Meet the team waiting to get to know you and your pet

At Eden Vets we’re a close-knit team of people dedicated to animal welfare. Book an appointment for your pet and you’ll soon get to know us, but here are some background notes to get you started!


Jo Griffin – BVSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Jo knew she wanted to be a Vet from the age of 3. Growing up in a house full of cats, dogs and horses only encouraged these ambitions! Today she still has a house full of pets and spends much of her spare time volunteering with British Eventing, helping to organise and run equine cross-country events. In 2012, Jo joined the volunteers at The London Olympics and Paralympics, rubbing shoulders with the elite sports men and women of the horse world.

Jo has been at Eden Vets since 2002 having previously worked at practices in Kent and Cheshire. Coincidentally, Jo and Sarah have both worked at the same practice in Maidstone, but at different times! Jo is particularly interested in radiography and age-related illness.


Alex Haine – BVM&S MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Alex has always liked animals, and when he was young bred several generations of guinea pigs, although he admits not all intentionally!

He grew up in Jersey and undertook his Vet training at Edinburgh University Vet School. He enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine but is particularly interested in surgery and ophthalmology.

Alex says that nowhere quite compares to the island paradise of Jersey but he enjoys getting out and about in Cumbria and seeing some real mountains.


Chelsea Nichol – BVSc MRCVS

Clinical Lead

Chelsea moved to a small holding in the Borders when she was a teenager. She had dogs, cats and bunnies from a young age and has been a horse rider since the age of 6.

Chelsea graduated from Liverpool University Vet School in 2011, but had gained some pre-training experience at Eden and Border Vets prior to undertaking her study. She has worked in a mixed practice in Alston before deciding to join the team here at Eden and focus on a pure small animals practice. Chelsea has an interest in all aspects of small animal practice, particularly preventative health care.

In her spare time Chelsea enjoys riding her Dales pony Maggie, knitting and baking, and walking her terrier Alfie.


Vicky Galpin

Lead Nurse

Vicky joined the Eden Veterinary Centre in 2012 as a student nurse and qualified in 2014.

At Eden she takes an active role in our nursing clinics and is hoping to pursue her interest in physiotherapy for animals recovering from surgery or suffering with musculoskeletal disorders.

She currently lives with her parents in The Borders on the family farm. She has many pets including dogs, cats and horses. Followers of British Eventing may recognise Vicky as she is a regular participant in horse trials across the country.

Sarah Webb

Sara Webb

Student Nurse

Sarah was a Receptionist with the Practice for a number of years until the dream of becoming a qualified vet nurse started to become a reality. Sarah’s training has clearly benefited from her existing wide knowledge of the workings of the Practice.

Sarah has a cute bundle of Pomeranian fun called Phoebe.


Tori Armstrong

Student Veterinary Nurse

Tori is in the first year of her honours degree at Edinburgh Napier University. For as long as she can remember Tori has always had a passion for working with animals. She has grown up with a wide variety of animals including hamsters, rabbits, fish plus dogs and cats.

Tori enjoys a small animals practice environment, with the interesting variety that brings. At home, she has two dogs (poodle and spaniel) and two cats.


Lauren Smith


Lauren joined us in 2016. She has a developed a wide range of skills during her vet nursing career and is our resident dog behaviour expert. Lauren runs the puppy classes, helping to train new puppies (and their human companions)! Lauren has an adorable Labrador called Oscar.
Gemma Slater.

Gemma Slater


Gemma delivers animal nursing both at Eden and at the sister-Practice, Border Vets. She can be clipping the nails of a cat and assisting with an operation on a guinea pig in the morning, and assisting with TB testing of cows in the afternoon.

Gemma is part of the Carlisle Young Farmers and regularly supports local agricultural shows. She has a border collie called Bess and a small herd of
pedigree cows.


Judith Haile


Since joining us in the spring of 2013, Judith has become the first point of contact for many clients of The Eden Veterinary Centre. Her friendly, reassuring manner is second to none, putting both clients and patients at ease from the moment they arrive.

As a pet owner herself, Judith is able to appreciate the importance of animals in our lives and regular visitors will be able to spot her springer spaniel, Izzy, curled by her feet most days. Judith is the official Eden Vets First Aider and Izzy holds a certificate of attendance on the course, although she didn’t actually take the practical exam at the end!


Claire Bonfield


Claire joined the Practice in 2017. She has an extensive understanding of retail management and is keen to ensure all Eden clients receive a high level of customer service.

Claire has had a passion for animals since childhood, having kept guinea pigs, cats, mice, horses and ponies. In her spare time, Claire enjoys running, cycling, and walking in the countryside with her partner and their Parson’s Terrier Jack.


Penny Brown

Business Manager

Penny has extensive business management experience, supported by an MBA. She works closely with the team to ensure the services and experience our clients and patients receive is the best possible. Although she is usually working at her desk, Penny can sometimes be found helping out with some practical tasks when required or seen chatting to the in-patients.

Penny returned to her native Cumbria having lived and worked away for over 20 years. When not at the practice, she and Riley, her yorkshire terrier, have been enjoying exploring walks and tea-stops in the Lakes and the Scottish borders.

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