Mayhew Announces Departure of CEO Sherine Wheeler and Appointment of Elvira Meucci-Lyons as New Chief Executive

Animal welfare and veterinary charity Mayhew has announced that Sherine Wheeler, Chief Executive, will leave the charity at the end of March 2024 following nearly two years in the role.

In that time, Sherine has steered the charity through a period of positive change, developed a strong, credible and collaborative voice for Mayhew across the animal welfare sector and re-engaged a wide range of supporters and the community. Her leadership has been instrumental in ensuring Mayhew rose to meet soaring demand for its services, both in the UK and overseas in Afghanistan and Georgia. Against the backdrop of a challenging time for animal welfare charities across the UK, Sherine’s ambition and guidance has supported Mayhew teams to build back from the impact of the pandemic, reaching tens of thousands of dogs, cats and pet owners.

Sherine Wheeler

The Board of Mayhew has appointed Elvira Meucci-Lyons to be Mayhew’s new Chief Executive. Elvira joins Mayhew from Butterfly Conservation where she is currently Director of Income, Marketing & Communications. Prior to that Elvira led fundraising and communications teams at CPRE the Countryside Charity, Refuge and Shelter. Elvira also has a background in animal welfare, having spent 11 years as a director at Dogs Trust, broadening the reach and impact of their education and engagement campaigns.

Elvira Meucci-Lyons

Chair of Mayhew’s Board of Trustees, Julianne Hicks, said: “I’m thankful to Sherine for her service to Mayhew and for her extraordinary leadership during a tough time in the sector. In the prevailing economic conditions, Mayhew, like many charities, has experienced a challenging financial and operational situation. I’m grateful for Sherine’s steadfast, warm and tenacious leadership. She has been ambitious for Mayhew and worked very hard to achieve our current position. I, and the whole of Mayhew, wish Sherine well in her next leadership role and look forward to her continued friendship and support of  Mayhew’s incredibly important work as we head towards Mayhew’s 140th anniversary year. I look forward to welcoming Elvira, with her extensive background in fundraising, to Mayhew as our new CEO and to working with her on the next stage of Mayhew’s journey.”

Chief Executive for Mayhew, Sherine Wheeler said: “I have loved leading Mayhew and working with our talented staff, incredible volunteers, and wonderful Board of Trustees. Every day has presented a new opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of dogs, cats and pet owners who increasingly rely on Mayhew and its unique range of services – a real privilege. I’m so proud of all we’ve achieved together – Mayhew is an extraordinary charity, building a better life for dogs, cats and communities through the warmth, creativity and dedication of our talented teams. I’m grateful for the commitment and support of an incredible Senior Management Team and I wish Elvira, the Board and all in the wider Mayhew family every success.”

Elvira Meucci-Lyons said: “I have always hugely admired Mayhew for the services it runs and how it works so closely with communities to improve life for dogs, cats and people that need it most. I couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to lead this organisation, and to work together with our committed staff, volunteers and the Board. The charity has ambitious plans to match the all-time high demand for animal welfare services, and I can’t wait to play my part in making this happen. I feel totally honoured to be able to combine my skills and experience with my absolute passion and dedication to animal welfare and social welfare.”

About Mayhew

Established in 1886, Mayhew is an animal welfare and veterinary charity working in London and overseas. We help thousands of dogs and cats in need by delivering a broad range of animal welfare and veterinary care services.

In 2022 alone, the team at Mayhew:

•      Carried out 6,831 veterinary interventions

•      Administered 3,095 vaccinations in its London vet clinic

•      Neutered 1,078 dogs and cats in its London vet clinic

•      Delivered 553 TheraPaws therapeutic dog engagements

•      Cared for 13 dogs and 9 cats through Pet Refuge

•      Reunited 73 missing or lost pets with their owners

•      Rehomed 34 dogs and 325 cats

•      Neutered 12,965 dogs overseas

To find out more about Mayhew’s work, visit

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