‘can do’ attitude.

Natasha is a clinical coach and in charge of training our student nurses alongside furthering her own studies; due to complete her NCert in Anaesthesia next year. As if this isn’t enough to keep her busy, she has recently married Richard, and bought a house in East Grinstead, where they live with their beautiful but ever so slightly spoilt Bulldog Betty, who was a flower girl on their big day.

Sarah Pearce - Deputy Head Veterinary Nurse

Sarah has been with Portland Vets since its inception in 2004. She is particularly interested in Medical Nursing and running Nurse’s Clinics. Being super efficient and organised she keeps us all on our toes! There is not a piece of equipment that she doesn’t know how to find/fix/replace or service. She organises the nursing and intern rotas, maintains the important health and safety standards, add in her duties of caring for inpatients, monitoring of anaesthetics, assisting in theatre, nurses appointments and clinics and you get a picture of how capable Sarah really is!

Sarah stepped down from her Head Nurse role to Deputy when she had her family and reduced her working to 3 days a week. She lives in Crawley with her husband Andy, daughter Charlotte, son Isaac, Lucy the cat a naughty tortie, and their very latest edition Mabel, a gorgeous Border Terrier x JRT. Sarah is a keen horse rider and has got back into it in recent years, going regularly now her children are a little older and she has a bit more free time.

Abigail Dias - Veterinary Nurse

Abi grew up in Eastbourne with numerous pets from dogs to chickens and with this love of animals, she decided to become an RVN, graduating in 2006 with a degree in veterinary nursing, joining Portland Vets in August 2007. Abi has a special interest in rabbits, studying them as her elective in and is our nursing teams resident expert in all things bunny!

Our mild and quiet Abi is just the kind of nurse you would want caring for you in hospital. She is kind, caring, patient and highly attentive to every detail. We are lucky to have her on the team.

Abi is married to Dil, an Assistant Principle, and they live in sunny Edenbridge, with their 3 beautiful daughters, Bethany, Eleanor, and Edith. Between work and her young family Abi has little time for hobbies but when not working the family enjoy traveling and exploring in their 1980’s VW campervan!

Annabel Vince - Veterinary Nurse

Annabel gained her degree in Veterinary Nursing in 2014 from Bristol University and worked in somerset for a year but luckily for us she wanted to return to her family home in Sussex, so joined the Portland team in may 2015. She is a fantastic edition to the practice, she is a calming influence on those busy days! And has fast become a key team member, she will soon be joining Natasha as one of our clinical coaches, passing on her expertise to our student nurses.

Annabel has a particular interest in behaviour, maybe influenced by her own cross breed Bingley, who has his own take on the world!! When not working or walking Bingley, Annabel likes to go horse riding and enjoy the local countryside around Punnetts Town where she lives.

Julie Geue - Australian Veterinary Nurse

Julie is another antipodean at the practice! She qualified in Australia and moved to England in 1992 joining us part time in 2016. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience, and is known for her straight talking and love of vibrant hair colour! Julie has a very easy going and relaxed manner and is able to win over the most timid and nervous of patients (and owners!)

Julie has 2 lovely children and they share their home with, in Julies words, an air headed Dalmation called Sunshine. They have just re-homed a very lively stray kitten from the practice naming her Luna(tic). Outside of work Julie likes to be outdoors, either with her dog, gardening or geocaching with her son and daughter.

Portland Vets is proud to be an approved training center, providing practical experience to the Veterinary Nurses of the future. Our very experienced and Qualified nurses and vets support the trainees through their Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons 3 year long degree course. By being dedicated in our provision of training we ensure the quality and competency of the profession continues to remain at an exceptionally high standard.

Our current SVN’s are 2nd year students Isabella Kendrick and Lisa Ralph; and 1st year student Joanna Norman.

Jenny Kemp - Veterinary Surgeon

Another Australian Jenny at Portland Vets!

Jenny joined the Portland Vets team in April 2013.  In common with Jenny C she graduated from the University of Sydney and shares her vision of providing a high standard of affordable veterinary care with a very personal approach.  It was this principle that compelled Jenny to leave the evolving Surrey veterinary practice in which she had been employed and had worked hard to establish and develop over a period of close to15 years.

During Jenny’s time in Surrey she was fortunate to work in close association with a team of specialist referral vets which was of immeasurable value in developing her professional skills and knowledge.  She has a special interest in geriatric medicine and a definite soft spot for the characterful “golden oldies” of the canine and feline variety.

Outside working hours when she is not being kept busy pandering to the needs of the three grey moggies Scarlett, Emily and naughty Lulu, who share her home near Lingfield, Jenny likes nothing more than getting out in the world, stretching herself physically and enjoying great food.  She gets quite gung-ho on her mountain bikes and in her more sedate moments she can be found pottering in her cottage garden.  Life is for living and her hope for her patients is that they can enjoy life as much as they can too!

Alison Hawker - Head Veterinary Nurse

After staying on a farm when on a primary school outing aged just 7, Alison decided that she was going to ‘look after animals everyday’.  A few years on and her conviction to do just that hasn’t wavered! Alison qualified with a degree in Veterinary Nursing in 2004.  After 2 years in a busy veterinary hospital in Kent she broadened her horizons in Australia for a year. Returning to be Head Veterinary Nurse at a developing practice in South London where she worked closely with the senior vet building the practice into a centre of veterinary excellence.

Alison is a skilled and experienced nurse who joined the Portland Vets team in 2013 and became the chief nurse at our Edenbridge branch, she is also found complementing the team at East Grinstead on occasions too. She has a particular interest in caring for rabbits and running nurse clinics and is always ready to take a baby or injured bird home for extra TLC!

Her special companion of many years, Bobby the budgie, still lives with her parents but comes to stay for holidays and mummy cuddles. Alison is still a fan of travelling and has recently returned from a trip of a life time to the Galapagos.

Jo Finney - Veterinary Receptionist

Jo is Edenbridge born and bred, and originally worked as an animal care assistant when she left school but eventually moved into human care. Her love of animals brought her back to the Veterinary World when she joined the Edenbridge team in 2014. As you can gather in all jobs Jo has been an extremely caring individual, always going above and beyond for all patients and clients alike.

Jo now lives in East Grinstead with two grown up sons and her now not-so-little youngest son, who has just started secondary school. They share their house with two adorable but mischievous kittens, a very lively one year old Labrador and (in Jo’s words) a very naughty Shih Tzu!

Jo is an invaluable member of our team, and looks forward to welcoming you and your pets to Portland Vets Edenbridge.

Imogen Birch - Animal Care Assistant

Imogen is the newest member of the Portland Vets Edenbridge team, joining in August 2016. After completing a weeks work experience in the summer we were so impressed with her we were delighted to offer her a position, having lost our last animal care assistant to vet school in September.

Imogen is currently at 6th form studying A-levels in English Literature, History and Medical Science, with the aim of becoming a Veterinary Nurse. Imogen is starting from scratch, but we hope to watch her flourish into a brilliant future veterinary nurse.

Imogen has two gorgeous dogs, Dougie the Labrador and little Freddie. She also has a keen interest in horse riding and has had horses since she was tiny. She is a perfect addition to the team.

Marion Seymour

Marion has lived in the East Grinstead area for most of her life, and being a huge animal lover is very excited to be part of the Portland Vets team. Marion is responsible for stock control including processing client orders and online orders, so if you want to know anything she is the person to ask! She’s also famed for her naughty sense of humour and keeps us all smiling.

Marion previously worked at a large vet practice in Haywards Heath and studied dog grooming at Brinsbury College. So when her Cavalier Rafe needs a trim Marion has him looking dapper in no time! With this gentle soul in her family Marion knows just how special our pets are and looks forward to meeting everybody.

Karen Scott

Karen joined the practice as part time receptionist in April 2007. She moved to East Grinstead in 1991 from Edinburgh ……you’d never guess from her accent! After four years overseas in America and Switzerland from 1996-2000, East Grinstead’s charms drew Karen, husband Graham and three children back to the town. Her family has now expanded and Karen is a very hands on granny, looking after her grand daughter several days a week.

Karen has a gorgeous British Shorthair cat, Islay, and is a real sucker for cute puppies and kittens and rarely can stay behind the desk if there is an opportunity for a cuddle. We love being around her as she is always happy, smiling and enjoying her job. She can do at least 3 jobs at once and still keep smiling! Say hello to our wee smiling Scot next time you are in!

Tharin Johnson

Tharin joined the reception team in September 2008 having worked previously at Harvestfield dental surgery. She adds a litte more to the international flavour of the practice having originally come from Zimbabwe. She and her Husband now call East Grinstead home and live here with their lovely little Jack Russell “Darcy”. Tharin like Karen, has recently become and grandparent and is enjoying being an active part in her grandsons life.

Tharin took to veterinary reception life like a duck to water and is now a very valued member of our team. She is incredibly thoughtful and kind, and this coupled with her outstanding organisation, and reception skills makes us wonder how we ever managed without her!

Ami Smith

Ami Joined the Portland Vets family in 2007 after moving to the area with her teenage daughters. She had been working as a veterinary nurse for 2 decades so brought with her an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience. We were very lucky that she came along when she did! As the practice has grown Ami has become an integral cog in so many areas. She currently works as part of our reception team and does all of the practices pet insurance paperwork. Having someone with her knowledge in both these areas is a massive asset . Most of all she is a fabulously kind person and such a pleasure to work with. She has particular empathy and interest with clients who are making hard decisions or grieving the loss of their pet and has a great knowledge and interest in pet behaviour. The consummate professional, kind hearted and approachable, her life has been further enriched by the arrival of her first grandchild. She is the youngest looking, coolest Granny on the planet and is totally smitten – just ask her to show you the photos!

Heather Pitman

Heather has been a part time receptionist at Portland Vets almost from the very beginning, and is responsible for reminding all of us owners when our pets annual vaccinations are due, no easy task! She has helped us move into the social media age and manages our facebook, instagram and twitter accounts.

Heather is married with 2 beautiful daughters and they share their home with a  gentle mature lady that is Bonnie, a staffie cross. She was rescued many years ago and has been the constant in their lives. When not walking Bonnie, looking after her daughters or working Heather likes to keep fit, go to the cinema and plan trips to her adopted homeland of Greece.

Ellie Smith

Ellie joined the Portland Vets team in 2010 after coming to us for a weeks work experience. She showed such care to the patients, a great interest in the practice and was such a help in that week that she was offered a job as Kennel Assistant. In this role she was responsible for assisting the nursing team in many duties from patient care to hygiene, and most importantly quietly organising and tidying around us! Ellie was then given the opportunity to begin a role as receptionist, training on the job and learning from the rest of the team. She has grown in confidence and ability in this role, continuing on Saturday mornings and providing holiday cover whilst she has been at University studying Animal Science BSc.

When Ellie isn’t studying she enjoys horse riding lessons, baking, occasionally bringing in the fruits of her labour for us to sample! And walking her very excitable yellow Labrador Darcey, who is now 6yrs old but forever the puppy!

Nicola Schofield

Nicola is the newest member of the front of house team, joining Portland Vets in January 2017 as a part-time receptionist. Previously Nicola worked for Legal and General for 11 years administering bespoke pensions. Thus having a wealth of customer care experience, and she will be happy to help you in any way she can. However stepping into the veterinary world Nicola has lots of animal experience too, having had a variety of pets at home rabbits, guinea pigs and dogs. She currently lives in Crawley Down with her husband and three gorgeous girls. Also not to forget Nicola’s beautiful and very bouncy Springer Spaniel called Skye, who believes she is the perfect lap dog as well as being cheeky and stealing her family’s shoes!

Our Nursing assistants are an invaluable part of the team at Portland Vets. They work behind the scenes, assisting our nursing team to care for inpatients, setting up for procedures, helping to keep the hospital clean and tidy, and giving our patients that much needed cuddle.

Chloe Jackson

Chloe joined the team in 2015 and works part time for Portland Vets and the rest of her time as an Equine Sports Therapist. She has taken to the role of VN Assistant amazingly well, ensuring all patients are always comfortable, and well loved. She is another of our team who is calm and never flustered creating the perfect environment of our patients to recover.

Chloe lives in Uckfield with her 2 loveable Staffie’s Charlie and spoon, a little flock of rescue battery hens, along with her quarter horse, the unusaly named, Pork Ball!

Harley Saunders

Harley started as an after school Kennel Assistant and Saturday receptionist in 2009 and we loved having her as part of the Portland Vets team so much, that after studying BSc Animal Science at University we asked her to become a part time Nursing Assistant and Receptionist. In this role she provides all the patients with as much love and attention as she does her own, and giving support and assistance wherever it’s needed within the practice.

Harley is currently studying for her Masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy and will qualify in June 2017. When not working or studying Harley is at home with her two dogs, Winnie and Molly, two cats, Rosie and Gollum, two hamsters and two ponies.

George Christopherson - Director

George is co-owner and founder of Portland Vets with his wife, Jenny.  Before his time at the practice he spent many years traveling the world in Sales & Business development for the chemical industry. He has a MBA from Durham University Business School and is a member of the VPMA (Veterinary Practice Manager’s Association).  It was a natural progression to settle back in this area as he was brought up about 30 mins drive away.
George works at the surgery several days a week helping with administration along with other important roles such as chief maintenance officer, IT consultant and delivery driver for purchases made from our on-line store.
George has founded and manages Lingfield Equine Vets, and Green Counties Vets. At Lingfield Vets he employs 6 equine vets who both travel to their patients and also offer inpatient hospitalisation at their stables in Felbridge. They also are official race vets at Lingfield Park. Green Couties vets is based in Felbridge too and is the only Farm vet remaining in Surrey. Running as a co operative, the large animal vets covering most of Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
Throw in that he is the father to 2 beautiful girls and Jenny’s chief chef and home help, he may be the exception to the rule that “men cannot multitask”!

Valerie Pollard - Practice Manager

Valerie is a dairy farmer’s daughter who has always had a passion for animals and their welfare.  She qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1995 completing the surgical diploma in 2003 whilst Head Nurse in a referral practice. She joined the Portland Vet team in October 2006 as a part time receptionist after having her first child, but given her qualifications and experience we soon convinced her to come back to nursing. But in 2015 with her youngest son starting school Portland Vets had another role for her utilising her excellent skills and high standards she was offered the unenviable job as Practice Manager!

Valerie has two gorgeous boys, Stanley, and Arthur, and a rather lovely large ginger and white cat called Trigger. Arthur has to have a special mention, as he was the 1st baby boy born after 12 girls from staff over the years at Portland Vets.  Valerie is often involved in charity fund raising events, the last of which involved shaving her head!

Sophie Kirk

I cannot recommend you all enough. You have the most amazing team of staff from admin, receptionists, nurses & vets I am sooooo grateful for each & every one of you. I am grateful you stepped in when you did …

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Nicola Board

Simply the best …. I’ve been going here since they opened (wellover a decade) as we moved to the area at a similar time as they opened. I’m very fussy and this bunch are fantastic. I’ll always be biased with …

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Mrs Z Wells

We have been a client of Portland Road since January 2007 with our dog Bramble. During such time, Bramble visited on many occasions for various ailments, including major surgery. The team have always been exceptionally supportive particularly, in times of …

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