A FORMER Whitchurch mayor has made a return to Shropshire after taking over at a dog assistance charity after working for a children's hospice.

Shropshire-based national charity, Dog Assistance in Disability (Dog A.I.D.) have announced that Mike McDonald has joined the charity to enable the organisation to develop and expand its services throughout the UK.

Mike, 51, from Whitchurch, Shropshire, brings a wealth of third sector and commercial experience having most recently been chief executive of a children’s hospice in Stoke and has had influence on the national children’s palliative care sector through work with both Hospice UK and Together for Short Lives.

With an MA in Leadership, he is also in the course of completing a PhD in Health Policy and Governance at Keele University. Mike will also be well known to the residents of Whitchurch, having served two terms as mayor between 2015 and 2017.

Sandra Fraser, Chair of Dog A.I.D. is delighted with the appointment and is looking forward to the future.

She said: “We are delighted that Mike is joining us, especially with such a wealth of charity experience.

Our sole focus at Dog A.I.D. is to be able to help more people with disabilities have access to trainers and the knowledge required to train their own dog to assist with independence. Expanding the team will help us to broaden our reach and development of services and we are incredibly grateful to the Childwick Trust, the Roger and Jean Jefcoate Trust, the Thomas J Horne Memorial Trust, the PF Charitable Trust and The Kennel Club Charitable Trust for helping us to achieve this.”

Mike added: “I am really looking forward to joining the Dog A.I.D. team who are relentlessly working to take the organisation to the next level.

"It is immeasurable what a life-changing difference Assistance Dogs can make to disabled people.”