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Canine Concern Scotland Trust is a Scottish Charity, number SC014924.  The Trustee, Canine Concern Scotland Trustee Limited, is responsible for the overall governance and operation of the Trust.  The Trustee Directors meet at least twice a year and also hold a joint meeting with Area Representatives every year.  A detailed Annual Report, including Annual Accounts, is made available to all members and other interested parties and is published on the Trust’s website.  There are three committees in place covering Finance & Fundraising, Therapet and Education & Legislation.


The day to day administration of the Trust is delegated by the Trustee to the Chief Executive Officer, the Honorary Secretary & Treasurer and employed Administrators. The administration office was moved to Edinburgh in 2013. The Trust has invested in a sophisticated electronic document management system for its files and records.


The Trust has volunteer Area Representatives throughout Scotland who oversee the Therapet Volunteers in their own areas. The Volunteers carry out the very important Therapet Service which involves taking their dogs, and some cats, to visit people in a wide range of places including care homes, hospitals, hospices, secure units, schools and universities.


Mel Hughes

Chief Executive Officer, Support and Development

Mel was appointed to the new post of Support and Development Officer in April 2019 having joined the Trust as a volunteer in early 2018. 

Mel was promoted to the position of Chief Executive Officer on 1st January 2020.


Mel has had a diverse career in education spanning 23 years working in private and boarding schools, inner city state schools, as well as recently working with children and young adults requiring Additional Support for Learning in West Lothian. Mel spent a total of nine years in the positions of High School Principal and Head of Middle School in an international school in Singapore. She also spent several years as an international school Accreditation Officer working in schools with varying curricular approaches in countries including Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand and South Korea. She returned to the UK in 2015 where she decided to fulfil a lifelong ambition and learn to drive an articulated lorry!


Through her experiences, Mel has witnessed the positive impact dogs can have on the physical and mental welfare of children and adults. She supports several animal charities and has volunteered in animal rescue centres here and abroad. Mel brought three animal shelter cats back with her from Singapore and has three dogs, all of which were re-homed from families in Scotland. Her Rough Collie is a registered Therapet, undertaking weekly visits to an assisted living centre in West Lothian and completing 'Paws for Stress' sessions at Tertiary institutions. Her Bearded Collie/Sheltie cross won the Scruffts 'Most Handsome Dog' title at the Scottish heat in 2018 and placed third in his class at the semi-finals in London. Her Cairn Terrier has a quiet life!  When not working, Mel enjoys walking and weekends in her motorhome with her dogs, she fosters the occasional puppy and she is a member of her local Gala Committee.

Lesley Bird

Administration Supervisor

Lesley Bird joined in August 2013.


She has been a happy dog owner for over 40 years and is currently sharing her life with a handsome young Lurcher called Romey (cross Greyhound/Saluki).  Romey is a rescue dog and thought to possibly have belonged to the travelling people, having been found as a stray in Cambridgeshire. He is almost 2 years old and very nervous, but is settling down well and is lucky to be able to come into the office as Jess did previously.

I have been involved previously in dog training and obedience competitions, not having climbed to Crufts level, but having loved every minor rosette I was lucky enough to win with my dogs. I am also a keen supporter of several animal charities – SPCA, Dogs Trust, WWF, Redwings Sanctuary and The Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home.”

Norma Lawson Hill


Norma Lawson Hill joined in March 2014


Hello, my name’s Norma, I’m the new face and voice in administration. I’m the mother of two grown up boys and live with my two Tonkinese Cats (sisters) in Edinburgh


What’s brought me to Therapet? After 13 enjoyable years working in a GP practice, my life long love of animals of all kinds has drawn me here. As a sponsor of Guide Dogs for The Blind and various other charities I couldn’t really think of a better way to spend my working days. Animals have always given me pleasure and support so I know how valuable Therapets work is for others.


Carole Dryburgh


Carole Dryburgh joined in September 2017


Carole first volunteered with us by helping to fill envelopes for the tri-annual bulletin, and then by coming into the office to help out with the welcome, but increasing number of enquiries!  Now she’s joined our administration team of three part-time staff in Edinburgh.

An animal lover of all types, both domesticated and wild, Carole very much relished the opportunity of joining CCST.  It was her heart’s choice.  Knowing that Romey, the lovely Lurcher and ‘unofficial’  office  Therapet  (as had been his predecessor Jess),  would also be there on a daily basis, made the decision all the easier! 

Don’t be confused however into thinking you are speaking to Norma, if you phone or pop into the office, it may be Carole as they are in fact sisters!

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