Chair University of Sunderland Board of Governors
Chief Executive, North East Chamber of Commerce
BBC Newcastle Presenter, Comedienne, Actress, Vocalist
John Mowbray OBE is Chairman of the University of Sunderland’s Board of Governors, Co-Chairman of the North East Cultural Partnership and a Non-Executive Director,/Governor/Trustee of :- Narrative Integrated Communications, Husband and Brown, TEDCO Business Support Limited, Sunderland MAC Trust, Sunderland Business Ltd, Sunderland BID Limited, Sunderland Culture Limited, Ryhope Engines Trust, Castle View Enterprise Academy Trust and Castle View Community and Fitness Centre Ltd. Before retiring in 2012 John was the Director of Corporate Affairs at Northumbrian Water and has also been President of the North East Chamber of Commerce. John, who comes from Sunderland, is passionate about the North East region. John was also High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear in 2016/17.
“Wag & Company North East Friendship Dogs is a charity focussed on making a difference to older people across our region, bringing friendship and animal companionship. I am very proud that participation in our Just an Hour Volunteering scheme in Northumbrian Water in the 2000’s ultimately influenced the Wag & Company Directors to establish this new service in our region. The Charity visits older dog lovers in their own homes on referral from social services and other agencies, something that hasn’t been possible in the North East in the past. I am hoping that dog lovers with a small amount of time to spare each week will come to support this Charity in numbers, making a really big difference in our communities.”
As Chief Executive of The Chamber, James heads up the region’s biggest business group and leads campaigns for businesses as well as providing support services, including training and global trade advice for its 4,000-plus members.
He is a Deputy Lieutenant for County Durham, Honorary Colonel for The Rifles in the North. Previously, James was Chairman of Darlington Building Society and Vice Chairman of Esh Group after spending 14 years working at Barclays Bank plc throughout the UK. He began his working life in the Royal Green Jackets, soldiering around the world for 12 years.
We are most grateful for James’s support for our Charity and the work of our volunteers:
“There is an instinctive bond between humans and dogs. It is deep-rooted and touches our inner selves. Many elderly people today lead lonely and isolated lives have lost those that they love. They cope but their lives can be transformed for the better with a little companionship and love. This is what WAG & Company do. Bringing a dog into the life of an elderly person can be the most positive experience for the elderly person, the dog and its owner. It rouses and energises and brings out the best in people and dogs. I strongly support Diane and all of those who work to spread the warmth and companionship in this way and encourage others to do likewise”.
BBC Newcastle Presenter, Comedienne and vocalist Sue Sweeney is well known to BBC Radio Newcastle listeners for her quirky brand of self- deprecating Northern humour. Sue, from Durham, also had a successful 20-year career as a vocalist and is the only woman ever to win North East Comedy Artiste of the Year from the County Durham Concert Secretary Association.
Sue is a tremendous supporter of the service Wag & Company provides:-
“I’m delighted to support Wag & Company. When I first found out about the charity, I thought it was a fantastic idea. You can clearly see when an elderly person meets a dog there is something special, it’s the companionship, its the instant recognition, the friendliness and the unconditional love between a person and a dog. A dog enriches your life, a dog can connect with you emotionally and change the way you feel. I just hope that this develops into something National because all elderly people deserve companionship, they’ve lived their lives and in their twilight years they should have happiness. To be lonely is such a terribly sad situation to find yourself in. I’m grateful and very proud to have been asked to be an Ambassador for Wag & Company, a great charity which is bringing happiness to people in their own homes – uniquely in the North East – as well as in care homes and hospitals. Fantastic.”