Meet our Practitioners

Nici Maxwell (she/her) and Jackson and Cleo 

Hi! My name is Nicola but everyone calls me Nici. I am the founder of PAWS CIC and the proud mumma of Jackson, Rudy and Cleo. I work with my black Labrador Jackson, going into schools and supporting young people. I am extremely passionate about PAWS and the difference I believe we can make to everyone who needs our support. 

Read more about my qualifications here.

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Laurie MClellan (she/her) and willow

Hi, I’m Laurie and I’m a qualified teacher. I work with my rescue dog, Willow, doing wellbeing interventions for young people. She’s a unique mix of lots of breeds and loves to make people laugh with her excited howl!

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Leila (she/her) and KYRO

I have lots of experience working with people and more recently with animals too: I have taught primary school children in the past and I now work as a counsellor and a counselling tutor. 

With PAWS I have welcomed the opportunity to work therapeutically with young people and my dog! This has been in schools and also 1-1 walk and talks. I also run Mental Health First Aider courses. 

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Kirsty Elliot-Walker (she/her) and Rudy

Hi I’m Kirsty! I’m a qualified counsellor with experience working with young people and adults. I’ve recently joined the PAWS team working therapeutically with an incredible dog! I support alongside young people in variety of settings, including residential homes and 1:1 walk and talks.  I have a great passion in well-being and anything dog related! I believe these both goes hand in hand to allow us to begin to heal, grow and achieve our potential. 

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Caroline Cuddy (she/her)and Louie

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Hello, I'm Caroline and I'm a qualified teacher, with experience in providing children with personalised learning programmes to support with educational goals, as well as social and life skills. Caroline will be providing wellbeing interventions alongside her dog Louie, a loving Sprollie (Border Collie cross Springer Spaniel) who loves to meet people and form new friendships.

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Sam Cracknell (she/her) and Cookie

I’m Sam and the dog I’ll be working with is my older Beagle Cookie who is 7 years old. I’m a trainee counsellor and Cookie is a professional sleeper! Together we will be supporting looked after young people in a local primary school to help support their well being and self esteem through animal assisted play therapy. Cookie loves to be brushed and stroked and loves a treat, but is equally happy to curl up and listen to a story, so together we will make our young people feel very welcome. 

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Debbie Vallance (SHE/HER) and Ozzie

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I'm Debbie and I'm a qualified and experienced Counsellor working with adults, children and young people of all ages. Ozzie is my cheeky yet super smart 7 year old Irish rescue hound, who has supported me personally as a therapy dog over these years We enjoy many adventures together including long walks, dog sports like bikejor, and scent work activities . With PAWS we will be working together to provide therapeutic and wellbeing support both to children and young people in school and from their homes, depending on their individual needs

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Rosie Horler (she/her)and Keya

Hi I’m Rosie! I work with my loveable springer spaniel Keya. We work together with neurodivergent young people, visiting private clients as a mentor to support them with whatever needs or challenges they may be going through. Keya joined Rosie's family during lockdown after not passing her sniffer dog training for being too soft and affectionate and being rehomed. She now lives with Rosie's mum as her forever home and a life full of cuddles and affection. Keya and Rosie have a great connection and enjoy being wrapped up like burrito’s on the sofa or going sea swimming.

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Hiya I’m Rob! I am a fully qualified and BACP registered counsellor. Teaming up with my boy Bailey - a 2 year old Labrador cross. Me and Bailey offer a calming and exciting environment for clients to explore their thoughts and feelings. 

Rob Millist (he/him)and Bailey

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Carli Freeman (she/her)and Hollie

Hello, I’m Carli and I have been a primary school teacher for over 20 years. 7 years ago, I began my training as a counsellor and hypnotherapist and shortly after I began a new roll in a primary school which enables me to work with pupils to support their wellbeing and help them develop their emotional literacy and social skills. In addition to this I run a small private counselling practice,working with both young people and adults. I am also very fortunate to live with Hollie, my black Labrador. I am now able to combine my experience and qualifications with my love of animals to work therapeutically with Hollie in a variety of settings to support young people.

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Jo Clarkson (SHE/HER) and Jazz

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My name's Jo and I work for PAWS as a well-being practitioner and therapist, with my collie who is called Jazz.

I love helping people using creativity and the imagination as it's a great way to have fun and problem solve. Me and Jazz are both at our happiest when we're in nature and outdoors.

My training is as a dramatherapist and I have worked with many different people who would like some help with problems from the past that affect them in the present. 

 In our PAWS sessions young people connect with Jazz and learn about her behaviour and feelings, which in turn  helps them gain insight about their own feelings, as well as their strengths and needs.

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Katrya Jantawong (she/her)

Hiya! My name is Katrya and I manage all the social media and marketing for PAWS although, Nici tends to call me her ‘everything person’. I joined PAWS November 2021 and it has been the best thing I have ever done. Despite not owning any dogs or cats of my own (I do have a crested gecko), I have a great passion for animals and wish to work with them as my career progresses. 

You can find out more about my journey with PAWS here.

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