A vets has appointed a new business operations lead.

The position is a new role designed to help support Paragon Veterinary Group, a Cumbrian practice that has been expanding.

Jen Hewitt, who was previously executive assistant at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, joined Paragon in January.

Jen, who lives in Wigton with her husband Chris, family, and pets, said of the company: “It is a highly respected business.

“I have followed their success over the years, and they have a strong reputation both as an employer and for their service to clients.”

Jen will be working alongside Jacqui Dodds, practice personnel and client care lead, and Suzanne McCamish, business finance lead.

Paragon has small animal, farm, advanced breeding and equine divisions and centres at Dalston, Newbiggin, and Wetheral.

It recently completed a merger with Tarn Farm Vets at Shap, creating a farm vet team covering an area from Carlisle to Kendal.

Jen added: “I will be looking at things from an operational perspective and reviewing things like IT management systems, stock management and marketing and business strategy.”

Jen worked at Cumbria LEP for four years where she was executive assistant to CEO Jo Lappin.

“We worked nonstop during Covid helping businesses with furlough, grants, support and guidance,” said Jen.

“It taught resilience and coping under pressure.

“I’m quite good at tackling situations where you need to think on your feet.”

Jen was previously business support manager for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for six years and was also a call handler for Cumbria Health on Call.

She has previously had administrative roles with Saint Gobain Ltd and William Howard School in Brampton.

“I fell into admin at a young age,” she said.

“My dad was a landscape gardener and I used to spend my summer holidays doing his paperwork and estimates and answering the phone for customers.

“I like the organisational side of roles, and I really enjoy helping people whether that is in or out of work.”

Bruce Richards, business director at Paragon Veterinary Group, said: “As our practice continues to grow our directors and management team have a growing need for operational and business support.

“So when the opportunity to employ Jen came along it made complete sense and we look forward to her support, contribution and experience in our business leadership team.”