Meet the caring and compassionate team that will go the extra mile for you and your beloved pet

Veterinary Surgeons

Micaela Wright BVM&S MRCVS – Principal & Rabbit Advocate
I qualified as a vet in 1994 and after 3 years in mixed practice, I joined Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital. In 1999 I joined Andrew Geldard in partnership, until his retirement in 2008. I now run the practice with the help of my extensive team.

I am interested in pain management and offer acupuncture as an alternative or adjunctive to conventional pain management. I am a keen surgeon with extensive experience in most orthopaedic and other surgeries.

Following the opening of our new Cats and Exotics Clinic, I now split my time between Stanhope Road and Duke Street. I am the veterinary Rabbit Advocate and enjoy working with our exotic patients.

My other major passion is animal welfare. For many years now I have had an active role as a veterinary surgeon working closely with RSPCA inspectors in animal cruelty and welfare cases.

Cecile Spring MedVet MRCVS
I qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1998 from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Afterwards I worked mainly in mixed practice in Switzerland and England. After a maternity break I joined Stanhope Park in August 2010. Now I divide my time between the Yarm surgery and the Darlington Hospital.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family, and training and walking our four agility-mad dogs.

Louise Marwood BVM&S MSc MRCVS
I have worked at Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital since 2006. I enjoy the variety of work seen at the hospital and love meeting clients and their pets and giving the best service I can.

At home I have a Jack Russell Terrier, a cat, many pet lambs and three children. In my spare time I help my father on his sheep and cattle farm.

Joanna Metcalfe BVSc MRCVS
I graduated from Liverpool University in 2001. After 2.5 years in mixed practice I decided my heart lay with specialising as a small animal vet. I joined the Stanhope Park Team in June 2013 and enjoy the variety of pets and people we get to meet here.

My spare time is spent with my family and I enjoy cycling, reading and travelling. We have a 13-year-old Border Terrier called “Hippo” who only likes short walks now! I also like helping on the family farm, especially at lambing time.

Jeanette H. Tungesvik BVM&S MRCVS
I graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2010 and worked in a small animal practice in Australia for 3 years, before joining the team at Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital in July 2013. My veterinary interests are surgery and preventative medicine. I am currently studying towards a Post Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Surgery. At home I have a fluffy cat with no tail called Lenny who is very good at reminding me when it is dinner time. Hopefully I will find the right dog that can fit in with Mr Lenny (cat being the boss of course).

Ana Merle Porta DVM MRCVS
I graduated from the University of Cardenal Herrera CEU (Valencia) in Spain in 2011. Afterwards I moved to England and did some work experience in small animal practices before completing an Internship at Rutland House Referrals. I joined Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital in May 2015. I enjoy all aspects of my job, particularly internal medicine and dermatology.

At home I like spending time in the garden with my partner, and cooking. I have got a lovely Border Terrier called “Cheeky”. We are always together, and he loves coming to work with me and sitting on the sofa with me watching TV!

Yasmin Aabbouz BVetMed MRCVS
I graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2016, and am the newest team member at Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital. I am particularly interested in surgery and emergency medicine but I am also keen to develop my exotic species interest.

In my spare time I enjoy playing both the clarinet and violin, and hope to soon become part of the Darlington orchestra.


Michelle Baldwin RVN – Head Veterinary Nurse
I started working at Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital in September 1997 and qualified as a veterinary nurse in August 2001. During my time here I feel that I have developed a good rapport with many of our clients and have met some fantastic characters along the way.

My job includes supporting the other nurses in the team and working alongside the vets, both in reception and the consulting rooms, as well as behind the scenes, operating and nursing the in-patients.

Lisa Lewis RVN
I started working in a mixed veterinary practice in 1996 on a voluntary basis, which led to permanent employment a year later. After attending college, I qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2000. I came to work at Stanhope Park in November 2002.

I find animal welfare very interesting. My goals are to further my knowledge in nursing rabbits, guinea pigs and other small furry patients, animal nutrition, surgical nursing and also emergency and critical care.

Laura Wells RVN
I qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2004 from Houghall College in Durham, but I have been nursing since 1999. I joined Stanhope Park Vets in April 2011. I am based at the surgery in Yarm where I work as the sole nurse, but also enjoy working with the rest of the team once a week at the Darlington Hospital.

When I am not at work, my dog Marley keeps me busy with lots of walks on the beach.

Laura Beahan BSc RVN
I started working in a veterinary practice in 2003. I qualified in 2006 and completed a BSc (hons) degree in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management in 2007. I joined Stanhope Park Vets in September 2014, where I am enjoying learning more about exotic species.

My constant companion is my 14 year old dog Sweetie who I’ve had for 5 years. She enjoys river walks, playing with her tennis ball, and most of all hogging the sofa for an afternoon snooze! I also have two rescue cats who are 7 year old brother and sister – Bagheera and Miura.

Rebecca Davies BSc (Hons) RVN
Hi, my name is Beckie; I first started working at a veterinary practice on weekends and during the school holidays in 1996. After completing school in 2002 I then qualified and graduated in 2006 from Napier University, Edinburgh with a BSc (Hons) degree in Veterinary Nursing. I joined Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital in March 2015 and enjoy working at all four of our practices, where I am very much looking forward to meeting our clients and all of your lovely pets in the near future.

I love all aspects of my job and veterinary nursing; however my professional interests include anaesthesia, surgical nursing, orthopaedics, emergency/critical/intensive care nursing, dentistry, nutrition, diabetics and running nurse clinics. Also, being a clinical coach allows me to assess and train our student nurses in practice and support the future generation of veterinary nurses.
At home I have Spice, a crazy but very pretty, food-motivated ginger and white tabby cat. You may see Spice with me at the Darlington hospital, as she comes to board whilst I am working my night duty and weekend on-call shifts. Out of work, my spare time is taken up with exercising; (walking, running, undertaking several annual charity 5 and 10k fun-runs and practicing taekwondo (of which I have a black belt) and other mixed martial arts. I also enjoy socialising and dining out with friends, being a member of the Darlington Operatics Society and frequently attending the theatre and stand-up comedy gigs. In the future my aim is to run a half or full marathon so training towards this, work and life generally keeps me very busy!

Rachel Phoenix BSc RVN
I have been at Stanhope Park since July 2006, qualifying in 2008 with a degree in Veterinary Nursing Science from the University of the West of England. I enjoy the variety that working as a nurse brings and I love many aspects of my job, but my main interests lie in medical nursing and rehabilitation and physiotherapy. I am hoping to do more training towards this in the future.

In my spare time I like to spend time with my family including my two beautiful cats Leon and Amelia.

Sue Glasper RVN ISFM DipFN – Cat Advocate
I joined the practice in December 2001 after completing my work placement here whilst studying for a National Diploma in Animal Care at Houghall College. I have since completed my Veterinary Nurse Training at Myerscough College, becoming qualified in March 2010.
I have always been keen to continue learning about this ever evolving profession, and have realised my passion for all things cat! I have recently completed the ISFM Diploma in Feline Nursing, and hold a special interest in feline behaviour and the role of stress prevention and management. I hope to continue my learning in this area in the future also. My other special interests include medical nursing and the role of nutrition in medical conditions.

You will now find me over at the new Cat and Exotic Clinic on Duke Street, where I have been assigned as the “Cat Advocate” for the practice – meaning I am responsible for ensuring that staff are correctly trained in “cat-friendly” principles, and that “cat-friendly” practice protocols are put in place and followed.

At home I have a beautiful, but feisty, semi-long haired moggie called Magpie, and a very cheeky Border Terrier called Bea.

Sarah Potter RVN
I first came to Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital on work placement in November 2007 whilst studying for a Veterinary Nursing degree at the RVC in London. In March 2009, I was offered the chance to continue my training through the practice as a full time Student Veterinary Nurse, to which I jumped at the chance! I became fully qualified in November 2012 after taking some time out to have my lovely daughter in 2011.

I have two gingie cats; one male, “Ginja Ninja” (named by the practice!), and one female, “LouLou”. Both I couldn’t resist and rehomed after they came to the practice as strays.

I love every aspect of nursing – seeing some of our patients come to us with varying issues and being able to help make them more comfortable, as well as supporting their owners, is very rewarding.

Jess Bell RVN C&G CertVNES – Exotics Nurse & Rabbit Advocate
I qualified here at Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital in 2015 but have worked here as a nurse since 2011. I love my role as a Registered Veterinary Nurse and enjoy all aspects of the job from admitting patients first thing on a morning to ensuring they go home safe and sound on an evening and everything in-between!

While the list of things I’m interested in as a nurse is never ending my main passion is for exotics, for which I am currently undertaking my Certificate in Exotic Animal and Wildlife Nursing and hope to be qualified at the end of 2016. I have gained a wealth of experience with exotics from owning my own, volunteering at wildlife centres and zoos, attending lots of courses and assisting with the exotics here at the hospital! From racoons to lizards and snakes to meerkats, if you need any advice on your exotic pet please call me to arrange a clinic!
I have my own exotics at home, two cheeky German Shepherds and a fat Labrador who I adore.

Nicole Burn BSc (Hons) RVN VPAC
I began working at Stanhope Park in 2009 as a Saturday receptionist, following on from a school work placement. I am currently in my final year at Harper Adams University, studying for a BSc (Hons) degree in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management. I love the variety that this job brings, no two days are the same! I am interested in medical nursing and complimentary therapies and would like to learn more about these in the future.
At home I have two Rough Collies, a Sheltie, five cats and two silkie chickens, which all keep me very busy!

Lindsay Murray – Student Veterinary Nurse
I joined Stanhope Park Vets in 2012 on a Veterinary Care Assistant course. I then went on to do my Veterinary Nurse training, to hopefully soon be qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse. I have always wanted to work with animals and couldn’t see myself doing anything else as it’s such a rewarding career.

At home I have a lovely yet moody rabbit called Penny, and a very handsome Yorkshire Terrier called Hugo. I have also recently adopted a rescue puppy called Benny!

Emily Towler – Student Veterinary Nurse
I started working at Stanhope Park Vets on Saturdays in 2014. From here I started to work two days per week as a volunteer alongside my Saturdays, and I was then lucky enough to secure a placement here to enable me to start my Veterinary Nursing training. I am currently studying at Askham Bryan College in York where I attend 2 days per week, and spend 3 days in practice.

In my spare time I am kept busy with my Labrador Maple who is very excitable and loves to play. I also have a cat and 3 ponies that I love spending time with.

Christina Pullen – Auxiliary Nurse
I have worked at Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital since May 2011, and I love my job as it is very rewarding. I assist in everything from admitting patients, looking after them from arrival to going home, setting up theatre, making sure your pet’s stay here is as comfortable as possible, and much more in between.
I love the variety the job brings, and enjoy learning new things and hope to become a Qualified Veterinary Nurse here at Stanhope Park.

Support Staff

Helen Geldard – Practice Manager
I have been with this practice for many years and have seen it grow, from being a small practice into the hospital we now have today. My brief has always been, and remains to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible and that you, our clients and particularly your pets, receive the service they deserve.
Most of my leisure time is devoted to walking my wire-haired Dachshunds, and developing my garden – great fun if hard work.

Ann Ainsley-Bates – Office Management Assistant
Having been employed at Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital for over 11 years now, my love of being in an environment helping all small animals has never diminished. I am normally in the office, but occasionally you may see me in reception.

Sarah Huitson – Head Receptionist
I returned to Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital in 2014 to work on reception as I missed the job, animals, clients and staff too much after 3 years of being away. I initially joined the practice in 2007 working on reception for 2.5 years then concentrated on auxiliary / student veterinary nursing for 2 years.
I thoroughly enjoy being at the desk to welcome clients and pets into the practice and provide them with the best service I can. I feel the experience I have gained from those 2 years of student veterinary nursing and caring for many of my own/family animals, which have ranged from an iguana to goats, helps me greatly when discussing matters of animal care with clients. I always aim for reception to be a calm, organised and tidy area.

Jayne Yorke – Receptionist
I joined Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital in 2010 after the Yarm Surgery was taken over following Mr McCabe’s retirement. I enjoy working in Yarm, meeting and greeting all our clients old and new.
When not at work, I’m kept on my toes with my young son Tyler and daughter Lacey-Taylor who help me with our family pets, Diesel and Alfie our Staffordshire Bull Terriers; Ellie our horse; Nesta our African Grey Parrot; and Boss our Goldfish!

Amber Donald – Receptionist
I joined the team at Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital in 2012 whilst studying Animal Management at Houghall College. My favourite part of working here is the satisfaction I get from being able to hand rear orphaned animals or rehabilitating wildlife.
I love all animals, I have a crazy spaniel at home and a beautiful fell pony, plus lots of other weird but wonderful pets.

Pippa Young – Receptionist
After doing work experience for a couple of months, I was lucky enough to be offered a full time receptionist role at Stanhope Park Vets. I’m absolutely loving meeting all the clients and their pets, as well as learning about medications and procedures.

I am mainly interested in exotics and reptiles, and have over 15 different species at home, including a chameleon, tortoise, Bosc monitor lizard and many snakes. In the future I’d love to train to become a veterinary nurse so I can hopefully look after some of the amazing animals I get the pleasure of meeting!

Laura Johnson – Receptionist
I joined Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital in September 2010 following the completion of a week’s work experience at the practice. I love being part of the team, and the satisfaction I get from helping to care for a range of animals is immense.

At home I am kept occupied with my three cats – Belle, Wilma and Gus. I also have two cheeky parrots, Pedro and Bobby.

Shirley Atkinson – Cleaner
I have been employed at the practice since 1992 as the cleaner (lady of all jobs). At home I have a cat called Sasha, and I always enjoy talking to the animal patients at work whenever I have the time.

For more information , or to book an appointment with a member of our veterinary team, please call 01325 380111 or email Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital at

Stanhope Road Hospital

30 Stanhope Road South,
Co. Durham
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Cats & Exotics Practice

58 Duke Street,
Co. Durham
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4 The Square,
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Yarm Practice

143 High Street,
TS15 9AY
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Opening Times

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