was born in America a very long time ago, and her least
favourite question at seminars and conferences is: "How did
you find out that you had a healing gift?" The answer, basically,
is that the realisation dawned upon her slowly in the same way that
other people begin to recognise they have a natural ability to draw,
or pick out a tune on a piano, or put words together entertainingly
on the page. She doesn't believe that her ability is unique …
rather that it's a talent we all possess to a greater or lesser
degree, but with which most of us have lost touch. Her approach
to healing is informed by her own Christian faith, but she never
proselytises and expects no reciprocal belief from those who come
seeking help. People who arrive at the Centre for the first time
are often nervous, vaguely expecting something mystical or new-agey.
They are always pleasantly surprised by Gretchen's - and indeed
the Centre's - relaxed and resolutely down-to-earth attitude. The
most common sound issuing from behind the treatment room door is
that of laughter.
is the Centre Manager (at least, that's what it says in her Job
Description). She originally started as a Saturday morning volunteer
in 1990 and nobody seems at all sure how or why she seems
to be running the place 21 years later. They just turned their backs
one morning, and there she was – complete with office, computer
and a large mug of tea. Everybody blames someone else and leaves
it at that. She mostly hides in her office, with her Jack Russell
Ben, communing with her keyboard;
so you don't need to worry about her too much.
her spare time she's Co-Administrator of the literary website, Vulpes
Libris , which led to her being asked by the
Novelists' Association (of which she is, inexplicably,
a member) to be one of the three judges of The Romantic Novel
of the Year Award in 2010. Honestly. Could we
make that up?.
you really have nothing better to do, you might like to
visit Moira's blog: From
the Centre Manager's desk.
is the Centre's Volunteer Co-ordinator and bears most of the responsibility
for - you guessed it - co-ordinating volunteers,
organizing fundraising events and keeping the mountains of jumble
that arrive at the Centre under some semblance of control.
joined us several years ago as a volunteer and proceeded to make
herself so indispensible with her boundless enthusiasm and organizational
ability that we had no choice but to try and find the money to persuade
her to stay put.
not hauling boxes of jumble, craft materials and newsletters around,
or knitting like a thing demented, Andrea is also our main beekeeper
and can often be found at the top of the garden in her white suit
clucking over her 'babies'.
is also the person who usually answers the telephone, and so is
often visitors' and clients' first point of contact with us.
Harrop: Richard provides the muscle in the garden … you'll
usually spot him in a death grip with a wild rhododendron or fighting
an unending (but doomed) battle with the hayfield we call our lawn.
Bidder: Ralf does all the stuff Richard doesn't in
the garden - weeding, planting and tending the vegetable beds.
When he isn't dealing death to caterpillars he's an extraordinarily
talented woodworker with his own business - Silent
Forest Creations - and a selection of his work can be
seen at the Centre.
Sonia Norton: Sonia
joined the Centre in the Autumn of 2004 when she "retired"
after many year of working within the National Health Service. She
is a Chartered Physiotherapist and has had extensive experience
in the treatment of orthopaedic and musculo-skeletal problems, neurological
conditions (including stroke) and respiratory conditions. She has
specialist knowledge in the management of COPD and asthma. We are
delighted to welcome her to the Centre, as she not only brings with
her years of invaluable experience as a "hands-on" practitioner
but also adds substantially to our mix of available skills. We look
forward to many years of happy co-operation.
is a long-time friend of the Centre who is a Therapeutic Practitioner
for Surestart Copeland. Kay offers Ayurvedic Massage by appointment.
Ayurveda originated in India 4,000 years ago and is believed to
be the oldest health-maintenance system known to modern man.
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