Our team

Get to know us a little better


Training Consultants

Carolyne Crowe

Carolyne is an equine vet, personal performance coach, mentor, international speaker, researcher and lecturer, and has a Masters degree in Workplace Health and Wellbeing. As Head of Training at the VDS, and a founding member of the Coach of Excellence Accreditation, Carolyne was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 2020 for her outstanding contribution to the profession.

Elly Russell

Elly is a small animal vet currently undertaking a PhD researching the role communication plays in the delivery of safe, effective veterinary care. Elly is passionate about supporting vet teams develop the communication practices they need to achieve not only high work place performance, but also fulfilling, happy careers.

Kirsty Sturman

Kirsty is a qualified coach and trainer with expertise in resilience, communication and time management. Kirsty has over 20 years experience in the veterinary sector with roles from sales and marketing to business strategy and consultancy. Kirsty is passionate about helping teams and individuals to thrive in often challenging environments, whilst helping them to grow and develop. Outside her role at VDST Kirsty is a passionate dressage coach and resilience/mindset coach.

Ruth Serlin

Ruth is a small animal vet who has spent much of her career working for charities or in education. Ever the ‘word nerd’, she is fascinated by how communication works. She is currently completing an MA in Applied Linguistics and is particularly interested in vet-client communication and pet euthanasia. Her goal here at VDS Training is to help veterinary professionals recognise and develop their expertise in communication because she believes this is the key to thriving in practice.

Dr Iain Price

Iain is a qualified neuroscientist, executive coach, experienced trainer and educator who is passionate about elevating people’s thinking to help them better understand themselves and their teams. Iain combines an infectious, enthusiastic training style with a disarming, insightful and thought-provoking coaching approach. Iain grew up working on a farm in the Welsh borders and is married to a GP.


Training Advisors

Penny Barker

Penny is a coach, trainer and NLP Practitioner, specialising in communication skills, resilience, leadership and team development. She is a small animal vet and former management consultant.

Ebony Escalona

Ebony Escalona is an equine vet, vetmed educator, speaker and mentor. She focuses on unlocking people’s potential and learning opportunities in personal leadership, career pathways and mindsets.

Helen Harris

Helen is an RVN, coach and trainer. She has extensive experience with veterinary nurse education and training, qualification development and quality assurance.

Jen Gale

Jen is a small animal vet, coach, speaker and mentor. She is passionate about helping people to live their best lives.

Freya Rooke

Freya, a dedicated researcher and educator in veterinary medicine, holds an MRes and BSc from the University West of England, and a PhD from the University of Nottingham's School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. Her passion lies in quality improvement (QI), evident through her recent thesis. Eager to promote QI methods within the veterinary sector and share her insights with others.