What’s your role at The Isbourne?
I was initially hired for six months to research into whether there was any need for accredited holistic studies courses, and given the unregulated nature of some holistic education programmes, it was seen that there was such a need, so The Isbourne College was developed in 2013. By Spring 2014 we were open for business and welcoming our first cohort of students. I’m currently the Course Development Manager and my role is to look for opportunities to develop courses for holistic practitioners, people who are interested in pursuing their personal holistic journey and businesses interested in the wellbeing of their employees.
What inspires you?
Music inspires me, and looking back I definitely would have a soundtrack to my life. A good idea inspires me too, as well as working with someone to ensure that idea comes into fruition. I do like collaboration with people. I also get a kick from hearing people talk about enjoying the courses that I have helped put together.
How would you describe your journey?
Late in life, I’d call it! I’ve had experiences that people in the holistic world would regard as absolutely normal – such as seeing four ghosts at different times in my life. One of them was malign and frightened the living daylights out of me – another one just seemed to want to know why I was in their old home, and I was able to converse with it. I also had to have a crash course in the holistic world after coming to The Isbourne – the first course I put together for The Isbourne College was Introduction to Holistic Living, which was for people like me – who want to know more about the range of possibilities the holistic world offers in order to progress in their personal lives. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you’ve got to be authentic – whatever that means for you, and that can lead to some pretty tough decisions. At the end of the day you have to find out who you really are and be yourself.
What did you do before you joined the Isbourne?
My previous job was at the University of Gloucestershire, working as a collaborative partner with the construction industry and housing market to design bespoke higher education programmes for staff, which weren’t being offered by universities at the time. Prior to that I worked for a government organisation called Aimhigher, in which my job was to encourage young people taking vocational qualifications to consider higher education. Before that I worked for the Youth Service as a Training Co-ordinator, as a Duke of Edinburgh Award Officer, a primary school teacher and as a librarian doing information research for industry.
What are your favourite holistic practices or treatments?
You have to find a practitioner you’re comfortable with – and I’m very lucky because obviously I have a massive choice from the tutors that I know. I like intuitive healing – where the practitioner picks up on things and discusses them, or a mixture of Reiki, crystals and intuitive healing.
Tell us about your interests/hobbies…
I love going to live music gigs, and dancing – that’s one of the joys in my life! I’m collecting the old timers – the bands I used to see or didn’t get the chance to see first time round, such as Colin Blunstone from The Zombies, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (who I last saw in 1971), Steve Winwood, Paul Rogers from Free, and The Pretenders. I also watch my son’s bands Toadstool and Beat Harlows. I also love exercise, which could be mat exercise, running, going to the gym or just walking in nature with the dogs.
What are your plans for the future?
With the launch of the new Isbourne, we’re starting a new Business Services branch which I’m heading up, working with local companies and local branches of national companies to offer wellbeing and resilience in the workplace training. We’re hoping to attract companies that have the mental health and welfare of their employees at heart and offer either off-the-peg or bespoke staff development courses. We’ll also be offering a Quality Endorsement service for businesses that want their existing in-house training programmes endorsed by an external College. So a busy time ahead.