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PAWS vet teams

In the early years of PAWS, the Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) was very helpful in finding volunteer vets and nurses to go to Paxos and work for PAWS. Conditions were initially far from ideal: surgery was carried out 'al fresco' under an olive tree or in someone's garden, with a makeshift canopy erected on the balcony during unfavourable weather conditions. 

Without exception all the volunteers that have worked for PAWS have been conscientious and uncomplaining and a huge thank you goes to all of them.  Pictures of many of our volunteers can be found in the photo gallery.

Since 2009, James Forbes and Russell Lyon with Zoe Tomkinson were regular PAWS volunteers and greatly loved and respected by everyone on the island. James retired in 2014 and Russell retired in 2017.

In 2014 PAWS had three new vets and three new nurses joining as volunteers. Mike Houlihan, Rick Appleton and Andrea Rhodes were the vets and Harriet Rhodes, (Andrea's daughter who qualified as a vet in 2016), Mandy Cooper and Sue Scott were the vet nurses. 

In 2015, PAWS was delighted when Greek vet Nefeli Damigou offered to help at the PAWS clinic. She is a wonderful vet and since then she has provided an excellent veterinary service throughout the year. She is a great asset to PAWS and Paxos and we hope to work together for many more years to come.

Janet Brenton and Karen Hancock joined the PAWS team in 2018 and have had 2 very successful visits at the PAWS clinic. Janet continues to volunteer for us every year and has also been accompanied by vet nurses Gabriella Charlton and Emily Fairhurst

On Paxos, Faye Lychnou has given unstinting support to PAWS both at the clinic and before when we had temporary premises. 

In 2016 Ann Hadjianstasiou very kindly volunteered to assist Nefeli when working at the clinic. PAWS sincerely thanks them both.

Most recently the UK vet teams are helped by trustees Faye Lychnou and Di Mitchell. Sincere thanks also goes to the volunteers that help with trapping and returning the cats to their original territory.

Details of some the team can be seen below:


Nefeli Damigou 

Nefeli seen here with vet nurse Kim joined the PAWS team in 2015. She trained at Aristotle University and School of Veterinary Medicine in Thessaloniki qualifying in 2010. Since qualifying, she has had several Internship placements in Greece and further afield in Thailand and Israel.

Nefeli has attended several veterinary seminars, carried out various research assignments which included a publication on Dolphin Therapy at the Hellenic Veterinary Conference in Athens and in the journal of the Hellenic Veterinary Medical Society. She is currently expanding her knowledge on Ultrasound.

Nefeli is very enthusiastic, professional and caring and we are delighted that she is one of our trustees. She is also the registered municipal vet for Paxos municipality.

In 2018, she opened her own private clinic on Paxos but continues to work for and support PAWS.

Janet Brenton

Janet joined the PAWS team in 2018 and has volunteered for us 4 times.

She says that she qualified from Bristol in the dark ages (1981) when the animals came in two by two! 

After working 5 yrs in a mixed practice situated in Coventry, Janet moved to Macclesfield as the lady vet in a farm practice which grew over the years to 5 partners and 50 employees.

Janet left there in 2014 and since then has worked as a locum vet in Shropshire and of course as a volunteer at the PAWS clinic on Paxos. 

Outside of work Janet has many interests and enjoys to sew, knit, cook, garden, walk and sing amongst other things.....

Russell Lyon 

Russell is a farmer’s son from Quothquan, Biggar, Lanarkshire. He graduated from the Royal School of Veterinary Medicine in Edinburgh in 1967. He left Scotland soon after to pursue his professional career in the Cambridgeshire Fens and Norfolk but has always retained his proud Scottish identity.

He was principal vet in a very successful mixed practice for many years but in addition had a parallel career in writing. He is the author of nine books and innumerable magazine articles and has made regular contributions on Radio Norfolk, Radio Cambridgeshire and Radio Scotland. He has appeared on Grampian TV and the Landward series for BBC Scotland where he successfully demonstrated the ancient whispering methods.

He worked in Hong Kong in 2005 for 18 months which he loved.

He then became a locum veterinary surgeon who worked part time for various practices in and around north-west Norfolk. He volunteered for PAWS from 2009 - 2017 working with vet nurse Zoe Tomlinson and his wife Chris. Everyone adores Russell on Paxos and PAWS is very grateful for all his support and hard work.

Lindsay Geddes

Lindsay, the Director of PAWS, qualified as a pharmacist in 1970 and owned her own business in Three Bridges, Sussex from 1978-1989.  She then had a career change when she moved to Italy and ran a small hotel in Tuscany for three years.  Since returning to the UK, she continued to work as a pharmacist both as a manager and as a locum until retiring at the end of 2014. She has always loved caring for animals and has been a volunteer for the Cinammon Trust since 1994.

Since starting PAWS in 2005, her knowledge of treating and caring for animals has improved greatly. She has very much enjoyed helping James Forbes, Jonathan Yeatts and Nefeli Damigou as a trainee vet nurse. 

She moved back to Sussex in 2012 and in her spare time likes walking, reading, gardening, playing bridge and going to the theatre. She has always been interested in languages and is a member of her local Anglo French club, but struggles with Greek!

Faye Lychnou

Faye graduated from Athens Law School and was a founding member of the Athens Law School Legal Aid office. She was a member of the research team of the Athens University Institute for Health, Social Insurance and Social Welfare (EPIKAIP) for 5 years and a member of the administration team for the European Program of Student Training (EPEAEK) for 3 years. After this she was a member of the Writers’ Team of the National Children’s Health Report for the Greek Ministry of Health to the United Nations.

Since 2000 she has worked on Paxos continuing to help the island in so many different ways. She represents Paxos on the Task force for European Cultural Villages, has helped with projects for both 'Youth Action' and the 'Elderly in Europe'. In 2006, she wrote the book 'The Paxiot Workshop in Action'. She is a trustee and producer of the Paxos Festival, director of the Poseidon Sports Club and an indomitable supporter of PAWS since 2005 and one of its Trustees. Her linguistic skills are amazing, speaking English, French and Italian fluently as well as basic German and Spanish!

She is the proud 'Mum' of two rescue dogs Melina and Delon (see photo below) and cares for a menagerie of about 18 cats at her home in Magazia.

Andrea Rhodes 
Andrea qualified from Glasgow University in 1979 and most of her career has been with the PDSA and she ran the Eastbourne clinic for 15 years until it closed and then she transferred to the Brighton PDSA. While at the PDSA she became very involved in nurse training which she has been doing for the last 34 years and so far all her trainees have passed their exams! 

In 1995 Andrea became Gatwick Airport’s Official Veterinary Surgeon for 10 years During this time she reduced her PDSA work to join Vetcall as a part time emergency vet.

At home Andrea has two horses, two dogs, a cat and her husband’s racing pigeons, so her children were brought up with a variety of animals. Her daughter is also a qualified vet and joined Andrea on 2 of her trips to Paxos.

Mike Houlihan and Mandy Cooper 

Mike and Mandy have worked together for nearly 30 years and heard about PAWS on Paxos through Albert Walker who made our anesthetic machine. Mike was born and raised on a small holding in Ireland where he developed his love of animals. After qualifying as a vet in 1985 from Dublin, he worked briefly in Ireland but since then has stayed in the UK. He gained a MSc from the Royal Veterinary College in London. From 2002 until the present time he has worked for DEFRA and is involved with welfare, medicine residues and post import investigations on horses. He enjoys walking, swimming and sports cars of which only the first two can be accommodated on Paxos!

Mandy Cooper qualified in 1984 and has worked at various veterinary surgeries in Staffordshire and Cheshire. Mandy enjoys yoga, stone and wood carving and tends to the needs of her black cat Horace.