Meet the Communities For Horses team

Communities For Horses is run by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. The charity is overseen by a board of trustees, all with an interest in animal welfare and making our communities a better place to live.

Lisa Lanfear

This organisation is focused to work with communities, to provide education, assistance and to work with horse owners to address the challenges faced within these communities in an ethical collaborative way. Having been a Welfare Officer in this area for some time, I love working with horse owning communities and members of the public to spread more awareness of the welfare requirements of horses and their owners. Previously working with an organisation called CHAPS, Community Horse and Pony Scheme; it was my role to work on an outreach basis in the urban horse owning communities. Over which time I have learned that the issues surrounding horse ownership in any area, are far more complex that just having a horse.

The equine crisis is at epidemic levels and is increasing, I believe that for sustainable change we must work with people and give them the opportunity to learn, develop skills, knowledge and play an integral part to finding and practicing solutions to address welfare. This will take place under the umbrella of Communities For Horses, where change is created.

Rebecca Parkhouse

As a former employee of the CHAPS team, I have worked alongside Lisa for the past two and a half years. Whilst at CHAPS, as a qualified teacher, I was responsible for designing and delivering accredited and non-accredited courses and educational sessions to a range of different clients.

Education is a crucial factor in the task of changing long standing traditions, beliefs and practises. Communities for Horses will offer a range of educational programmes to both adults and children, urban horse owners and the general public, to help improve the welfare of equines across Swansea and the surrounding areas.

Communities for Horses is based on the ideal of horses and humans working together to produce a community where every living being thrives. Through education, we are able to empower humans with the knowledge to better care for their horses, allowing their horses to thrive both mentally and physically. Through horses, we are able inspire and teach humans a range of skills which will help to improve their chances of thriving both inside their own communities and the world outside it.

I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact that education can have on the welfare of both horses and humans and I have no doubt that the excellent work that CHAPS started in 2014 will continue under Communities for Horses.

Ana Rose

I am a Senior Investor Relations and Communications specialist, MBA graduate and regular member of the CFA Institute. My background working for listed companies, IPO processes and Private Equity firms, equips me with a wide range of financial and communication skills, which I use to advise Tech start-ups and SMEs in London. I have been assisting Charities as a volunteer with their Communications and fundraising strategy, which is how I learnt about Communities For Horses and the innovative work that they do. Having had experience working with charities helping children and youngsters in deprived areas and being an animal lover Communities For Horses, is a perfect fit. With this good fit and God willing, I trust we will be able to have a positive impact on the welfare of both humans and horses in the areas in which Communities For Horses operates.

Suzanne Rogers

I started out with a career in science publishing but the call to work with animals was too strong and I re-qualified in behaviour and welfare. For several years I managed dog population and working equine programmes for WSPA (now World Animal Protection). A key part of this role was to develop and test participatory methodologies – working with communities to lead to a change in the way people manage and care for their animals.

I led the move away from a heavy focus on mobile clinics towards prevention through participatory approaches. Since 2011, I have been an international consultant for animal welfare and human behaviour change and in 2016 set up Human Behaviour Change for Animals (HBCA). I am also a Certified Horse Behaviour Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC). I am in awe of Lisa and her team's work around Swansea and am proud to support Communities for Horses every way I can.

Melissa Upjohn

I grew up riding ponies but it took me over ten years working in financial markets before I finally admitted to myself that what really inspired me was improving animal welfare so I retrained as a vet. After graduating I worked as an equine vet in the UK before undertaking a PhD based in southern Africa. The PhD had two objectives: to investigate the impact of a charity’s international training programmes designed to improve the welfare of working horses belonging to low income owners in developing countries and to understand the barriers faced by these owners in meeting their horses’ needs. This work highlighted the importance of understanding the situation in which owners find themselves and how this affects their ability to care for their horse and to make decisions around their horse’s welfare. Since completing my PhD I have managed in-house research teams which help animal welfare charities to understand the welfare issues faced by animals and their owners and to develop ways to address these effectively. The ethos of CFH in understanding and addressing the root causes of problems, rather than simply the visible symptoms, aligns directly with my own approach to improving animal welfare. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to support CFH in helping owners to build their own capacity to address their horses’ needs in a sustainable way.

Joanna Hockenhull

I am an animal behaviour and welfare research scientist at Bristol Veterinary School where I've worked since I completed my PhD looking at the welfare of UK leisure horses. In my time at Bristol, I have conducted welfare-related research on a range of species, from livestock, to cetaceans, but my passion has always been horses and I always have some horse research on the go. I have had Irish Cob Oscar on part loan for 10 years since he arrived on our yard as a very gangly 4-year-old and he keeps me on track with all things horsey. I heard about the amazing work of CFH when Lisa spoke about it at a conference that I was attending, and it made a huge impression on me. I am so excited to be appointed trustee and to be part of this proactive charity as they continue, and develop, their incredible work with local communities and their horses.

Bethan Matthews

When I was growing up I remember people would ask me what I wanted to do when I was older and I would always reply "own a horse rescue center". From a very young age I have always admired equines and at the age of 14 I was lucky enough to begin volunteering at a local rescue centre every weekend . When I passed my driving test I began working there and was promoted to Head Groom in August 2012. I have always been so interested in the rehabilitation of horse and ponies both physically and mentally - trying to find out the best training method to suit the horse (always positive reinforcement) and watching that horse progress and find a new home felt like an amazing achievement. I tried to help out at CHAPS whenever I could and always admired the outreach part of the charity as it is much better to educate and prevent the need to rescue the horses than wait for any suffering to happen. I was lucky enough to volunteer on an outreach day with the vets and CHAPS to help vaccinate and passport the horses. It was great to speak to everyone and see how much of a positive impact the work had on the urban horse owners community. People often assume that the urban horse owners do not care for their horses, however, although there is a lack of knowledge, the majority of owners do care and horses are their livelihoods. Now that Communities For Horses is working, taking up the gap left by CHAPS, I look forward  to helping and seeing the organisation develop and continue to make a positive impact in the local communities.