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Our people

NAWT CEO Clare Williams with Smirnoff the cat.
NAWT CEO Clare Williams with Smirnoff the cat.

Clare Williams - Chief Executive Officer

After a long career in retailing Clare became involved with the Trust as a part-time home checker, before joining as Operations Director in 2007. She became CEO in 2013.

Clare is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the charity’s work including operations at its five rehoming centres in Berkshire, Cornwall, Essex, Hertfordshire and Somerset.

Passionate about animals as a child but not an actual pet owner until adulthood, Clare at one time owned 11 pets – a rescue horse and pony that were neglected by their owner, three dogs, three cats, two guinea pigs and a rabbit.  She now owns Dixie a German Shepherd and Sprout a rescue Staffie cross.


Jacquie Gaywood with Libby
Jacquie Cottrell with Libby

Jacquie Cottrell - Director of Finance

Jacquie joined NAWT in March 2004 as a Finance Assistant and is now responsible for the Trust’s financial planning, reporting and management as well the strategic direction of NAWT’s growing number of retail outlets.

Jacquie homed Libby, a Staffie crossbreed, who arrived at the Watford centre in 2005 as a stray having been found wandering in Wales at just 8-10 weeks old. It was love at first sight and Libby now joins Jacquie in the office most days, where she loves all the attention she receives and is considered as a member of the Head Office team!



Dawn Webster - Director of Administration

Dawn Webster, Director of Administration and Badger
Dawn Webster and Badger

Dawn originally joined the Trust in September 1999 as a volunteer in the trading shop selling Christmas cards and gifts. In September 2004 she joined the Head Office team as PA to the Chief Executive and Administration Manager.

Dawn’s main responsibilities are ensuring the charity complies with charity legislation and regulations, managing and growing legacy income, supporter and fundraiser management and last but not least, overseeing the strategic direction of the trading company.

Dawn rehomed her first cats from NAWT in 2000, Millie and Gunner, although sadly Gunner died shortly after.  Badger cat joined the household in 2006 to keep Millie company and help her keep the weight off but is now on his own and looking for another companion.



Alex Spurgeon, Supporter Relationship Manager
Alex Spurgeon, Supporter Relationship Manager

Alex Spurgeon - Supporter Relationship Manager

Alex joined NAWT in October 2015 and is responsible for fundraising at the Trust, building and maintaining supporter relations, and sourcing sustainable streams of income.

Alex shares her home with 6-year-old Mr Mistoffelees, an affectionate all-black tomcat who rules the roost. Alex is now on the lookout for a rescue dog to join the family, but it will have to be a special kind of pooch to get Mr Mistoffelees’ seal of approval.





Centre Managers


Louise Clarke – Cornwall

Louise Clarke, Cornwall Centre Manager
Louise Clarke, Cornwall Centre Manager

Louise joined Cornwall as Centre Manager in January 2008 following ten years in a similar role at Leicester Animal Rescue.

Louise’s pets include an elderly Lurcher called Poppy, Willow, a Jack Russell from NAWT, who arrived the centre as a very nervous stray and two cats, Sweep and Naughty Klee, also from NAWT.  Louise took pity on Sweep after he had a difficult operation to have an eye removed, and Klee had hip and leg issues as a kitten from which she has made a full recovery.

An avid Volkswagen fan, Louise sometimes combines her love of animals and the Cornwall countryside by holding NAWT fundraising events at VW shows.


Jackie De Friez, Hertordshire Centre Manager
Jackie De Friez, Hertfordshire Centre Manager

Jackie De Friez – Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire centre manager Jackie De Friez has worked in various animal welfare roles for nearly 30 years. These include periods as a RSPCA veterinary nurse, animal carer and centre manager at Chesnuts Cat Sanctuary and running her own pet care business. She joined NAWT in August 2010.

Jackie’s role as Centre Manager allows her to combine her love of animals with helping people, as she deals with the volunteer and staff recruitment and regularly attends local events and talks to raise the profile of the NAWT.

Jackie owns a 14 year-old semi feral cat, Fred, who dislikes all other animals and most humans, which prevents her from taking home any other pets. Despite this, Jackie describes Fred as the most worshipped cat she has ever owned.



Lizzie Reffell, Clacton centre manager 

Lizzie Reffell - Essex - Clacton

Lizzie joined the NAWT team in March 2012 after pursuing a career working with all kinds of species including cattle, chickens, dogs, horses and pigs.

It wasn’t until Lizzie began training her first dogs - two Labrador puppies - that her passion for dogs started and she began working for the Dogs Trust in 2001 as kennel staff before progressing to manager.

As Clacton manager Lizzie oversees the entire centre, offering advice to the public as well as hope to all the animals that come through NAWT’s doors.



Tracy Waldron, Berkshire centre manager
Tracy Waldron, Berkshire centre manager

Tracy Waldron - Berkshire 

Having spent much of her working life in a corporate firm managing very large numbers of staff, Tracy began working for a children’s charity in recent years as a fundraiser and combined this with volunteering for several animal rescues in her local area. Tracy soon realised she would like to use her previous experiences and work full time for an animal charity and joined NAWT in March 2015. 

Tracy currently owns two border terriers having recently lost her eldest dog, Sid, at the grand old age of 17. Tracy credits Sid with introducing and educating her into the world of rescue as he came from a puppy farm, extremely traumatised, and after a lot of patience went on to help at fundraising events.

In any spare time available after tiring out two fit border terriers Tracy and her partner are keen England rugby supporters, going to any matches they can get to. 


Caron Lane, Somerset centre manager
Caron Lane, Somerset centre manager 

Caron Lane - Somerset 

Caron joined NAWT in February 2015. Having studied Psychology at University Caron went on to spend 22 years working in the field of learning disability for the charity Mencap. Looking to stay in the voluntary sector but to fulfil her passion for animals, Caron joined Margaret Green Animal Rescue as their General Manager in 2013. Caron was keen to have a more hands on role with a variety of animals and moving to our Somerset centre means that she can do just that. 

Having rehomed several pets in the past, Caron currently owns one cat, Molly. Molly is unfortunately not keen on having other animals or even humans in her space and so she is Caron’s only pet.