Meet our Team - Charity Advisors

Nik Gardner BA (Hons), PGCE
Educational Advisor

After graduating with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 1999, I then spent a year studying for a postgraduate certificate in Education (PGCE).

Once qualified as an Infant teacher, I have worked in four schools across the county of North Somerset. This has been in the capacity as teacher, then Deputy, before taking on my first Headship in 2009. In 2012 I took up a post at Winford (near Bristol Airport) and that is where I am still Headteacher. Winford C of E Primary School has grown during my time from a 130 pupil school, to a current nearly 200 pupil school, and we will be full at 210.

Whilst at Winford, I became interested by the idea of a dog in school. Wanting to do things the right way, I contacted DHK and from there my eyes were opened to a world of dogs and the unique bond between human and dog, positive training methods and the sheer impact of having a dog in school.

DHK have been instrumental in the culture of the school changing to one that understands dogs, their needs and how they can help us. Our DHK dog Fernie and puppy in training Tango really do live the values of DHK (non-violence, empathy, respect, kindness, love, responsibility, friendship and trust) and help us to live them too. Fernie has been certified since 2016 and Tango is still in training. I have also had the honour of assisting Gail Laurence with the delivery of the recent Child Ambassador Program, where myself as a teacher and Gail as a dog trainer have made a great team to help educate a group of children.

I am delighted to support DHK and hopefully bring some experience from an educational perspective. We have four dogs at home (3 Labradors and an ancient Border Terrier), and all of our family are all involved in promoting the charity and training the dogs. They really are an integral part of our family and we are very proud to be able to be a part of DHK.


Simon Thompson BVetMed CertSAS MRCVS
Veterinary Advisor

Since graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in 1995 I have worked in Charter Veterinary Hospital Group at Roundswell, Ilfracombe, Pilton, Newport and Braunton. In 2002 I became an RCVS certificate holder in Small Animal Surgery and am currently based at Charter Veterinary Hospital in Roundswell where as well as doing some first opinion work I coordinate our internal and external referral services treating surgical cases for veterinary centres across the South West.

I work within a supportive and knowledgeable team of nurses and vets all with a passion to provide above average veterinary care, all with a philosophy to care for your pets as we would our own.

We are happy to be supporting Dogs Helping Kids for many reasons. Every day, within our clinics we are exposed to the immeasurable joy and sometimes sincere heartache associated with people sharing their lives with pets. These extremes of emotion have foundations in simple values our pets bring to us. A dog always knows how to be an agreeable friend, asking no questions and passing no criticisms.

Many responsibilities come with owning a dog, time commitments, costs of feeding, vaccinations, worming and parasite control, before we even start to worry about the cost of pet insurance or potential veterinary fees if they have an accident or succumb to an illness. As such not all children are fortunate enough to be able to have a dog in their lives. The work of DHK can particularly help these children to share some of that joy and friendship pet owners are fortunate enough to experience.

Other than a puppy trying to lick your face, there are few greater joys than that of a dog just wanting to share all or even part of its day with you.


Liam Landymore
Teenage Advisor

I am 17 years old and have a DHK Trainee Support School Dog, Charlie, who helped me overcome my PTSD. I have been involved in training Charlie, with the help of DHK, for nearly 3 years. Through training Charlie, I found out that I am pretty good at dog training, and that I have a real passion for it. I really want to show people how great training is using force free training methods. I get a thrill when I see how dogs develop through dog training. I like seeing dogs having fun and I also love seeing the relationship owners can get with their dog through training. Every dog is an individual and it's seeing what makes them tick and work, no two dogs are the same. It's never boring and they make me laugh.

I work for DHK as their Teenage Advisor, help at workshops and have completed my first year on dog behaviour/dog body language with DHK. During 2015 I started my training with IMDT, undertook a Chirag Patel's Puppy Instructors course and also a TTouch Practitioners Course with Sarah Fisher ( DHK's Patron).

I started Liam's MOB to inspire more men to be proactive with force free, positive reinforcement training and to educate dog/child safety.
I seem to be the only male on a lot of courses, so I would like to address this balance and get more "Men On Board".


contact us
Contact us
     facebook logo

©DHK Dogs Helping Kids, Registered Charity

Callanish, Eastacombe, Tawstock, Barnstaple,
North Devon, EX31 3NX