Staff by Departments
Aidan Raftery-MVB CertZooMed CBiol MRSB MRCVS
Aidan gained his veterinary degree in medicine and surgery in June 1982. After initially working in a small animal and equine veterinary hospital in South Wales he moved to a 10 vet practice in Yorkshire where he was the main specialist for orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery before coming to Ashleigh Veterinary Centre in 1987.
In 2000 he was board certified in Zoological Medicine and Surgery by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and in 2001 he qualified as a Chartered Biologist and was granted membership of the Institute of Biology.
Aidan is currently the clinical director of the Avian and Exotic section of the practice. He is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, the British Veterinary Zoological Society, the British Veterinary Association, European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians, and the British Veterinary Invertebrate Society. He has been commissioned to write chapters for many veterinary medicine text books in the field of avian and exotic animal medicine. He is a visiting lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, and regularly presents papers at conferences and lectures at continuing education events for veterinary surgeons.
Aidan is particularly interested in applying the skills learned from the animals kept in a captive environment, to help preserve the free ranging populations in the worlds shrinking wilderness areas.
Lianne graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2014 before joining our team. Lianne has previously gained experience working with wildlife in South Africa and volunteering at a zoo. She now specialises in exotic animal medicine, and has lectured at international veterinary conferences on exotic animal medicine and has been asked by her peers to write chapters for veterinary textbooks. Outside of work Lianne enjoys riding her horse Isla. She also has a rabbit called Bean and Ollie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Filipe graduated in 2002 from the Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal. Since then has worked in exotic and small animal practices in the Lisbon area. From 2007 to 2014 Filipe taught exotic animal medicine and parasitology courses to veterinary students in Lisbon University. He has many scientific publications published, book chapters and is also a regular presenter at international veterinary conferences. Filipe is also a very talented scientific illustrator and has had several pieces of his work published. He is closely involved with several wildlife medicine and conservation projects in Portugal. Filipe moved to the UK in early 2016 and joined the team at the Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic in October 2016 where he is a key member of the exotic animal veterinary team. In his free time, Filipe enjoys birdwatching, photography and long walks in the countryside. He currently has Nyx the cat, Tort-vader the tortoise and a tropical fish tank.
Emily Todd BVMS-MRCVS
In 2017 Emily graduated from the University of Glasgow and joined our team in July 2017. Emily’s main interests are in surgery and exotic animal medicine. She has already been invited to write a chapter in a text book for veterinary surgeons on avian medicine. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the outdoors and going to music festivals. Emily also has a Hermann’s tortoise called Edgar and two cats called Casper and Autumn.
Cheryl Ramsbottom-Head Nurse Bsc (Hons)-RVN, C&G Cert VNES, C-SQP
A graduate of Harper Adams University College, Cheryl obtained her 2:1 BSc (hons) in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management in June 2011. Since qualifying in 2010 Cheryl has worked for several veterinary practices before joining our team in January 2012. She has had placements at Twycross and Blackpool zoos. Building her skills as a Registered Veterinary Nurse Cheryl completed her City and Guilds certificate in ”Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Species and British Wildlife’’ in November 2013. Keen to teach the next generation Cheryl is one of our practice student nurse assessors. Cheryl is very interested in raising standards in treatment of rabbits and other small animals in veterinary practices and regularly lectures at conferences to disseminate her knowledge. She has also been asked to contribute chapters to veterinary textbooks. Cheryl was promoted to head nurse in January 2019. In her spare times Cheryl has a keen interest in cycling, photography and watching films. She has a Spur-thighed tortoise called Buttercup, a Hermann’s tortoise called Penny and a rescue cat called Luna.
Amy Shawcross – Deputy Head Nurse : BSc (Hons) Zoology. Dip AVN (Small Animal). Dip HE CVN. C&G Cert VNES. RVN.
Amy joined the practice in September of 2011 as a qualified Veterinary Nurse. Having graduated from Liverpool University with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology Amy returned to veterinary nursing and graduated as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in July of 2010. Working in small animal practice in both Urmston and Altrincham extended her interests and she is now involved in the care and management of long-term medical cases. In November 2014 Amy completed her City and Guilds certificate in Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Species and British Wildlife. In 2019 she was promoted to deputy head nurse and has been awarded the HE Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing. Amy enjoys going to restaurants, walks in the countryside and spending time with bird Peggy.
Gemma Gaskell – RVN
Gemma joined the practice in 2014 as an auxiliary nurse after completing her BTECH in Animal Management from Hopwood Hall College in Animal Care and Management in 2012. She started her Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing in September 2015 at Reaseheath College and qualified in 2018. Gemma spends her spare time with friends and her cat Dexter.
Lauren Hirst-FdSc RVN, APVN(AHMW)DipVNZS.
A graduate of Myerscough College, Lauren obtained her FdSc degree in Veterinary Nursing in 2016. Lauren joined the team in February 2017. Lauren was awarded her Diploma of Veterinary Nursing of Zoological Species and her Advance Programme of Veterinary Nursing of Avians, Herpetology, Mammals and Wildlife in October 2019. She has a passion for inpatient care and enjoys exploring historical landmarks and going to watch musicals in her spare time. Lauren has a menagerie of pets including 1 rabbit (Troy) , 1 cat (Derek), 1 dog (Benjie) and Pudgie the Blue Quaker Parrotlet.
Cathy Ellerbeck-Bsc(Hons) RVN, C-SQP
As a graduate of Harper Adams University College, Cathy obtained her BSc (hons) in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management degree in June 2015. Cathy worked for us from 2015-2017. After a year of working at various practices as a locum she has returned to Ashleigh in February 2018. Cathy is mainly working at our Sale branch but will be doing some shifts at Chorlton. From the RSPCA Manchester and Salford Branch Cathy adopted a cat called Stanley who is now a television pet model. In her spare time, she enjoys going on walks with her Bichon Frise called Pippin and going to vegan restaurants
Izzy Duggan-FdSc RVN
Izzy graduated from Nottingham Trent University, obtaining a FdSc in Veterinary Nursing. Before joining our team in Febuary 2018, she had worked in various practices both in the Norfolk and Manchester areas. She has also volunteered at a wildlife rescue centre in Greece. Her hobbies include running and going to the gym. Izzy has two rabbits called Babe and Freckle as well as a Poodle called Poppy.
Gemma Birchall – RVN
Gemma gained at 2:1 in her wildlife conservation degree as Salford University in 2012, before joining the team as an auxiliary nurse in May 2015. She previously worked at the cat’s protection and Chessington World of Adventure as an animal keeper. In 2016 Gemma started her Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at Reaseheath College and qualified in 2019. She has two pet whippets, Dre and Pac, two rats, who cats Crumpet and Franklin and a Chihuahua cross breed called Mitch.
Amy Blair-FdSc RVN
Amy graduated from Myerscough College, obtaining an FdSc in Veterinary Nursing in July 2017. She joined our team in March 2019 and has a keen interest in exotic species and surgery. Her hobbies include martial arts and attending comic con event. She has a menagerie of exotic pets including, Freya the Iguana, Troy the Chinchilla, Luna the Bearded Dragon, Monty the Royal Python and not forgetting Fergie the Greek spur thighed tortoise.
Alison Gardwell- FdSc RVN
Alison was awarded her Veterinary Nursing foundation degree in July 2019 and is currently working towards making it a Bsc(Hons)degree. Alongside this she has also started her International Society of Feline Medicine ( ISFM) Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour. Alison is also our Bereavement Pet Supporter. In her spare time she enjoys reading, especially on the train from Liverpool each day to work. She has a clowder of five cats called Posh paws, Fred, Dorris, Asha and Sisu.
Holly Wright- Student Veterinary Nurse
Holly worked as a pet care assistant before joining our team in November 2016. At University she gained a BSc(hons) degree in Animal Studies at Glyndwr. In 2018 she started her Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at Myerscough College. Holly has a cat called Eric and a Border Collie called Milo. In her spare time she enjoys keeping fit at the gym and spending time with her friends and family.
Emma Burgin-Student Veterinary Nurse
Emma joined the practice in April 2019. She started her Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at ProCo, Wigan in 2018. She enjoys theatre practice and cannot wait to work closer with exotic species. In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking and going to concerts. She owns Arlo a Blue Tongued Skink, Luscious the leopard gecko and a Cocker Spaniel called Sophie.
Paige Warmington- Student Veterinary Nurse
rowing up her family were foster carers for The German Shepherd Dog Rescue. Since then Paige has always had a passion for working with animals. Paige joined the practice in 2017, after previously working as a veterinary receptionist. She enjoys photography, writing and cooking vegan recipes. In September 2019 she started her