Meet the Board
I am a Royal Marine Veteran with personal experience of living with PTSD.
I suffered a breakdown in February 2019 and was signed off from work. My rescue dog, Sam, who was a bit of a handful when I got him but has turned out to be an amazing dog, looked into my eyes and gave me a reaction that I'd never seen before.
I wanted people to feel the same emotions I feel when I am with my dogs, and benefit from their healing powers as I have, so in September 2020 I formed A Veteran's Best Friend. We are staffed entirely by volunteers and rely completely on donations - with your help we can start training our Assistance dogs and veterans in 2021.
Mick Cairns - Chair
My interest in supporting A Veteran’s Best Friend comes from having a son who is a Colour Sergeant serving with the Royal Marines and a brother who was with the RAF Police for more than 20 years.
I studied Hotel Management at Robert Gordons in Aberdeen and then completed an HNC in Accountancy and Financial Management at evening classes, this led to 2 years in a local accountant.
I then spent 20 years working for a large financial institution completing various roles such as team manager in regulated and non-regulated areas before spending the last 5 years in a role of PMO preparing reports which the senior colleagues within the bank used to keep themselves informed on the strategic plans the bank had agreed at the beginning of the financial year.
I have become a keen gardener during lockdown growing vegetables for the first time, this year I am adding a few more varieties.
I will be looking for a couple of fund-raising ideas to complete to raise funds for AVBF towards the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, if I can complete Sleep in the Park and wake up with frost on my sleeping bag and do the Edinburgh Moonwalk (with my husband also wearing a decorated a bra) I will give most things a consideration.
Alison Kershaw-Stevenson - The Treasurer
Served for 10 years in the Royal Navy during the 80's seeing active service during the
Falklands War and serving on numerous ships and shore establishments.
When Medically discharged I completed a degree in Catering Management. Then moved
into Facilities management working for large facility providers in management positions.
Eventually setting up my own company with a working partner until I was head hunted by
Tesco to operate in a consultancy role for them in Hungary. After 5 months I was asked to
set up my own company in Hungary, which I did and became a provider of facility services
for 30 large supermarkets and employing over 300 workers. I did this for 8 years until
eventually returning to the UK due to health issues.
I gained considerable knowledge of managing people and a large company which presented
a number of challenges on a daily basis. I also gained experience in a variety of other roles
including accounts and marketing. I have been involved with other mental health charities
but my loyalty and commitment is behind AVBF providing support and dogs to veterans as
their support to myself and my family have been immeasurable
Kenny Egan - Secretary