The Facilitators

“Who are the facilitators? It’s your group, it might be you!”

Our Active Learning facilitators are listed here under their broad subject headings but remember – in Active Learning it’s your group so if you want to nominate your own facilitator (it might be you!) then let us know – you may need some training so give us ample notice.

Meet our facilitators:

  Andrew Curwen
A vet by training Andrew has, after a period in practice, worked mainly in senior management for Bayer and in recent years, as CEO, has built up XLVets UK Ltd to the largest national marketing group of high end veterinary practices in Europe. He is an extraordinarily talented facilitator and can handle any style or level. He is a keen road cyclist and claims to be uncatchable on the Col de Joux Planes.
  Gordon Dodd
Having graduated in Theoretical Physics, from St Andrews, Gordon went on to work as a Senior Research Scientist with ICI before broadening into the role of business analyst and facilitator in the petrochemical industry. Having worked all over Europe Gordon eventually returned to the North of England to set up a business consultancy of his own. Gordon conducts whole business alignment and has also developed innovative techniques in cultural assessment, business modelling and insights into staff motivation- he is the man behind GoDoLtd whose motivational framework software is used within CPDActif to assess how individuals are motivated and how they interact with the world. In a former life Gordon captained Scottish Universities XV and played for the combined British Students XV. His style, technique and dress sense is at times extraordinary – not to be missed!
  Roger Scott
Once described by his business partner as the ultimate substitute – always sat on the bench but can play any position when required! Aswell as Director of CPD Actif Roger is a vet whose key clinical interest is farm practice with 28 years of top end experience in beef, sheep and dairy. As a manager and business owner Roger has enjoyed setting up and running a vet practice, a pet shop and two training companies. In his ample spare time he sleeps and eats. Roger loves trying to sail and ski but the only things he’s actually good at are food and wine! Roger is a LANTRA registered trainer.
Lee-Anne Oliver

Lee-Anne is a vet who lives on Hadrians Wall where she and her husband farm a herd of 70 Limousin cows.  Lee-Anne is a partner in a mixed practice in Hexham where she heads up the Farm Department. Additional skills include time as a VIO at SAC and a brief spell as a pig farmer and butcher! Sportswise Lee-Anne is an experienced endurance rider, a keen runner and cyclist. Lee-Anne is a LANTRA registered trainer. 
  Claire Davies
Claire lives on a small farm and juggles being a vet, a mum and helping her husband run an agricultural machinery business. Claire has a broad interest in farm clinical practice and has over 10 years experience at the cutting edge. Claire has a particular interest in helping recent graduates cope with life in farm practice, she is very practical but is also a very methodical theorist. Claire’s interests outside of veterinary work are driving HGVs, cycling, running and skiing. Clare has completed the Great North Run ten times and every time darn fast. Claire is a LANTRA registered trainer.
  Richard Matthews
Richard is Senior Clinical Director at CVS-Castle Vets of Barnard Castle. He is an experienced mixed practitioner. Richard is very much a francophile with a keen interest in mainly relaxing but also sailing, triathlon, ironman and skiing including ski-mountaineering. He can be seen here racing in his beloved 1935 Fraser Nash and when he’s not doing that he’ll be sailing his Drascombe Lugger in Ullswater. 
  John Macfarlane
John is a vet with over 30 years experience of predominantly farm practice in Northumberland. He is particularly interested in managing the delivery of beef and sheep services and in drug purchasing. Ex Chairman of XLVets John boasts a wide portfolio of skill and experience. He has climbed every munro in Scotland and is a keen skier in winter on and off-piste. As the photo suggests his other pastime is sailing – that’s him in the Whitsundays.
  Rod Welford
Rod is a partner in a mixed vet practice in The Lake District. He is primarily a farm vet but also manages a large chunk of the business. He is one of our most experienced mountain men with incomparable experience in paragliding, fell running, ski mountaineering and mountain biking. He is truly extreme, so be warned, but he has a very calm side to him when facilitating – almost disconcerting!
  David Black
David wears many hats, two of his biggest being MD of both Paragon Vet Group in Cumbria and sitting on the board of the Veterinary Defence Society. Clinically he is interested in advanced breeding techniques and managerially he is interested in everything! With a phenomenal track record of experience in a variety of fields he can contribute to a wide range of courses and is an experienced facilitator. David enjoys mountaineering and skiing.
  Adrian Oliver
  Matthew Tong
Matthew has been in equine practice in Cambridgeshire for 30 years and is Senior Partner at Fellowes Farm Equine Clinic in Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. He is holder of certificates in Equine Practice (for which he also served his time as RCVS examiner) and Radiology. Matthew is comfortable facilitating equine active learning at any level both clinical and managerial. As a committee member of the Association of Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons and sitting on the Members Service Group at BVA he is well tuned in to what people should be doing and what people want! He is a huge fan of music, loves wine and describes himself as an enthusiastic recreational skier.
  Colin Mitchell
Colin has over 20 years experience in equine practice and more latterly has been heading up the equine team in his own practice. With his certificates in Equine Practice and Practice Management Colin is the ultimate safe pair of hands for both equine and business orientated courses. Married to Liz, has two children and is passionate about skiing and cycling. Colin is perfect for the job. 
  Liz Mitchell
With over a decade of experience in equine practice, and a number of years as a Practice Director, Liz can facilitate courses both clinical and managerial. Liz holds a certificate in Equine Practice and is editor of the Equine Matters journal. Activity-wise, Liz is the most experienced skier on our panel and holds The Ski Club of Great Britain Off -Piste Purple Award. In summer Liz is a keen fell runner and mountain biker. Liz is married to Colin and they have two children.
  Alison Cunningham
Alison is a vet with over 25 years experience in a variety of small animal practices including a referral practice in Gateshead.  She is currently Head of Small Animal Medicine at Scott Mitchell Associates in Hexham where she juggles a part time post with a busy social life and bringing up her husband and two children! She enjoys cycling, walking and skiing, and the occasional glass of wine. 
  Lauren Porteus
  Sarah Matthewson
After studying at the University of Leeds, Sarah joined a mixed veterinary practice in Northumberland where she is currently a Project Manager in the Small Animal department. Sarah deals with handling bookings and the admin side of things, as well as cooking up a storm in the chalet kitchen. She enjoys skiing, fell walking and farming her small flock of Herdwick sheep.