Jo Butler IEP – Co-Founder & Programmes Director

  • 12 years of recruitment expertise in education, welfare and government
  • 12 years experience creating, developing and managing employability programmes on behalf of the DWP, both private and public sector employers
  • Highly experienced in creating routeways to achieve ‘sustainable’ employment
  • Passionate about giving back to others and inspiring others to help change lives
  • Mental Health First Aider, Diversity & Inclusion lead & Disability champion
  • Mother to a hyper chocolate brown (liver) cocker spaniel and 2 energetic children!

Role: To drive ‘quality’ performance whilst inspiring everyone involved to drive our social mission ‘to create more fair & inclusive opportunities within animal care’. My main drive when I wake up every day is to bring the best out in everyone. CPG is a passion project to help inspire others who like me, may have not had the best starts in life. I am dedicated to showing people of all walks of life, that with the right commitment, behaviours and role models in place, you CAN be whatever you want to be

Steve Walker – Co-Founder & Chief Executive

  • 28 years of experience engaging with a range of employers throughout the UK
  • Operates his own family-run farm (Which our learners benefit from!)
  • Strong employer relationships gained through his own recruitment agencies
  • Father to 4 children and lots of animals! (Just ask about Perry the peacock and Rango the goat!)
  • Experience both setting up and running recruitment and training organisations
  • Both project managed and built our new eco-friendly offices (designed by his fabulous architect of a wife!)


Role: To support the growth of our business by specialising in our employer offering. Steve strengths lie in our partnerships with large UK animal industry bodies and is passionate about promoting more inclusive and accessible careers within the animal sector

Katie Brook  Head of Enrolment & Support 

  • 20 years Animal Care experience, trained NACWO & Deputy Project License holder
  • 11 years experience recruiting and supporting temporary animal technicians
  • ‘Cog’ of the company that keeps all administrative aspects of the business functioning
  • Level 3 Award in education and training (with learning and development)
  • Animal mad (This is of course an important deciding factor when we hire!)
  • Level 3 assessor vocational Achievement (CAVA)(currently obtaining) .
  • Level 4 IQA qualification (currently obtaining).
  • Provides support to all learners throughout their journey


Role: To offer 24/7 support to learners throughout their ACP journey

Abi White – Lead Animal Care Tutor / Assessor

  • Animal enthusiast with in-depth experience delivering ity and guilds as well as ABC Lantra qualifications to different levels including levels 2 and 3.
  • Great understanding and experience working with learners of all abilities including SEND individuals.
  • BSc in animal behaviour and welfare.
  • Level 3 award in education and training
  • Level 3 assessor vocational Achievement (CAVA).
  • Level 4 IQA qualification (currently obtaining).

Role: Extremely dedicated and passionate toward learner journey and progression. Abi’s role is to train and assess our animal care learners whilst overseeing the City and Guilds qualifications within the department. 

Suzannah – Head of Education

  • Extensive Experience in Animal and Equine Sciences
  • Registered Veterinary nurse
  • Industry experience in rehoming centers, kennels and catteries, equestrian facilities
  • Experience of Curriculum development, ranges of courses and awarding bodies
  • BSc Land Based Sciences focused on Animal and Equine Sciences
  • Teaching and Internal Quality Assurance Qualified


Role: To refine, build and implement training within animal care

Nikita – Animal Care Support Assessor and Tutor

    • Level 3 Award in education and training (with learning and development)
    • Level 3 Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA) 
    • Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior and Welfare (2:1) – University of Plymouth.
    • Dog behaviour specialist and trainer.
    • Creator of resources for dog walking and training materials.  
    • 4 years experience in teaching Animal Care Level 2 & 3 City & Guilds Qualifications.

Role: To assess and provide additional support to our animal care learners. 

Rachel  – Head of Employer Services

  • Experienced Veterinary Nurse / Manager (RVN)
  • Diploma in Canine Behaviour And Training
  • Advanced Diploma In Veterinary Nursing
  • Diploma In Animal Management

Role: To inspire and engage employers for both our Animal Careers & Veterinary Careers Programmes. Rachels role is to support our Employer Partners through their employability journey with us and to support our learner’s transition into employment within the Animal Care sector via both our placement programmes and our own internal recruitment agency opportunities.

Emma- Lead Functional Skills Tutor (Digital Skills, Employability, Maths, English & IAG)

  • Engage learners to see the ESSENTIAL elements of functional skills within their chosen career path
  • Curriculum development to ensure all courses are to the highest standard, whilst being FUN!
  • Supporting learners through IAG and mentoring sessions
  • Creating company-wide resources in all vocational areas and functional skills maths and English to ensure they are relevant, current and most of all ‘fit for purpose’

Role: To inspire and engage learners to enhance their essential functional skills, contextualised around animal career pathways

Willow – Trainee Engagement Officer

  • Willow was a former learner on the programme! We loved her so much, we kept her to ourselves!
  • Qualified City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Animal Care
  • Experience with a range of species
  • Personal experiences overcoming barriers into employment (Like our Co-Founder Jo!)
  • To empower more employers to see the impact they can have on learners like Willow!
  • To be our resident learner, to show what can be achieved with the right role models in place

Role: To inspire and engage both employers and learners like to be a part of the programme. Willow is here to relate to others on the programme, to share her experience and learn from a team who are passionate about supporting people to change their lives. We are VERY proud of our Willow! 🙂

 Our Champions

Gerry Creighton – Zoo Champion

  • 36 years experience within the zoo community
  • Second generation zookeeper in his blood and DNA!
  • Elephant mad – Gerry is a huge voice for elephants across the world!
  • Passionate about elephants, their welfare, their enrichment and safety
  • Passionate about animals, their care and improving animal welfare across the globe

Role: Gerry champions our programme, offers online workshops to help our learners understand roles within a zoo and the importance of zoos across the world

Clare Campbell Animal Careers Officer / Ambassador

  • 17 years Animal care experience and animal mad! Runs her own farm and freelance animal specialist
  • Experienced in farm (livestock), rescue centres, shelters, animal behaviour, grooming, sanctuaries, equine and management – the list is endless!
  • Degree in Animal Science from Hartpury University


Role: Supporting both employers and learners on their training journey. whilst developing ‘fit for purpose’ employer-led training content

Rory – Farming Mentor & ACP Ambassador

  • Passionate about making the land under our feet meet its full potential. whether this be for wildlife, renewable energy, mineral, leisure crop production or building
  • Passionate about supporting people to reach their full potential
  • Sustainably
  • Farmer at heart
  • Currently a business mentor for the Prince’s Trust to support young people starting up businesses

Role: To offer advice in specialisms such as self-employment, start-ups and farming whilst encouraging more young people to enter into the world of animal care

Mike Duxbury – Animal Care Inclusion Champion

  • 20 Years of Inclusion and Accessibility Experience
  • Passion for Agriculture (Brought up on a farm!)
  • The first blind person to attend agricultural college and obtain a BSc grade 2:1 in Agricultural Business Management.
  • Experienced Animal Nutritionist
  • Awarded outstanding communication contribution for disabled people
  • A true inspiration of what can be achieved!
  • Currently creating his own Inclusive Farm (2021 vision) to support learners with impairments to get into farming!


Role: To offer advice whilst encouraging people with additional needs to explore animal careers within the farming environment. Mikes also setting up a project where he can run an inclusive farm that teaches people with additional needs, to work in a farm environment. He hopes to encourage learners with impairments to both begin and experience a career in farming and the wider agricultural industry.