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Our People, Our Team

Everyday people, everyday jobs, extraordinary volunteers.

All of our team give up their free time and skills to help give something back to the community. They receive no recognition or pay for this life saving work.

To become operational, as well as having the suitable level of fitness, our team members have to train and be nationally assessed to Lowland Rescue standards in first-aid, navigation, water safety and search techniques. Many of our team also extend their skills even further by completing courses in search planning and management, K9 first-aid and other related training.

It takes time, effort and dedication to become an operational member of any SAR team. Every team member is regularly re-assessed to ensure the standards are maintained.

Meet the team below. If you have any questions, then please see our F.A.Q page. If you want further information on how to join or contribute to the team, then please see our Join Us page.

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Meet the team

Steve Ball

Chairman
Level 2 Dog handler

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Steve lives near Petersfield and is an Environmental Health & Safety Engineer for a large multinational company. Steve has been with the team since 2007 and has trained and worked two search dogs, retiring his first search dog Morgan after eight years operational service. His current qualified dog is Cain.

Sharon Plowright

Call out coordinator and Police Liaison
Search Technician

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Sharon was an intensive care nurse for many years and is now a lecturer at Southampton University. Sharon has now been with the team for over 10 years. Sharon enjoys teaching the new handlers and their dogs and takes responsibility for overseeing their initial training. My current trainee dog is Izzy.

June Felstead

Secretary
Level 2 Dog handler

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June retired from the Ambulance Service and moved to Eastbourne in 2009. She has been with the team since 2012. As well as being a dog handler June is also a Team Leader and is currently Secretary for the team. She also helps with Fundraising events. “It is very rewarding to be a volunteer for such a great cause and to be able to take your dog too!!” June’s current qualified dog is Molly.

Lu Dash

Search Manager
Search Technician

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Lu joined the team in July 2013. Professionally Lu works for a Sussex based charity working with adults with learning disabilities as Head of Support. ‘There is a lot of synergy between my professional role and volunteering role, however my volunteering role has the added bonus of being outside and working with some fabulous dogs - and their owners!’

Darren Yeates

Technology Officer
Level 2 Dog Handler

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Darren joined the team in September 2014 after completing the beginner and intermediate search courses at Sussex County Dog Training. After becoming a Search Technician in December 2014, Darren and his Springer Spaniel Millie became an operational Level 2 search dog team in November 2015. They are training towards level 3. Darren is also the teams ‘geek’ and maintains the team website and radio communications. He works for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence in Guildford as a Software Development Manager, and lives in Worthing.


Follow Darren and Millie on Twitter @searchdogmillie

Steve Woods


Level 2 Dog Handler

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Steve started his search career by joining the North Sussex Search Team back in 2010, a Neighbourhood team trained and backed by Sussex Police. He saw an ad on Facebook for Search and Rescue dog training and thought his dog Ace would like to have a go! They completed and passed the basic and intermediate courses in 2013 and Steve and Ace were invited to join the team. Steve is a father of 2 boys and lives in Crawley. His ‘day’ job is to maintain all the baggage systems at Gatwick Airport. His other hobbies are snowboarding and playing with Land Rovers.

Follow Steve and Ace on Twitter @searchdogace

Dave Mewett

Equipment Officer
Search Technician

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Dave joined the team in 2011 playing “missing person” on training days and became a Search Technician in 2012. Dave is a Partner in his own dog boarding business The Dog Stop. He is also co-founder of the fantastic charity, Treats For Canine Troops. Dave lives in Lewes is married, and a dad, step dad and grandfather. Dave has 4 dogs of his own but none are trained in search. He loves to cook, bake & entertain when given the chance.

Scot Grant

Fund Raising & Medical Officer
Search Technician

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Scot joined the team in April 2012 and qualified as an operational Search Technician in October 2012. Having seen how the team worked, Scot decided he wanted to become a dog handler and started to train his border collie Charlie, however due to career progression, Scot took the hard decision to cease training charlie and offer his professional skills to the team.

Jeff Sasse

Treasurer
Dog training consultant

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Jeff is a professional dog trainer and a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). Jeff is passionate about positive reinforcement training methods that build on the relationship between the dog and their owners. Jeff is a committee member and the Treasurer for the team. Jeff is also partner and owner of Sussex County Dog Training who run the teams beginner and intermediate search courses

Alan Pryke


Level 2 Dog Handler

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Alan lives in East Sussex and has been with the team since 2013. He joined the team after a career in the Fire Brigade and wanted to use some of the skills he learned over the years in the voluntary sector. In addition to Search and Rescue Alan enjoys walking, motor racing, rugby and travel.

Steve Temple

Trainee Dog handler & Training Officer (Dogs)
Search Technician

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Steve works as an IT consultant based here in Sussex. He joined the team the September 2013, when he felt the need to do something a bit more exciting with his life, and to get away from a computer screen. He's now a operational Search Technician, supporting other dog handlers on live searches. He loves being outside and working with the dogs, he his also training his dog Merlin to become an operational search dog.

Jae Wilkes


Search Technician

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Jae joined the team in 2016. She recently retired from 15 years in the Ambulance service and prior to that she was a fire fighter for 10 years. Jae has a Border Collie named Skye who is not a search dog.



Leo Brinicombe

Trainee Dog handler
Search Technician

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Awaiting profile

Sally Bourn


Search Technician

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Awaiting profile

Vicky Grylls

Trainee Dog handler
Search Technician

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I've worked with rescue dogs since I was 16 and after even now it still puts a smile on my face to watch them go to their new homes. I'm a keen photographer (no prizes for guessing my favourite subject!). I also like growing my own veg and spending as much time as possible walking my dogs in the countryside.

Justine Miller

Trainee Dog handler
Search Technician

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Justine joined the team in the summer of 2013 and qualified as a search technician in November 2013. She works in sales and technical training for outdoor clothing company Paramo and enjoys hiking and cycling. She is training her flat-coated retriever, Rowan, towards qualification.

Nigel Kingston

Search Technician

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Nigel is an IT Service Manager for a London council and lives in East Grinstead. He joined the team in September 2015 and completed the beginners search course with his cocker spaniel Maggie. Nigel took the hard decision to stop Maggie's search training as his lengthy daily commute did not allow him to give Maggie enough practice time to progress. He continues as an operational Search Technician supporting the operational dog handlers on live searches and putting the navigation skills he learned as a teenager in the Air Training Corp to good use. His wife says he's a “Map Geek”.

Anna Nussey

Search Technician

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Anna is a professional dog trainer and qualified children's nurse. Previously she has worked at Sussex County Dog Training, Dog A.I.D and Canine Partners, she now works at Dogs Trust in Shoreham. She originally joined the team in 2011 and was an operational search technician but had a break of 4 years to train as a children's nurse in London. Now back to her passion of dog training and returned to Sussex she is pleased to be back with Search Dogs Sussex.

Cathy Neylan

Trainee Dog handler
Search Technician

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Cathy joined the team in 2016 because she felt she was at a stage in her life when she had the time to give something back to the community and to work her dog Mannu who definitely 'needs a job' to do. Cathy is a dog behaviourist based in Polegate, East Sussex. Along with 3 dogs Cathy also has a horse and cat so life really is all about animals!



Richard Betts

Training Officer (Humans)
Search Technician

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Richard is a Search Technician on the team.  After 15 years in the Fire Service he now focuses his time on his outdoor business Pied A Terre Adventures.  Richard is an Aspirant International Mountain Leader and working/studying towards completing the programme which provides him the opportunity to explore the mountains overseas.  Being part of the team allows Richard to still support the community.  In his spare time he enjoys the outdoors (running, climbing and walking) photography and spending time with his family and their dog. Richard lives in Billingshurst.

Paul Green


Level 3 Dog Handler

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