Shaun Plunkett – Practice Manager


I was brought up in West London not too far from Heathrow and always wanted to be a pilot. Sadly I didn’t apply myself at school so my dream ended prematurely and I left college wondering what to do. In 1980 I joined the Metropolitan Police and spent my first 17 years in uniform on the response teams. In 1996 I transferred to CID and later worked on one of the murder teams where I was responsible for investigating cases and preparing them for trial at the Old Bailey.

In April 2011 I was looking to retire from the police and saw Cherrydown was advertising for a trainee practice manager with a view to taking over the Practice Manager position 2 years later. The job sounded interesting and although I had no need to work full time, I wanted a job that was new, interesting, challenging and around people. Although I knew nothing about veterinary work I thought I’d apply. Two interviews and a powerpoint presentation later I’d got the job – much to my surprise.

On a more personal level, in 1981 I met my first wife and we married the following year. Friends and family reckoned it would last 6 months but we nearly made it to 25 years before becoming yet another divorce statistic. In that time we were fortunate to have two children who are both now in their mid twenties and making their own way in the world. In 2007 I met my fiancee Sue and we live in Billericay with her two daughters and their cat Sam who is 14 and ALWAYS trying it on for more food.


Moving back to Cherrydown, working here has definitely been a challenge, especially as I had no knowledge of the veterinary world or private business. To help me, Jonathan set a goal of qualifying for the Certificate of Veterinary Management. This is a nationally recognised qualification in the industry held by about 40 practice managers. To get this I needed to pass a level 5 diploma in business management and I achieved this in 2012. In 2013 I passed the CVPM but I’m still learning every day.

My job is to try to make sure the three practices run smoothly. As much of a challenge as this is, perhaps the hardest part is managing the team and trying to make sure each member is able to give of their best. They are a fantastic bunch of people who really do care very passionately about what they do. If I can try to ensure they are happy and motivated then hopefully they will provide the best possible service.

When I retire (again) I hope for two things. Firstly that retiring the second time isn’t as much hard work as the first time. And secondly, that I have made a positive difference in my time at Cherrydown.

Loves: music – especially the soul/dance music of the late 70’s and early 80’s, trying to put a smile on someones face, and socialising with friends. 

Regrets: not being the best dad in the world and not being home enough. Changing my regular lottery numbers once and missing out on 5 plus the bonus. 

Hopes: To get to see more of the world and finally getting to drag my fiancee up the aisle before she sees sense, or I’m too old to manage it. 

Pets – A rabbit when very young and a cat through most of my married life. Whilst I love dogs, my job has never allowed the time I think they need and deserve

Dont mess with the chef