Spana welcome Marianne Davies as interim Chair of Trustees

Marianne Davies - Spana

SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) announced that Marianne Davies has been appointed as the charity’s interim Chair of Trustees on Monday, 15th April 2024. Marianne was formally voted into her new role by the SPANA Board of Trustees on 25 March 2024 following the resignation of former Chair of Trustees, Dr Mary-Lorraine Hughes, who has supported the charity for 40 years.

A senior HR and change professional, Marianne currently works as Global Head of People Services at GSK, where she has spent much of her executive career. She has a strong interest in animal welfare and, having visited many countries where SPANA works, is keen to contribute to improving the lives of working animals and their communities. Marianne joined SPANA’s Board of Trustees in September 2021 and is also a member of SPANA’s People and Safeguarding Committee. In addition to her work as a Trustee, Marianne has raised vital funds for SPANA by running the London Marathon in 2023.  

Marianne Davies said: “During my three years as a Trustee of SPANA, I have been inspired by the charity’s extraordinary support for working animals. I am excited and honoured to now be appointed Chair of Trustees at SPANA, during a time when the charity is significantly developing its work to meet the growing challenges it faces from issues such as rising global poverty, political instability, and climate change.  

During my three years as a Trustee of SPANA, I have been inspired by the charity’s extraordinary support for working animals.

Marianne Davies

“SPANA’s strategy for 2023-27 outlines an ambitious vision for the future of the charity and how we will radically extend our reach and impact during these turbulent times. A number of exciting new initiatives are currently in development at SPANA, which will be truly transformative for working animals and the communities they so loyally support.  


SPANA’s Chief Executive, Linda Edwards, said: “We are delighted that Marianne Davies has been appointed as our Chair of Trustees at SPANA. Marianne’s commitment to working animal welfare and our plans for SPANA will help ensure the charity can transform the lives of working animals.”  

Stepping down from the position, Mary-Lorraine Hughes said: “As the charity moves into its second century, the time seems right for me to stand aside. It has been a pleasure to work alongside skilled and committed staff members, both in the UK and the various countries in which SPANA operates.

“I wish SPANA a successful future in focusing on the care of working animals: such worthwhile and extremely important work.” 

SPANA extends its sincere thanks to Mary-Lorraine for her years of commitment and support to SPANA and the needs of working animals. 

SPANA is the world’s longest-running global charity dedicated to the welfare of working animals. Globally, it is estimated that more than 200 million working animals support families’ livelihoods in low-income communities through activities such as transporting food, water, goods and firewood. Yet, despite the importance of their work, working animals often face complicated lives and poor welfare, toiling in extreme conditions, with no available veterinary treatment.  

 In 2022, the charity provided vital veterinary treatment, care and support to 306,412 working animals. It also taught animal welfare lessons to 87,241 children and provided training in animal care to 89,924 working animal owners. 

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