Meet the PAL Team

Pets Against Loneliness is run entirely by volunteers. PAL volunteers are responsible for all kinds of tasks, such as the smooth running of our events on the first Saturday of every month. Volunteers also help with strategic work, such as planning, fundraising and communications.


You can meet some of the PAL volunteers and find out more about them below – and if you're interested in joining the PAL team yourself as a volunteer, you can email us here.

Lyn Ambrose, Founder


Lyn is Pets Against Loneliness' Founder. She grew up in Australia, and has lived in Islington for many years. She has travelled widely, and lived and worked in a number of different countries as a research scientist. Her experiences have led to her belief that older people are often undervalued in Western society, sometimes leading to isolation and feelings of loneliness. This, combined with Lyn's lifelong love of animals, led her to set up PAL in 2018. Previous voluntary roles include Volunteer Coordinator of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS), Australia, whose remit was to look after the pets of people living with HIV/AIDS. She has recently been appointed as a Trustee of the Newington Green Alliance. Professionally, Lyn works for the NHS in clinical trial research. 


Erik Mielke


Erik moved to London from Denmark as a student nearly 30 years ago and remembers what it means to live in a big city without close family nearby.  He is passionate about dogs (Misha, pictured, is Karen and Erik’s young rescue dog) and he has been involved with Pets Against Loneliness since summer 2019. When not walking Misha in the parks and woods of north London, he is either working in the energy sector or learning to play ice hockey in Ally Pally.

Karen Richardson


As a veterinary surgeon, Karen practices the compassionate care of both animals and their human carers; she has a special interest in supporting the elderly variety of both species. Karen, a Western Canadian, moved to London from the US in 2011 with her partner Erik and their dog and cat, both rescues. On days off, she enjoys countryside walks with Erik and Misha, their Romanian rescue dog. Karen is pictured with one of PAL’s senior dog volunteers.


Laurence Thomas


Not owning any pets himself, Laurence joined Pets Against Loneliness through its Founding Partner New Unity in order to both help the community and to gain insight into the power of pet therapy. Laurence was born in Surrey and moved to London in 2016 to become a graphic designer. He enjoys reading, doodling and exploring new cities.

Nick Toner


Nick helps communicate PAL's events and mission to the community and the wider world through press outreach, social media and more. Professionally, he works in communications for a number of businesses and local charities – including New Unity, PAL's Founding Partner. He grew up in Cumbria with a Collie/Lercher cross named Zara, but has lived in London for several years.